The ritual of wine and champagne drinking is well known for decades, these alcoholic beverages being symbols of wealth and high class standards. All over the world people associate champagne with special occasions and use it as a means of celebration. But as it always happens in flourishing industries, a lot of illegal manufacturers use the well-established names of some of the best known vineries to sell poorly made products to unsuspecting consumers.
To properly understand this phenomenon and to assimilate the information required to evade such con artists we must take a look at the history of champagne. The name comes from the French region where it was initially produced (through secondary fermentation in the bottle). Its worldwide success was firstly put into relation with the anointment of French kings, royalty from all over Europe starting to take an interest in this unique type of sparkly wine. The manufacturers invested a lot of time and resources to build up the reputation, identity and history of their wine by constant associations with upper class values.
The specific region is thought to be cultivated as early as the 5th century (or even earlier). It is nice to contemplate the historical evolution, from Roman times to the current Reims champagne tours. It is very important to know that even though the term “champagne” is used with reference to different types of wines produced world-wide, actually, the real champagne is only produced under strict supervision from the Comité Interprofessionel du Vin de Champagne. The traditional way to obtain this drink is based on the “Méthode Champenoise” which implies a second fermentation after bottling (induced by adding several grams of yeast). Even though this is the official recipe, the best champagne in the world has several other ingredients (such as brown sugar), most of them and their proportions being secret.
Some of the best known champagne varieties are: Blanc de noirs, Blanc de blancs and Rosé Champagne, each of them being made following a specific recipe which is centered on the types of grapes used. Whatever your specific tastes may be, always remember to check the labels and only purchase champagne from trusted shops.
If ever in doubt, do not hesitate to contact your local authorities so they can decide if the respective shop keeper is commercializing high quality products or not.
You may find details concerning the most common ingredients and tips on how to avoid the lesser quality beverages.
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