Champagne, or crémant? How to differentiate between these two types of wine that we often consume during a meal or a party? These bubbles that bring sparkle to all gatherings with friends, often difficult to differentiate, each have their own history, especially depending on where they were produced. In this article, Fauchon gives you all the details to distinguish these symbols of celebration par excellence.
The particularities of champagne: a French wine associated with an emblematic region
During celebrations (birthdays, anniversaries, end of year parties...), it is always pleasant to enjoy a bottle of champagne with friends or family. Indeed, champagne has a strong symbolism associated with celebration, joy, but also with unparalleled flavours. If champagne has such a unique connotation, it is because it is unique, both in its appellation and in its production process.
Indeed, the Champagne appellation is highly protected, which means that only wines from the Champagne region can be called such. The regulations are very strict at this level and no wine outside the region can be called Champagne. Because more than a name, champagne represents grape varieties, a method of production and a meticulous ageing period.
Moreover, champagne is also different from crémants in that it is based on a blend of three specific grape varieties:
- Pinot Meunier ;
- Pinot Noir;
The grape variety is a variety of vine that gives a specific grape. These three grape varieties are what give champagne its unique taste, which is produced using the complex méthode champenoise. This traditional practice creates the effervescence of the wine: yeast and sugars are added during the second fermentation in the bottle. This is why the production of an authentic champagne lasts several years, which makes it even more different from other wines. The production of sparkling wines is inspired by the champagne model, especially in the blending of several grape varieties.
The selection of Fauchon champagne: what products to taste?
During a meeting with friends, for a festive occasion or not, a champagne tasting will always be welcome. With this in mind, the Fauchon house, always committed to offering you products of excellence, has a selection of choice champagnes for all your occasions:
- Champagne FAUCHON brut. Our must-have. This flowery white champagne offers a beautiful minerality and an elegant tasting.
- Champagne FAUCHON rosé. Its unique aromas of sweet spices and forest fruits will marry your palate beautifully.
- Champagne Ruinart brut. Enhance your tasting moments with this wine from the world's leading Champagne house.
- Champagne Dom Pérignon vintage. Made with the best grapes, this champagne, synonymous with excellence, will make your meetings with loved ones even more precious.
- Champagne Blanc de Blancs brut fauchon. This champagne will bring an unforgettable aromatic complexity to your tastings.
- Champagne Copinet Blanc de Blancs. The tasty and Terra Vitis certified Copinet Blanc de Blancs will be the perfect champagne if you like eco-thinking viticulture.
The particularities of crémant: a sparkling wine with the codes of champagne
Originally, the term crémant was used to designate a champagne with twice the pressure in the bottle, making it a creamier wine with a lighter mousse. Today, and since 1975, crémant is under the Appellation d'Origine Contrôlée (AOC); to designate other sparkling wines in general, the term "vins mousseux" is also used.
Cremant is nowadays made according to the traditional method, i.e. the méthode champenoise: its pressure is therefore equivalent to that of champagne. However, the term "méthode champenoise" is reserved for wines made in Champagne, which is why we speak of "méthode traditionnelle" for crémants. Furthermore, the follow-up of the conception of crémant is less qualitative than that of champagne, which makes the difference: in terms of price, a bottle of crémant will be more affordable than a bottle of champagne.
The price of champagne is indeed higher than that of crémant and this is explained by the reputation of the Champagne region, higher production costs and abundant international demand.
Moreover, crémant is not produced in Champagne, but in 8 other wine-producing regions which each bring their own signature according to the grape varieties of their terroir:
- Bordelais with Cabernet Sauvignon as the dominant grape variety;
- Bourgogne with dominant grape varieties such as Gamay, Chardonnay, Pinot Gris, Pinot Noir;
- Jura with Poulsard, Pinot Noir or Savagnin;
- Alsace with riesling;
- Limoux with chardonnay and chenin;
- The Loire with chenin used in the blend;
- Die with clairette;
- And the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg (since January 4, 1991) with riesling and auxerrois.
The international crémant
France, known worldwide for its champagnes and crémants, is not the only one to create them. Several countries produce sparkling wines that generally have their own appellation. Spain produces for example Cava and Italy Prosecco and Asti Spumante.
How to serve and taste the crémant or champagne?
For the most subtle tasting, Crémant and Champagne must be served fresh. They are ideally served at a temperature between 6 and 8 degrees Celsius.. To preserve bubbles and aromas, use Champagne flutes. During the tasting, observe the color, smell the aromas, then take small sips to appreciate the delicate flavors.
At Fauchon, you can also find quality crémant such as Thierry Germain bulles de roches, aged on laths in the cool cellars of his estate, dug into the tufa subsoil. Its beautiful minerality and its fine, lemony bubbles will delight your tasting moments.