Learn Your Wine: Champagne

Since we’re all still hungover as shit, I thought it was a good day to explore Champagne – the bubbly friend turned foe that helped us all ring in 2015. Weeeee.


Unless there’s something wrong with you, you’re already aware that Champagne can only be called Champagne if the grapes are grown in YOU GUESSED IT Champagne. It’s a sparkling wine (fucking duh) made primarily from black Pinot Noir grapes as well as Pinot Meunier. White Chardonnay grapes are also occasionally used. Champagne also was not always a sparkling (fizzy) wine but, rather, became that way later in the 17th century after some bros decided they wanted to be unique. 

Types and pairings:

There are like, a TON of different Champagnes, so we’ll focus on like, four because I said so:

Non-Vintage Champagnes: A blend of wines from many years as well as from all three of the grapes listed above. They’re easy to drink and relatively affordable. They’ll pair well with just about any appetizer at your party, not that you’ll be eating.
Blanc de Blancs Champagne: This variety is made entirely from Chardonnay grapes, creating a crisp taste that goes super well with oysters, shellfish, and white fish. If they’re aged, they’ll also go well with creamy sauces or sweet dishes for dinner.
Blanc de Noirs Champagne: This version is made with all black grapes, usually a combo of Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier and can stand up well to dishes like veal, pork, or wild game for dinner – thanks to their bolder taste.
Vintage Champagne: I mean, they’re obviously super classy since they’re vintage (so adorable) and are only produced in certain years. By law, they have to be aged in the producer’s cellar for at least three years. These are like, super complex tasting and go well with turkey or goose (do people even eat goose anymore?).

Well, hooray for Champagne. Please return to nursing your headache and dry heaving. Welcome, 2015.


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