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The Story Of Champagne

Jul 1, 2008
Of all the wines, Champagne has a unique story to tell. The sparkling bubbles of Champagne have intrigued kings, emperors, rock stars and the common man alike and have helped Champagne become an integral part of every celebration. Though Champagne is produced exclusively within the Champagne region of France, from which it takes its name, America and some parts of South America reserve the right to market selected sparkling wines as Champagne. The bubbles in the golden fizzy drink seem to match the effervescent celebrating spirit of a festive occasion.

The sparkles in the wine are produced by the secondary fermentation of wine that induces carbon bubbles. Champagne is typically drunk during celebrations for centuries and the tradition continues even today, due to the successful marketing of the beverage centuries before. For example, a champagne reception was held by Tony Blair to celebrate London winning the right to host the Olympic Games in 2012.

The popularity of Champagne is attributed to the success of the wine producers in marketing the drink. Champagne first became famous because of its association with the anointment of the French kings. The message of the unique sparkling wine from Champagne was spread by royalty through Europe and its corresponding association with luxury and power.

The wine-makers of those times invested considerable energy to creating a history and identity for their wine and promoted it on all royal occasions thus associating it and themselves with nobility. They succeeded to a large extent through packaging and advertising in associating champagne with high luxury, festivities and rites of passage. An emerging middle class helped put Champagne as a symbol of affluence as it was looking for ways to spend its money to acquire status symbols.

Champagne houses continued to project the wine's image as a drink enjoyed by royalty and aristocracy. Though hugely successful, the wine-manufacturers also portrayed Champagne as a luxury enjoyable by anyone, for any occasion. Due to this strategy, by the turn of the twentieth century, the majority of Champagne drinkers were middle class.

Champagne is the most famous example of blend. There are three kinds, Blanc de blancs, which is white champagne from white grapes, Blanc de noirs are white Champagnes made only from select black grape varieties and Pink or rose Champagnes, made from a blend of grapes which include white and black grapes.

The wine is typically light in color even if it is produced with dark grapes, because the juice is extracted from the grapes using a gentle process that minimizes the amount of time the juice spends in contact with the skins, and at the most it acquires a full golden colour. Besides color, not allowing the skins and stems to soak in the juice also reduces the amount of tannin in the Champagne. Tannin has a mouth drying quality that causes the wine to feel firm and this has been avoided in the making of this drink making it a wonderfully light drink to be enjoyed by anyone, anywhere.
About the Author
James Copper is a writer for http://www.cecwine.co.uk where you can find information on champagne
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