What's in the bottle of Champagne?

July 30, 2018

What's in the bottle of Champagne?

Blanc de Blancs—A champagne made exclusively from white grapes, which almost always means that it's 100 percent chardonnay. However, champagne made from other white grapes, such as pinot blanc, arbanne or petit meslier, is also entitled to this designation, although these are very rare.

Blanc de Noir—A champagne made exclusively from red grapes. It can be 100 percent pinot noir, 100 percent pinot meunier, or a blend of the two varieties. Note that the term blanc de noirs is sometimes used in the New World to designate pink sparkling wines, but in Champagne a blanc de noirs is a sparkling white wine.

Cuvée—In the wine world, the word cuvée generally refers to a blend of wines. In Champagne it also has another, very specific meaning: during pressing, the cuvée is the first 2,050 liters of juice from a 4,000-kilogram press, which represents the finest portion of the pressing.