Thursday, July 6, 2023

LeDomduVin: Champagne(s)

Champagne(s) by @ledomduvin 2023


In a restaurant, the story usually goes…

The sommelier arrived with some elegant Champagne flutes, placing one in front of each of us. He retrieved the bottle we had ordered earlier from the ice bucket, wiping it meticulously before presenting it to us. With his left hand, he firmly grasped the bottle's neck. Meanwhile, with his right hand, he removed the wrapping foil, loosened the wire of the muselet and then placed his right hand at the bottom of the bottle. He tilted the bottle at a 45-degree angle and, with a gentle turn of the bottle, eased the cork out while retaining it with his left hand, producing a faint "PSSSSHHHH" as the air pressure released. He poured up to a third of each glass, creating the signature fizzy crackling sound of the Champagne as the bubbles collapsed at the liquid surface. We raised and clinked our flutes for a convivial toast, looking at each other respectively before taking the first sip, as tradition commands. The sommelier placed the bottle back in the ice bucket, and with a smile and sparkles in his eyes, he said, "Enjoy!" It was a night to remember.” – Dom  

Created in the 17th century, Champagne has become the quintessential classic drink that adds a delightful touch to every party, reception, and celebration. It symbolises joy and memorable moments such as friendships, promotions, success, victories, birthdays, and weddings. 

There is always a good excuse to pop up a bottle and enjoy its delicious taste. And when it comes to “taste”, we should refer to "Champagnes" in the plural form rather than as a singular entity. There are so many types and styles of champagnes that it can be challenging to determine which will best suit your palate.

Yet, before getting into Champagnes' different types and styles, let’s briefly go back in time to its origins. 

Champagne's Origins (*)

Did you know that the first sparkling wine ever recorded was the "Blanquette de Limoux"? This wine was invented by Benedictine monks in the Abbey of Saint-Hilaire near Carcassonne back in 1531. The method consisted of bottling the wine before the initial fermentation had fully completed. This technique was later known as the "Méthode Rural".

Wine production in the Champagne region predates the origin of "Champagne" as we know it today. The initial sparkling wine that later on brought fame to this French region resulted from an accident. 

Champagne is notorious for its cold winter, reaching freezing temperatures, eventually halting the fermentation. The wine was then bottled and stored. Yet, a few months later, with the return of the warm weather and higher temperatures, a secondary fermentation would occur inside the bottle, producing carbon dioxide bubbles to form within the bottle creating the iconic fizziness associated with Champagne. 

As corks popped and bottles exploded due to the pressure in the bottle, the resulting sparkling wine was dubbed "the devil's wine" or "le vin du diable". And interestingly, bubbles were considered a fault during that time.

In 1662, six years before Dom Pérignon arrived at the Abbey of Hautvillers, Christopher Merret, an English scientist and physician, first documented the process of adding sugar to a finished wine to obtain a second fermentation. Merret presented his findings on what is known today as the “Methode Traditionnelle” ("Traditional Method" aka “Méthode Champenoise”) at the Royal Society. 

In the 17th century, English glassmakers utilized coal ovens to manufacture glass bottles that were more robust and long-lasting compared to those produced by French glassmakers who used wood-fired ovens. At the same time, Merret's discoveries coincided with the progress made by English glassmakers, who could produce bottles able to withstand the internal pressure produced by secondary fermentation. Meanwhile, French glassmakers were not yet equipped to create bottles that met the required quality and strength standards. So, until the French adopted the same technique, the Champagne produced at the time was bottled in English bottles.  

Dom Perignon, who is often credited for it, did not invent Champagne. Still, his research and inventions greatly enhanced certain techniques that led to the elaboration of Champagne as we know it today. He was the first to make Champagne out of black grape varieties such as Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier, which are part of the 3 main grape varieties still in use for its production today. He used the traditional second fermentation process, called "Méthode champenoise". He was also the first to use cork maintained by hemp ropes and sealed by wax to prevent wine bottles from exploding.

