What exactly is Champagne?

 What exactly is Champagne and what is so special about it?  In truth, Champagne is simply sparkling wine that is made in the Champagne region of France.  In fact, some Champagne is made with Chardonnay grapes!  That is some Champagnes will have a similar taste to Chardonnay wines.  Sparkling wine is just a way of saying that the wine contains carbonation.   Where does the carbonation come from?  The secondary stage of fermentation that it goes through.  Some makers of sparkling wine use a carbon injection process, but purists will simply allow the carbon dioxide to build up from the yeast releasing it naturally.  It is not the carbonation that causes all those bubbles though.  Have you ever taken a soda and poured it into a still wet cup and then poured it into a dry one?  The dry one will always have more bubbles.  This is just the way that carbonated beverages interact with the dry glasses.

So, the next time you go to buy your drink of choice for New Year’s Eve/Day, know that if you buy Champagne you are just buying sparkling wine from a certain region in France.  If you are on a budget then go for the sparkling wine.  It is the same thing, but can be made in numerous places throughout the world.

Please remember to have a designated driver if you are going out to a party.  Do not drink and drive!