Thursday, July 30, 2009

Terms of Endearment

If you don't speak French (like me- just Spanish), then looking at a bottle of champagne can be intimidating, with all the terms on the label. I want to demistify some of them, so you can approach Champagne with a little more confidence.

First of all, let's talk sweetness. I'm going to assume that, if you are reading a wine blog, you know that "dry" is the opposite of "sweet". There are legal terms that signify how sweet or dry a Champagne is. Going from driest to sweetest these are: Extra Brut, Brut, Extra Dry, Sec, Demi-Sec, and Doux. This gets confusing because an "extra dry" Champagne is actually a little bit sweet.

Now that you are slightly confused, let's look at the term NV. This means Non-Vintage. This is a blend of different years of grapes that a Champagne house will make. They do this in order to have a "house style" that is consistent year after year. For example, if you try an NV Champagne from Gosset today, it should taste the same as when you try it again in 10 years. Many experts say that it is actually harder to make a quality NV Champagne than it is to make a Vintage (from a specific year) champagne.

The last terms we will look at are Blanc de Noir, and Blanc de Blancs. These just indicate what kind of grapes were used. Blanc de Blancs literally translates to "white of whites". Thus, in Champagne, it will be made of Chardonnay grapes. Blanc de Noir, "white of blacks", is made from Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier. Easy enough.

Tonight, go out and get yourself a bottle of Nicolas Feuillatte Champagne (the one with the blue label). It should cost you roughly $30, and is a great example of a quality NV Champagne.

That's all for now....I'm a bit beat from watching 15 innings of baseball last night.

Cheers, and remember- if your nose is running and your feet smell, you are built upside down.

No comments:

Post a Comment