Securing the stopper only became a concern after the shipment of sparkling wines in bottles began in 1728. Initially, the stopper was fastened to the bottle only using string. However, in 1844, Adolphe Jacquesson developed a patent for a technique that involved placing a piece of tinplate between the cork and its ties to counterbalance the forces. This invention was the creation of the first capsule, which with the ropes tightened around the head of the bottle, consisted of what is known as the "muselet" to prevent corks from blowing out. 

The Muselet (*)

Champagne Muselet by @ledomduvin 2023

The word "muselet" originates from the French verb "museler", which translates to "to muzzle". This is because the wire cage securely holds the cork in place on the bottle's head (consisting of the collar or annulus and the lip, see details in the illustration above). 

Originally made with rope, the "muselet" evolved into wire versions, which proved inconvenient to remove and difficult to apply. 

In 1855, Nicaise Petitjean invented a string-tying machine (also known as a "Cheval de bois") that revolutionized the closure force of bottle stoppers. By incorporating a lever action, the machine increased the force tenfold, enabling the use of reinforced ties and ensuring more secure stoppers. 

Although many households favoured metal wires over the string at that time, the wire option was eventually abandoned due to the inconvenience of cutting it with metal cutters while holding the cork down.

The idea of pre-forming the binding wire to form a wire cage played a crucial and innovative role in developing muselets and led to the creation of the first wire muselets, resembling the one we know today. Wire cages were manufactured around the 1880s, replacing the traditional string that was used to secure the capsule and cork. 

The House of Pommery was among the first to use the wire cage, albeit a three-strand version instead of the more efficient and more contemporary four-strand design. Other Champagne houses soon followed suit, adopting the four-strand design for better stopper security.

The twisted ring came shortly after, in 1884, when René Lebegue, who was employed by Moët & Chandon, introduced the simple yet ingenious idea of the twisted ring to ease the opening of the wire cage. Instead of being cut or otherwise painfully removed, it now just needed to be untwisted to uncork the bottle. All it took was six quick twists of the wrist to pop open the bottle.

Champagne Popping by @ledomduvin 2022

The becoming of Champagne (suite of "Champagne's origins")

In the past, Champagne was seen as defective by winemakers. However, the surviving sparkling wine bottles caught French royalty's attention and became a trendy novelty. The French King, Hugh Capet, famously included Champagne wine in official Royal dinners at the palace. By the beginning of the 18th century, the Duke of Orléans had popularized it as the preferred drink among the French upper class.

As the popularity of sparkling wine grew, new Champagne houses emerged to satisfy the demand. Ruinart was the first to open its cellar doors in 1729, followed by Taittinger (previously known as Forrest Fourneaux) in 1734. Moet was established soon after in 1743, followed by Lanson (previously Delemotte) in 1760 and Louis Roederer (formerly Dubois Père & Fils) in 1770. Veuve Clicquot was founded in 1772, and Heidsieck in 1785.

In the early 19th century, despite the existence of the "Méthode Traditionelle", the "Méthode Rurale" was still commonly used to produce sparkling wine in the Champagne region.

In fact, it took about 200 years after Merret documented the process for Champagne to use the “Méthode Traditionnelle” (“Méthode Champenoise”) in the 19th century. This century also saw significant growth in champagne production. The “Champagne” as we know it today has been developed over the last 180 years or so.

Champagne has been a beloved drink since the early days of Champagne houses, and its popularity has only grown over time. It is now a highly sought-after drink worldwide, associated with royalty, high society, and celebrations. Even today, Champagne is still considered a luxurious and opulent drink. Many well-known brands of Champagne sponsor prestigious international events such as Wimbledon, Formula 1, the BAFTAs, and Royal Ascot, bringing a touch of class and luxury to these occasions.

During the 19th century, champagne was known for its sweetness which differed from the current champagne. However, a shift towards drier champagne occurred when Perrier-Jouët chose not to sweeten his 1846 vintage before exporting it to London.

As a result, the term "Brut Champagne" was coined specifically for the British in 1876. And “Thanks to the British”, Champagne started to get produced in various “styles” and “types” afterwards and therefore got pretty complicated.

