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Champagne vs. Sparkling Wine

December 30, 2011 - Norman Bentley

Break out the bubbly its almost New Year's!

Over the years I have heard many make the comment, "I don't really like champagne, so I don't think that I will get any this year for the 31st." When asked what kind of champagne they have had in the past, the answer is often Andre. Well Andre really is not champagne, its just inexpensive sparkling wine.

So what's the difference? Well Champagne is made in the Champagne Region of France and is fermented in the bottle , which is called Methode Champenoise, or in English "Champagne Method". Andre and other inexpensive sparkling wines are not fermented in the bottle using the Champagne Method, but rather they are fermented in bulk, which is often using the Charmat Method. This is a process which produces a usually much inferior sparkling wine. So if you don't want to pay French Champagne prices, look for the words "Champagne Method" on the bottle. There are some really good sparkling wines out there that don't come from France, and can't be called Champagne, but are still very enjoyable. You might find that you actually do like "Champagne".

Below are a few of my favorites:

Schramsberg from California - $30 to $36 per bottle

Mumm's Napa Cellars from California - $16 to $20 per bottle

Domaine Chandon from California - $16 to $20 per bottle

Korbel from California - $11 to $15 per bottle

Codorniu Cava from Spain - $8 to $11 per bottle



WINE - God's proof of his love for humanity


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