Champagne is synonymous with celebration and it’s not hard to see why. This sparkling French wine is often popped at everything from birthdays, to the New Year, to anniversaries and more.
This connotation with parties and happy moments stems back to Europe in the 1700s when royal courts considered the drink a status symbol. Not hard to see why, the bottles literally overflow with “abundance.”
True champagne is made from specific types of grapes, in a particular region (you guessed it – Champagne,) adhering to a stringent set of rules. Sparkling wine is all other effervescent wines in the category.
These rules and stipulations include things like where the grapes have been sourced, growing them on designated plots of land, vineyard practices, and more.
Still wine was made in this same region dating back to (and before) medieval times but as it turns out, this sparkling treat was an accident. At first this libation was considered inferior, but slowly the attitude toward it changed, and ultimately it shifted to a luxury good.
There is typically a designation on each bottle that tells you where it is on the dry to sweet spectrum.
- Extra Brut – This is going to be the driest champagne. Let’s call it bone-dry.
- Brut – Slightly less than bone-dry and the most common variety.
- Extra Dry – A bit confusing, but this is actually sweeter than the first two listed.
- Dry – A bit on the sweet side comparatively.
- Demi-sec – This is going to be close to the sweetest you are going to get.
When it comes to champagne, size does matter. I’m talking bubbles here. Smaller, more delicate bubbles are an indicator of a well-made, high-end product. On average, there are close to 50 million bubbles per bottle. Crazy, isn’t it?
Here are some delectable recipes using champagne:
- Champagne Float
- Sparkling Peach Sangria
- Chorizo Mussels
- Sparkling Blue Hawaiian Cocktail
- Starburst Champagne Cocktails
What is the difference between champagne and sparkling wine?
This all comes down to the stipulations listed above but the main ones are region and the grapes being used. If those two don’t align with the strict rules put in place by the winemaking community, the wine is not champagne, but sparkling wine.
All champagnes are sparkling wines. Not all sparkling wines are champagnes.
Is champagne stronger than wine?
From an alcohol content percentage standpoint, the answer is not really. However, the carbonation in champagne can cause you to absorb the alcohol into your bloodstream more quickly giving you a feeling of being tipsy a sooner than normally anticipated.
Is champagne healthier to drink than wine?
This is a tricky question. Technically speaking, it generally has fewer calories than wine and it is typically poured in smaller portions which leads me to tentatively say, yes. That said, if you drink the whole bottle, everything is negated.
Why is champagne so expensive?
This is a bit of a layered question, but I will simplify. Champagne is a time and labor-intensive product. The more time and labor you put in, the more expensive the price tag gets. Add to it the fact that the area in which they grow is limited and you have a recipe for a hot commodity. Read – a higher price tag.