Yet, before talking about Champagne's Types and Styles, let's briefly talk about the 3 main grape varieties and how Champagne is made.

Champagne's 3 main grape varieties

Three main grape varieties are used in the production of Champagne: Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier. 

There are four additional varieties authorised in the production of Champagne, yet they are rarely used or only in very small amounts: Pinot Blanc, Pinot Gris, Petit Meslier, and Arbane.

As the still wine used to make Champagne is fermented bone dry (with no residual sugar), the intrinsic qualities and respective components of these 3 main grape varieties provide the most ideal balance of freshness (acidity) and tension to complement the effervescence and the rich, subtle taste of Champagne.


Chardonnay is a white grape bringing freshness, elegance and finesse. It is mainly grown in the Côte des Blancs region and is a key component in most champagne blends. It is also used to produce Blanc de Blancs Champagne.

Pinot Noir

Pinot Noir is a black grape contributing to Champagne's body, structure, complexity and flavours. It is the region's most commonly used grape variety and is especially prevalent in the Montagne de Reims and the Côte des Bar. It is also used to produce Blanc de Noirs Champagne.

Pinot Meunier

Pinot Meunier is a black grape with a distinct fruity and floral aroma. It is a popular choice in the Marne Valley.

Apart from the unique flavours and tastes contributed by the three main grapes, the remaining flavours and taste of Champagne are a consequence of...
  • The liqueur de tirage (the addition of sugar and yeast to obtain the 2nd fermentation in the bottle)
  • The ageing with the dying yeasts (giving the distinctive toasty, yeasty character to champagne)
  • The "Dosage" (or "liqueur d'expedition", which is a mixture of white wine, brandy and sugar, added after disgorgement before final corking)

Now let's talk about the making of Champagne.

Champagne Making Process - Traditional Method by @ledomduvin 2023

Champagne's making 

First and foremost, "Champagne" can only be elaborated in the Champagne region, in the designated areas comprised within the AOC Champagne, located in France, and made only with the "traditional method" or "Méthode Chamapenoise". If not, then it is not "Champagne", just sparkling wine.   

The complex process of making Champagne takes about 12 steps: 

1. Hand-picking the grapes

The Champagne grapes are carefully picked at their ideal ripeness level, ensuring that only the finest grapes are selected. The harvesting process is done by hand to preserve the skin of the berries, which is crucial before crushing.

2. Crushing the grapes

The hand-picked grapes are collected and gently pressed in traditional, hydraulic, or pneumatic presses to keep the juice as clear as possible. The initial juice extracted from the press is distinguished and kept apart from the darker (supposedly less pure) juice extracted later. This clear juice is to be used for what is known as “the cuvée”. The extracted “Cuvée” juice flows into an opened vat or tank (called "belon") to be fermented. At this point, a small amount of sulphur dioxide (SO2) is added, known as sulphuring. Any remaining impurities are removed by “debourbage”, which encourages solid particles to sink to the bottom of the vat while clear juice is siphoned off the top.

This clarification stage is called "débourbage" and corresponds to "settling" the freshly pressed grape juice, during which skin fragments, pips, and other sediment settle at the bottom of the vat. The purpose is to send only clear juice to the fermentation stage to obtain wines with the purest fruit expression.

After 12 to 24 hours, the clear juice is drawn off and transferred to the "cuverie" (the room containing the fermenting vats) to commence the first fermentation.

3. First fermentation

After the débourbage filtration process, the grape juice undergoes the first fermentation. Typically, the juice is stored in a stainless-steel tank, although some Champagne makers choose to ferment the wine entirely or partially in oak casks. While using a wooden cask is a more intricate and costly process, it can result in a richer flavour profile. During fermentation, all the natural sugars in the grape juice are converted into alcohol until the wine is entirely dry.

4. Assemblage (or blending)

After the first fermentation, approximately five months after the harvest, the process of blending, or “assemblage”, begins. This is crucial in maintaining Champagne's consistent style and flavour from year to year.

