Video: How to read the label of a champagne bottle

Champagne bottle label

In our first podcast, we examine three different champagne bottle labels and discover what they can tell you about the product inside.

Did you know that some Non-Vintage (NV) champagnes have no date written on them at all?

  • How do you know if you bought it six months ago, or six years ago?
  • How do you know how long it’s been sitting on the shelf in the shop?

There are plenty of codes and French terms which can tell you a HUGE amount about the joys inside.

The terms and codes we discuss in the podcast are:

Wine from the region of the same name in northeast France.
A champagne containing wine from more than one vintage.
Wine from a single year.
Raw/dry, containing less than 12g/L sugar.
An individual blend or style.
Removal of a frozen plug of sediment from the neck of the bottle.
The final addition to top up the bottle, usually a mixture of wine and sugar syrup called liqueur d’expédition or liqueur de dosage.
Champagne producer who purchases grapes and/or unfinished wines. A négociant may also include up to 95% estate grown fruit.
Champagne grower (grower producer) who makes wine from estate fruit; 5% of grapes may also be purchased to supplement production.
A 1.5-litre bottle. According to the Champenois, the perfect size for two, when one is not drinking.
Vintage.

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