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Thread: What is the difference between a sparkling wine and Champagne?

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    Hit By Ban Bus! AliceInWonderland's Avatar
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    Talking What is the difference between a sparkling wine and Champagne?

    What is the difference between a sparkling wine and Champagne?

    Champagne comes from the region of the same name in France. Sparkling wine has been produced in the area since the days of the Roman empire.

    Though many people use the term "champagne" to designate all sparkling wines, in truth Champagne is a specific type of French sparkling wine. Champagne comes from the region of the same name in France. The area has produced sparkling wine since the days of the Roman empire, and still bottles some of the best vintages in the world.

    The producers of Champagne carefully guard the right to use the name Champagne on a bottle, and have done so since 1891, when the Treaty of Madrid was signed. The treaty declared that only wines made in a particular region could use the name on the bottle. In 1919, the Treaty of Versailles, the peace agreement ending World War I, reaffirmed that rule.

    Why, then, do we often see bottles marked "champagne" that are produced in the United States? The U.S. never signed the Treaty of Versailles, but rather had a separate peace agreement with Germany. That agreement did not include regulations regarding spirits. The U.S. was in the midst of Prohibition in 1919 and did not see the need to agree to rules dealing with alcohol, since liquor was banned in the U.S.

    Long after prohibition was lifted, some vintners in the U.S. took advantage of the loophole, and bottled American champagne. This is also why you'll see bottles of Burgundy, or Chablis or other French regions adorning the labels of American wines.



    The Champagne region, established by law in 1927, is located 90 miles northeast of Paris. It includes over 312 villages.

    "Unfortunately in the U.S. far, far, far too many people will use the name Champagne to designate any and every sparkling wine. And honestly I believe it is to everybody's disadvantage," says Jean-Louis Carbonnier, Director of the Champagne Wines Information Bureau.

    Carbonnier says it makes it difficult for a consumer to tell where a wine is produced. And region does make a difference when it comes to taste. He believes Champagne flavors are "more complex and less fruity than some other sparkling wines from other regions."

    "I think Champagnes will be more refined, have more delicacy of flavor. I would also say generally (true) Champagnes have been aged a little longer," Carbonnier adds.

    Many French Champagne houses also operate American vineyards. For example Domaine Chandon is owned by the French house Moët & Chandon, makers of Dom Pérignon. Taittinger has a California sparkling wine under the name Domaine Carneros, and there are many others.

    On their labels, these American sparkling wines note that they use the traditional method of producing Champagne called méthode champenoise, but are careful not to call their product Champagne.


    Many French Champagne houses also have California vineyards. Domaine Carneros, pictured above, is owned by the French house Taittinger.

    According to Iron Horse Vineyards, a California sparkling wine producer, the big difference between a Champagne and an American sparkling wine is in the fruit. Because California enjoys more sunlight hours, Iron Horse claims the fruit is richer and the resulting wine generally drier than many Champagnes.

    While that may be true, New York restaurateur Joe Scalice believes many people have the misconception that sparkling wines that aren't Champagne are somehow inferior. "In reality, sparkling wine can be every bit as good as champagne," Scalice says.

    Other vintners around the world also bottle their own sparking wines. A quick look at a bottle could clue you in to where the sparkling wine is made. For example, "Vins Moussex," means it is a French sparkling wine made outside the Champagne region. A Spumante is Italian sparkling wine, Sekt is German and a Cava is Spanish.


    i love champagne!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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    Elite Member Barbara's Avatar
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    Default Re: What is the difference between a sparkling wine and Champagne?

    Now pass the bottle!

    Actually, I prefer Prosecco or Clairette de Die...
    "Sex is not, by default, depraved and dirty. Unless it's really good."
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    Gold Member lovely bones's Avatar
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    Default Re: What is the difference between a sparkling wine and Champagne?

    I ADORE champagne - my favorite champagnes are made by Nicolas Feuillate and Pommery. I confess to a weakness for the slightly pink varietals - usually made from Pinot Noir grapes. Not too Brut.

    While I wish I could afford to drink champagne every day, I do drink sparkling wines daily though, as an alternative. In fact, I almost prefer them to champagnes, a lot of which are overrated. I seek out small or unknown vineyards or brands. I think the wines from the Alsatian region are very nice, and agree that Prosecco (or "Prozac-co" as some people call it) is great - I serve that for summer parties and cookouts.

    Mmmmmm-mmmm!
    Claude os, aperi oculos!

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    Default Re: What is the difference between a sparkling wine and Champagne?

    Champagne is god's nectar. When I'm on my deathbed it will be the only drink I will ever say that I never drank enough of. Vive le France!

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    Elite Member Barbara's Avatar
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    Default Re: What is the difference between a sparkling wine and Champagne?

    ^^ I just had this vision of you on your deathbed (sorry!) sipping champagne and saying "but I'm le tired"
    "Sex is not, by default, depraved and dirty. Unless it's really good."
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    Default Re: What is the difference between a sparkling wine and Champagne?

    Hehe. Not too far off from what I hope it will be like!

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    Elite Member Chalet's Avatar
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    I had this at my party last night. 10 dollars. It's really delicious and I recommend keeping an extra bottle on hand because ya never know.

    Imported SAINT-HILAIRE...

    France's Oldest Sparkling Wine




    ..."It remains one of the world's finest sparkling wines, and it constitutes the highest quality value ratio of any sparkling wine in the world." International Wine of the Month Club"


    ..."It is probably the least-known well-made sparkling wine of France..." "Made primarily from the Chardonnay, Chenin Blanc and Mauzac grapes, the wines are qualitatively close to a high quality non-vintage Champagne at one-third the price." Robert Parker

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    Elite Member LynnieD's Avatar
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    Ooooooo....thanks Chalet!

    I love champgagne too. I also had it last night, at my niece's college graduation. Or after the graduation I should say.

    I will look for that selection above, as I do like to have it around. Once in awhile I get the urge. mmmmmm

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    ^ I knew there was a reason i loved u so much Lynnie!

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    Elite Member chartreuse's Avatar
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    mmmm, champagne. i wish i was having a mimosa right now.
    white, black, puerto rican/everybody just a freakin'/good times were rollin'.


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    La Veuve-Clicquot and Roederer are the best!

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    Elite Member Chalet's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LynnieD View Post
    Ooooooo....thanks Chalet!

    I love champgagne too. I also had it last night, at my niece's college graduation. Or after the graduation I should say.

    I will look for that selection above, as I do like to have it around. Once in awhile I get the urge. mmmmmm
    FYI - It's not Champagne......it's sparkling wine, like Proseco, hence the ten bucks, but it's very dry and crisp.

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    nice ^ i like it dry and crisp

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    they taste different

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    Elite Member Just Kill Me's Avatar
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    Every wine tastes a little different... champagne being called champagne has nothing to do with taste.
    I like bubbly stuff. I'm definitely having some this weekend while I lounge around the pool and apply copious amounts of sunblock.
    KILLING ME WON'T BRING BACK YOUR GOD DAMNED HONEY!!!!!!!!!!

    Come on, let's have lots of drinks.

    Fuck you all, I'm going viral.

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