The percentage of grape varieties varies depending on the “type” (White, Rosé, Blanc de Blancs, Blanc de Noirs, etc.) and the “style” (Brut Nature, Brut, Extra Brut, Extra Dry, etc..) the champagne house wants to achieve.

Wines from different grape varieties, vintages and vineyards are combined to obtain different “types” and “styles” of Champagne.

  • Regular Champagne (white or rosé, Brut, and non-vintage, Cru or not) is usually a blend of the three main grape varieties, for example, 40% Chardonnay, 35% Pinot Noir and 25% Pinot Meunier.
  • Special or Prestige Cuvée (white or rosé, Brut, or other, vintage or non-vintage, Cru or not) is usually richer and more complex than a regular Champagne and thus might have a higher percentage of one dominant grape. Pinot Noir-based Champagnes are usually more opulent and substantial, while Chardonnay-based is lighter, brighter, refined, and chiselled. 
  • Vintage Champagne (white or rosé, Brut, or other, cru or not) made uniquely with the wine of a particular vintage might tend to have a relatively balanced blend of the two main grape varieties, for example, 50% pinot noir and 50% Chardonnay (60/40).
  • Blanc de Blancs Champagne (Brut or other, vintage or not, cru or not) is made from 100% Chardonnay grapes and are usually lighter and more refined.
  • Blanc de Noirs Champagne (Brut or other, vintage or not, cru or not) is made with 100% black grapes, usually Pinot Noir and/or Pinot Meunier grapes.
  • Rosé Champagne (brut or other, vintage or non-vintage, cru or not) usually tends to be blended with a higher percentage of pinot noir and less of the other two grape varieties.  When producing rosé champagne, there are two methods commonly used: blending red and white wines together in a process called 'rosé d'assemblage' or macerating the grapes in a process called 'rosé de saignée.' The pinkish hue comes from the crushed grape skins in the latter method.

5. Second fermentation (Liqueur de Tirage et Prise de Mousse)

Once blended, the wines are bottled to undergo the second fermentation, a stage called "la prise de mousse" in French. This critical step involves adding a mixture of still wine, yeast, and sugar (known as the "liqueur de tirage") to the base still wine and sealing the bottle with a sturdy crown cap to obtain a second fermentation in the bottle. 

Once sealed, the bottles are stacked and/or laid down on racks or cages in cellars at cool temperatures (chalk underground cellars, also known as "crayères", have a constant temperature of about 12-15°C). Over 1-3 weeks, yeasts gradually convert the sugar into alcohol, which produces carbon dioxide inside the bottle. Unable to escape, the carbon dioxide dissolves in the wine, creating the classic Champagne effervescence.

6. Ageing (or maturation)

During fermentation, yeast cells die and split open, forming "lees" (dead yeast particles). These particles are responsible for Champagne's distinct toasty, yeasty flavour. After the second fermentation, the wine is left to age in cool cellars on its lees for a certain period, which varies depending on the type of Champagne. Non-vintage Champagne is aged for at least 15 months, while vintage Champagne is aged for at least 3 years. Premium Champagne, on the other hand, can be aged 5-8 years. It is a common belief that the longer wine ages on its lees, the better it becomes in terms of texture, flavour, richness, and complexity.

7. Riddling (or remuage)

Following the “ageing” process, "riddling" (or remuage) consists of loosening the sediments and lees (dead yeast cells) remaining in the bottle from the second fermentation by moving them towards the neck of the bottle. This makes it easier to remove them afterwards through the disgorgement process.

There are two ways to do it:  

  • The traditional method, also known as "Manual Riddling”, involves transferring the ageing bottles onto wooden racks with angled holes called "Pupitres." The bottles are loaded horizontally with sediment resting on the side. To riddle the bottles, they are given a sharp quarter-turn daily by a "bottle turner" who rotates the bottles 1/8 or 1/4 turn at a time, with a chalk mark on the bottom for reference. The bottles are gradually tilted “neck-down” (“sur pointe”) so that the sediment moves down to the bottleneck. Manual remuage takes about 4-6 weeks and involves an average of 25 turns per bottle. A professional "remueur" can handle up to 40,000 bottles daily.

