Of course New Year's Eve is a popular time for a little bubbly, but so is a wedding and I'll just bet there is one in your future. In order to make the very best choice for the type of champagne to be served at your wedding, I recommend the website Henri's Reserve. Not only does the site include very comprehensive information regarding champagne, but it also sells champagne tasting gifts. What fun!
Click on the "Education" tab on their site to get a plethora of information on champagne including
this easy to follow guide:
Classifications are used to refer to sweetness (or its absence, called dry). Producers can regulate the sweetness by controlling fermentation. For example, stopping fermentation early leaves some natural grape sugar in the finished wine. Below is a listing for your reference (and yes, Sec usually means dry - but not in Champagne!)
- Brut: dry, less than 1.5% sugar
- Extra Sec: extra dry, 1.2 to 2% sugar
- Sec: medium sweet, 1.7 to 3.5% sugar
- Demi-Sec: sweet, 3.3 to 5% sugar (dessert Champagne)
- Doux: very sweet, over 5% sugar (dessert Champagne)
Many of the weddings we have planned in the last couple of years have served Prosecco as the "champagne" Prosecco is actually an Italian sparkling wine. In Italy, Prosecco is enjoyed as a wine for every occasion.
Outside Italy, it is most often drunk as an aperitif, much like Champagne.
Like other sparkling wines, Prosecco is served chilled. Unlike Champagne, Prosecco does not ferment in the bottle and grows stale with time. It should be drunk as young as possible and preferably within three years of its vintage, although high quality Prosecco can be aged for up to seven years. Compared to other sparkling wines, Prosecco is low in alcohol, about 11 to 12 percent by volume. The flavor of Prosecco has been described as intensely aromatic and crisp, with flavors such as yellow apple, pear, white peach and apricot. Unlike Champagne, appreciated for its rich taste and complex secondary aromas, most Prosecco variants have intense primary aromas and are meant to taste fresh, light and comparatively simple.
Another popular drink at weddings is pink champagne. Normally when they make a Champagne, even though they use "red grapes", they take the skin away immediately so that none of the red color from the skin affects the overall color of the Champagne liquid. In order to make a Champagne a pink Champagne, all they have to do is let the skins sit with the liquid for a short while. The longer it sits together, the more pink the liquid becomes. Pink Champagnes tend to taste a little fruity, but they can be sweet or non-sweet depending on the maker. You'll want to look up the website for a given maker of pink Champagne to know exactly what flavors are in a specific Pink Champagne you want to try.
Pink Champagnes certainly make pretty Champagne cocktails too.