Champagne… deciphering a wine label part 2

Interesting information about Grand Cru and Premier Cru…

CURIOUS WINE DRINKER

In our previous post on deciphering a wine label, we tackled: who makes the Champagne, how the Champagne is made, and what type of grapes are used.  In this follow-on post, we will look at non-vintage vs. vintage, dry / off-dry / sweet levels, and rating designations (Grand Cru and Premier Cru).

Vintage vs. Non-vintage?

What’s the difference between non-vintage (typically noted on the bottle with “NV”) and vintage Champagne?  Let’s take a look:

  • Non-vintage (NV)  – Non-vintage Champagne represent the house style of a Champagne producer.  It is the winemaker’s job to ensure the Champagne tastes consistent release after release (typically by blending still wines from different years to create the right flavor before starting the second fermentation in the bottle).  If you find a NV Champagne you like, you know you can buy this NV Champagne from the same producer year-in and year-out and get the same flavor…

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