Choosing the right Wine or Champagne

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Choosing a great sparkler for the New Year can be overwhelming, so let's review which ones may be best for your New Year's Eve dinner or celebration.

Champagne vs. Sparkling Wine

Some people tend to call all sparkling wines champagne, but, the only wines that can be called champagne are the ones that are produced in the Champagne region of France, hence the name.

Wine produced anywhere else in the world must, therefore, be called a “sparkling wine”. The primary grapes used to produce champagne are Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and Pinot Meunier. There are now only five family-owned champagne houses in France, and Laurent-Perrier is the largest of the three.

Champagnes price typically range from around $45 and more. Prices of sparkling wines will depend on the amount of time spent aging, the

grapes used in the bottling and the process used to produce the champagne or sparkling wine.

Understanding the sweetness of sparkling wines:

  • Extra-Brut or Brut-Naturale: 0-6 grams of sugar per liter (the driest of the dry, unsweet-ened)

  • Brut: less than 15 grams of sugar per liter (dry—typical style of champagne with no sweetness)

  • Extra-Dry: 12-20 grams of sugar per liter (dry or slightly sweet)Sec: 17-35 grams of sugar per liter (medium-sweet)

  • Demi-Sec: 33-55 grams of sugar per liter (sweet)

  • Doux: more than 55 grams of sugar

There are so many champagnes and sparkling wines on the market today that can fit any budg-et for any celebration.

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