Well, actually only sparkling wines made in a region called Champagne in France can be known as champagne. The rest of all bubbly wines, would be called sparkling wines. So what is champagne?
What is Champagne?
Champagne is made mainly from three grape varieties, Pinot Noir, Pinot Meunier and Chardonnay. Unlike still wines, champagne goes through a second fermentation and carbon dioxide is trapped inside the bottle which takes the form of tiny bubbles in the wine.
In Malaysia, we may have a limited number of champagne labels to choose mostly due to the not-so-affordable price tag but every once in a while, everyone deserve a sip of champagne.
The next question then would be what can you expect from Champagne? The good news is, like still wines whether red or white, they are dry, medium and sweet. But champagne has a different classification. They are Extra Brut, Brut, Extra Dry, Dry, Demi-Sec and Dolce.
From Brut to Demi-Sec
The common classifications that can be found in Malaysia are brut, dry and demi-sec. Among these three, the scale of sweetness increases from brut to demi-sec. In my opinion, I prefer champagne which is brut as I find them the best to go with salty food.
The next thing that we would need to be put into consideration apart from the level of sweetness would be the body. There is light, medium and heavy. The upper hand of knowing the body would be knowing whether the champagne can be drunk on its own or it needs to be accompanied by food.
Here are some of the champagnes available in Malaysia listed according to their body characteristics
- Moët & Chandon
- Veuve Clicquot Ponsardin
It is very important that once you select the champagne of your choice, you must have the proper glass to serve it in. A champagne glass must be tall and slender with a long stem, and holding the champagne glass at the bowl is a big no-no.
Champagne needs to be served cold. It needs to be chilled till 7-9⁰C . When pouring champagne, you would need to do it slowly so the fizziness can settle and once you pour your first round of champagne, put the bottle into an ice bucket or back into the fridge as warm champagne is not cool.
Trina is the founder of Wine Tasting Malaysia, an online based wine enthusiast group with weekly wine tasting events all around the Klang Valley. Often found with a wine glass in her hand, she truly believes life is so much more WINEderful with wines. She is currently on a quest to gather 1000 wine enthusiasts in Malaysia. Be part of her quest by joining Wine Tasting Malaysia via Wine Tasting Malaysia (Kuala Lumpur) – Meetup or Facebook’s winetastingmalaysia. She calls Subang Jaya her home and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org