ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Champagne: Bubbly 101

Updated on December 30, 2009

All About Champagne and Sparkline Wine

Many people around the world will be tilting a glass of bubbling champagne, as we countdown the end of the audts. As the 2010s is welcomed, many toasts will happen with a bottle of sparkling wine, such as champagne or prosecco.

Champagne, prosecco, asti, or whatever you call the sparkling beverage in your glass, is raised to celebrate the moment as we embark on a journey into a new year (December 1st / January 1st).

Champagne is not only a beverage, but a region in France where some of the best sparkling wine is produced. According to the Treaty of Madrid, a bottle of sparkling should not be labeled 'champagne' unless it originates from that region.

Most sparkling wines are a combination of grapes over several vintages (crops within a specific year). High-end champagnes contain grapes harvested from one single year, such as Dom Perignon.

Bubbly Terms 101:

Prestige cuvee: This is a proprietary blended wine, and is usually considered to be the top of a producer's range.

Blanc de noirs: This is a white wine that is produced entirely from black grapes (white of blacks).

Blanc de blancs: This type of wine is made exclusively from Chardonnay grapes (white of whites).

Rose champagne: Commonly referred to as pink champagne, this beverage is derived from soaking black grape skins in the wine, and/or blending small amounts of red wine.

However, price is most likely one of the driving factors people consider when choosing with champagne to serve at a New Year's Eve celebration. But, if you're not familiar with sparkling wines, choosing which champagne to purchase can be an intimidating task. As you stroll along the shelves in liquor stores and some grocery chains, the offerings seem endless. Often, people, unfamiliar with sparkling wines, end up choosing a champagne that is packaged in an attractive bottle.

Actually, champagne is formulated no differently than any other wine. Harvested grapes are pressed before the initial fermentation. The acidic yield is blended and bottled with yeast and sugar, to create a secondary fermentation within the bottle. It is this second fermentation that creates the bubbles through carbonation.

Once the yeast has performed its magic on the sugar, the yeast dies and becomes lees. The bottles are stored horizontally to allow the wine to “age on lees” for a minimum of 15 months. Then the winemaker turns the bottles upside down so the lees settle to the bottom.

Less Expensive Champagne: At this point, when the dead yeast has congregated on the bottom, the bottles are opened, the lees removed, and a bit of sugar is added. The bottles will be corked.

High-End Champagne: The lees are not removed, and the bottles are carefully rotated on a schedule so the lees settle in the neck of the bottle. This process can range over a period of 18 months to five years. This process produces complexity through the additional contact with the lees. The time required to capture the complexity will produce a high-end champagne and a higher price tag.

At this point, it might be of interest that aging and the amount of sugar added to sparkling wine after the second fermentation dictates the beverages level of sweetness. Some terms you'll see on bottle labels, and their meaning:

  1. Brute Natural/Brut Zero: Less than 3 grams of sugar per liter.

  2. Extra Brut: Less than 6 grams of sugar.

  3. Brut: Less than 15 grams of sugar.

  4. Extra Sec/Extra Dry: 12 to 20 grams of sugar.

  5. Sec: 17 to 35 grams of sugar.

  6. Demi-sec: 33 to 50 grams of sugar.

  7. Doux: More than 50 grams of sugar.

Some people think pink champagne is sweet, but they would be wrong. If you're looking for a sweet champagne, look for the term “doux” on the label.

Some Glasses Painted By Me


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • ivori profile imageAUTHOR

      Barbara Eisenberg 

      8 years ago from Titusville

      Thanks, Faye, and many happy days in the coming year to you and yours!

    • creativeone59 profile image

      benny Faye Douglass 

      8 years ago from Gold Canyon, Arizona

      Thank you for a great wine hub and beautifully painted glasses. Thanks for sharing. Godspeed. creativeone59


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)