The only thing more intimidating than opening a bottle of Champagne is buying one. Shopping for Champagne actually is not that complicated if you follow these 4 easy-to-apply steps that will help you to choose the right bottle for the right occasion.
1. Make sure the word “Champagne” appears on the label
First of all, make sure the label says actually ‘Champagne’. The appellation is legally protected and only a product produced in the Champagne region in Northern France, can be named accordingly.
2. Identify the Champagne code on the label
Champagne labels look confusing, but are actually very helpful in letting you know what’s inside the bottle. A crucial piece of information that will reassure you on the quality of a Champagne bottle is the code inscribed in front of the label in small letters. It can read “NM”, “RM” or “CM” for example. This allows you to know where the wine comes from, either a big producer (NM), a vintner/grower (RM) or a wine cooperative (CM). Furthermore, it indicates if it's either a “vintage”, meaning that all the grapes came from the harvest of a specific year or “non-vintage”, meaning the wine is a blend of several different years.
3. Different Champagne for different occasions
Champagne offers such variety that it can accompany any dish from aperitif to dessert. Know, however, that certain bottles are more appropriate to certain dishes than others. Champagne brut is well adapted to the aperitif, while older bottles will suit meat dishes better.
4. Pick the right flute
Not every glass is not adapted to every Champagne. Some are too cylindrical and certain Champagnes require a tulip-shaped glass to open up, while older vintages are always better when served in wine glasses.
Champagne is surprisingly easy to care for. Your fridge will work fine, especially if you plan to drink a bottle within a view days. So, if you are budgeting at least 40€ go for it.
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