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What are the different types of champagne?

There are several different types of champagne, each with its unique characteristics. Here are some of the most common types and recommendations:



Non-Vintage:

Made from a blend of grapes from multiple harvests, this champagne is consistent in flavour from year to year.



Blanc de Blancs:

Made from 100% Chardonnay grapes, this champagne is light and crisp, with flavors of green apple, lemon, and white flowers.




Blanc de Noirs:

Made from Pinot Noir and/or Pinot Meunier grapes, this champagne has a richer, fuller flavor, with notes of red fruit and brioche.





Rosé de saignee:

Made by long maceration on skins of Pinot Noir are Meunier grapes, this is a bigger style rose which may have tannins, and bold red fruit characterisitics.




Rose d'assemblage:

Made by adding a small amount of still red wine to the blend, this champagne has a pink hue and a delicate fruitiness. Read more about rose champagne here.




Vintage:

Made from grapes harvested in a single year, this champagne is aged for a minimum of three years before release, resulting in a more complex and nuanced flavours.



Prestige Cuvée:

Made from the best grapes from the best vineyards, this champagne is the flagship offering from top champagne houses and is typically more expensive than other types.




Brut Nature:

This category is growing in popularity because of the increase in ripeness of grapes in the last decades, and includes zero to 3 grams of dosage, resulting in a bone-dry, more austere flavour profile.


Extra Brut:

These champagnes have little to no added sugar, with less than 6 gram per litre of dosage.




Brut:

The most well know category in terms of dry champagnes - has between 0 and 12 grams of dosage per litre.





Extra-Dry:

This champagne has a higher level of residual sugar with between 12 and 17 grams of dosage.




Sec:

Sec is a French word that means "dry," but in the context of champagne, it actually refers to a moderately sweet style. Sec champagne falls in the middle of the sweetness scale, with a residual sugar content of between 17 and 32 grams per litre.





Demi-Sec:

This champagne has a higher level of residual sugar with between 32 and 50 grams of dosage and is sweeter than other types.





Doux:

This is the sweetest style of champagne, with an added 50 gram or more of dosage.



 


Other categories to mention

Although these two are not in the AOC Champagne, but two seperate appelellations, they do come from the Champagne region, and therefore should be included.



Coteaux Champenois:

The still wines of champagne, made in red, white, and in extremely rare cases, rose. Read more about it here.




Ratafia Champenois:

Long seen as a remedy to stomach ailements, Ratafia Champenois is a traditional liqueur produced only in the Champagne region, made from a blend of grape must (juice) and eau-de-vie (a type of brandy). Read more about it here.


 

Each type of champagne has its own unique flavour profile, and the choice often depends on personal preference and the occasion.

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