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Andrea Morgan, CSW, FWS
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When you shop for your wine this week, make sure you purchase something from the Champagne region of France. Champagne is a protected place name famous for it's chalky soils. No other sparkling wine producer, even in other areas of France, can put Champagne on their label. Somewhere on your Champagne label you should see Methode Champenoise.
Other sparkling wines produced outside of the Champagne region will be labeled Method Traditional in their own language or form. This indicates they are making sparkling wine using the same method that Champagne producers do. The feature most unique to the Champagne style of wine is that CO2 is being produced by a secondary, in bottle, fermentation as opposed to being aerated with the addition of CO2. There are additional steps required when making sparkling wine in the Champagne or Traditional Method which include surlie aging requirements, disgorgement etc.,
If you want to try a sparkling wine made in the traditional Champagne method outside of the area of Champagne, select Cava from Spain, Franciacorta from Italy, or Cremant from other regions of France. These sparkling wines typically cost less and are a great value buy.
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Andrea Morgan is a wine enthusiast and Certified Sommelier. You can refer to her Wine Consultation page to view her other credentials and services.