  • The modern method, “Mechanical riddling” (or “automated remuage”), consists of putting the ageing bottles into racks or cages that can hold up to 500 bottles, depending on their size and brand. The bottles are then riddled using a machine called a “Gyropalette which means "turning palette" in Greek (from the Greek word "Gyros" meaning "turn").  This machine operates 24/7 and takes only one week instead of the 4-6 weeks it normally takes for the manual method, without compromising the quality of the product.

At the end of this process (either manual or mechanical), all the sediments will have moved to the bottleneck, and the bottles are now “neck-down” (“sur pointe”), ready for the next stage: disgorgement.

8. Disgorging (Disgorgement)

Disgorgement is the process of removing the sediments (accumulated in the bottleneck) from the Champagne. It is done in 2 steps:

1. Plunging the bottleneck in a cold solution at approximately -27°C, causing all the sediments gathered there to form a frozen plug.

2. Put the bottle back in an up position and swiftly remove the crown cap, which expels the frozen plug thanks to the pressure built up inside the bottle.

This is a crucial stage for the wine since it is also the first time in months (even years) that it will again be in contact with the outside air. The oxygen penetrating the bottle at this stage will help to enhance the wine’s aromatic personality further.

Although disgorgement is done mostly mechanically nowadays, for most regular bottles, especially in the most renowned Champagne Houses producing large volumes, large format bottles and some premium cuvées are still disgorged by hand ("à la volée"), especially for the small, independent producers.

A small amount of wine is forced out when the frozen sediment plug is expelled. And this is where the next stage begins when the “liqueur of dosage” is used to top up the bottle before corking it.

9. Dosage (Liqueur d'Expedition / Liqueur de Dosage)

"Dosage" is the final step before the “corking”. The “liqueur de dosage” (also known as "liqueur d'expedition") is a mixture of cane sugar dissolved in wine, added to top up the bottle and thus replace the small amount of Champagne expelled during disgorgement. It corresponds to approximately 1cl for a regular 75cl bottle of Champagne Brut.

The choice of liqueur (and the amount of sugar contained) plays a vital role as it directly impacts the style of the final product. If the goal is to maintain the unique character and purity of the wine, a neutral liqueur will be selected. However, if the aim is to enhance the wine with additional aromas, a liqueur-containing “reserve wine” - a high-quality Champagne wine that has been aged for a long time - may be used.

The amount of sugar contained in the “liqueur de dosage” will depend on the “style” of Champagne to be achieved.

The "styles" are classified and named as follows:

  • Brut Nature contains <3 g/l of residual sugar
  • Extra Brut < 6 g/l
  • Brut <12 g/l
  • Extra-Dry 12-17 g/l
  • Dry (Sec) 17-32 g/l
  • Demi-Sec 32-50 g/l
  • Doux 50 g/l

NB: refer to the paragraph on Champagne’s “types” and “styles” below for more details.

10. Corking and Inspection

Once the liqueur de dosage is added, the wine is sealed with a cork topped with a capsule and secured with a wire cage called a "muselet" (refer to the paragraph above). Despite being tightly sealed, the cork allows air exchange, explaining that the champagne continues to age in the bottle. Hence, the importance of the cork's quality plays a crucial role in this process. When applicable, the cork should also bear the name "Champagne" and the vintage.

Once corked, the bottle is vigorously shaken to ensure proper mixing of the liqueur in the champagne, a process called "poignettage".

The final step involves thoroughly inspecting each bottle to ensure clarity before storing them in a cellar for several more months until release, a period referred to as "mirage".

11. Labelling (or Habillage)

Lastly, the bottles are packaged and labelled as the last step before leaving the Champagne cellars. A foil cap is put over the cork, and a label is affixed on the bottle's front (and back usually).

They must state the compulsory information, like Brand, company and/or producer name, Champagne designation and type (Grand Cru, 1er Cru, Blanc de Blancs, Blanc de Noirs, etc..), “style” (or sugar content level: Brut Nature, Extra Brut, Brut, Extra Dry, etc.), percentage of alcohol by volume (e.g. 13.5%), bottle capacity (750ml, 1.5L, etc.), name of the village where that company or producer is registered and the country of origin (obviously "France"). Optional information may also feature on the back label: description, tasting notes, etc…

Once fully dressed, the bottles are usually stacked for a short while, waiting to be boxed or immediately boxed to fulfil preorders and orders worldwide. 


Now that you have a clearer idea about the various grape varieties and how Champagne is made, let's talk about Champagne's Types and Styles,

Champagne(s) by @ledomduvin 2023 (v2)

Champagne's Types and Styles

I differentiate Champagnes by “Types” and “Styles”. We can separate them by their literal definition to quickly understand their differences. 

Champagne's Types 

A "type" is a particular group of people or things that share similar characteristics and form a minor division of a more extensive set. Meaning that "Champagne" comprises different types of Champagnes (also see table below), which can broadly be classified based on 3 different main factors: Vintage or Non-vintage
      • Brut NV (Non-Vintage)
      • Brut Vintage
      • Multi-Vintage (Special or Prestige Cuvée, etc..) 
    • Colour
      • White (made from a blend of Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and/or Pinot Meunier)
      • Blanc de Blancs (100% Chardonnay)
      • Blanc de Noirs (100% Pinot Noir)
      • Rosé (made from Pinot Noir and/or Pinot Meunier, may include Chardonnay too)
    •  Vineyard Classification/Location
      • Grand Cru
      • Premier Cru
      • Autre Cru
      • Village
      • Lieux-Dits 
      • Parcel

Elaborated with three main grapes, Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier, Champagne comes in many types, including (but not limited to) the following.

A small amount of Pinot Blanc, Pinot Gris (also called "Fromenteau" in Champagne), Arbane, and Petit Meslier is also vinified and permitted in the blend of champagne, yet rarely used.

Champagne Types by @ledomduvin 2023

Champagne's Styles (or Sweetness Level)

Understanding Champagne's various "types" can be pretty challenging, yet it gets even more complicated when you consider the 7 different "styles" in which each type can be crafted.

Champagne "Styles" are classified based on their sweetness level, meaning the amount of residual sugar in grams per litre (or “dosage”) upon bottling. As mentioned in "Champagne's making" above, “Dosage” consists of a “Liqueur d’Expedition" (a mix of sugar and wine) added to top up the Champagne after disgorgement and before the final closing of the bottle with the cork and muselet.   

Some people prefer a visual as it might be easier to understand, and, as you know, I love making visuals/drawings/illustrations to add more appeal to my posts.  So, here is one.  

CHAMPAGNE STYLES by @ledomduvin 2023

As you can see on this "Champagne Styles" scale (based on their sweetness level) in the illustration above, it is a real conundrum and cannot get more confusing than that! Thanks to the British for it, as "Brut" means "Dry" (or "Sec" in French) and, yet, "Dry" means "Sweet" (for the British)... Well, what??? I'm confused!

“Brut”, which is the most well-known and popular style of Champagne, is, therefore, "dry" in "taste" but not in "style". Get it? 😁👍

Once again, the term "Brut," which means "raw" or "unrefined" in French, is used to denote "Dry” (or “Sec” in French). This means that "Brut" is a "Dry" style of Champagne (or sparkling wine in general). And, yet, when a Champagne label says "Dry," the Champagne is actually "Sweet." Quite confusing, isn't it?

And it gets even worst when the word “Extra” (meaning “more”) is added, which means that “Extra Brut” is dryer than “Brut” and thus much dryer than “Dry”. While “Extra Dry” is “Sweeter” than “Brut” but not as “Sweet” as “Dry”. Now I’m definitely confused…😉

But that’s not all. As there are a few more “Styles”. For instance, “Brut Nature” is the driest of them all, as it has “Zero dosage” and therefore is drier than “Extra Brut” and “Brut.”

In any case, I hope this illustration will help you better understand Champagne's different "styles". Yet, if you have difficulty reading it, here it is again as a table, which might be easier.

CHAMPAGNE STYLES by @ledomduvin 2023 (v2)

Reading the label

Champagne is a combination of several "Types" (i.e. Vintage or NV, Colour, Classification, Cuvée, Location, etc...) made in one particular "Style" (Brut, Extra Brut, Extra Dry, etc...), which could be decomposed and written as follows.

NB: There is no right or wrong nor a specific order on how to write the full name of a Champagne. The best way remains to write it in the same order as you read the indications on the label from top to bottom and left to right, as in the example below.

Let's take some examples of Champagne labels which are slightly difficult to read.

Jacques Selosse Lieux-dits 'Sous le Mont' Mareuil-Sur-Aÿ Grand Cru Champagne Extra Brut - NV

Champagne Reading the label by @ledomduvin 2023 (v2)

Another example,  

Pascal Agrapart "Vénus" Fossé aux Pourceaux Blanc de Blancs Avize Grand Cru Champagne Brut-Nature - 2015

Champagne Reading the label by @ledomduvin 2023 (Agrapart)

One last label, and I stop there. 😁👍 

Egly-Ouriet "Les Vignes de Vrigny" Premier Cru Brut, Champagne, France - 2017

Champagne Reading the label by @ledomduvin 2023 (v3) Egly Ouriet

I could speak about Champagnes for hours and write many more paragraphs and pages about it. Yet, maybe in another post, as I will conclude this already lengthy post here.    

In conclusion

Champagne is not just any ordinary sparkling wine. It combined century-old traditions and culture with innovation and techniques. It symbolises the exceptional quality standards and skilled craftsmanship of the Champagne Houses. 

It takes years of patience and meticulous nurturing from the winemaker and team to achieve perfection. It slowly built its richness and complexity in the silence of the "Crayères", kilometres of galleries carved underground into the renowned Champagne region's chalky limestone bedrock. And it is only released at the most ideal time when it is ready to fully express its flavours, rewarding the most patient of us with its elegant, sophisticated and unique taste. 

Besides the intrinsic qualities of the chalky soil enabling the production of the king of sparkling wines, the essential components of Champagne are the blend of the grapes used (Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier), the quality of the vineyard (Grand Cru, Premier Cru, autre Cru or other designations), the amount of sugar in the dosage defining the "style" (based of the sweetness level) and the "type" to be achieved (non-vintage, vintage, white, rosé, Blanc de Blancs, Blanc de Noirs, etc..). 

All these crucial factors combined shape Champagne's unique personality, character, and taste.

That's All, Folks! 

Thank you for reading my post. Hope you've enjoyed reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it. Hope you've learned something from it. And if not, hope, at least, it refreshed your memory about things you knew already.   

Cheers! Santé! 

Stay tuned for more educational and enjoyable posts and shared wine passion and knowledge coming soon. 


@ledomduvin #ledomduvin #lesdessinsadom #lesillustrationsadom #lescartoonsadom #wine #vin #vino #wein #champagne #champagnes #brut #dry #sommelier #wineknowledge #wineeducation

(*) Infos for "Champagne's Origins", "The Muselet", "The Becoming of Champagne", and "Champagne's Making" sourced and/or entirely or partially taken and/or edited for this post, courtesy of 

You can also read more interesting details about the history of the Muselet at 

Unless stated otherwise, all right reserved ©LeDomduVin 2023, on all the contents above including, but not limited to, photos, pictures, drawings, illustrations, collages, visuals, maps, memes, posts, texts, writings, quotes, notes, tasting notes, descriptions, wine descriptions, definitions, recipes, graphs, tables, and even music and video (when and where applicable).


  1. "LeDomduVin takes us on an informative journey through the fascinating history, types, and styles of Champagne, unraveling the complexities behind its labeling and sweetness levels. Get ready to savor the knowledge and appreciate the diversity of marketing dissertation help this iconic sparkling wine!"

    1. Thank you very much for your comments. It is much appreciated. You sound very professional. It is comments like yours that motivate me to continue writing on my blog and sharing my passion and knowledge. So, again, thank you. 🙏😁👍🍷