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Wine Secrets
Become a Wine Expert.

French Wine - Wines of Champagne
Champagne is identifiable blind by the scent of toast, cooked apple, and butter pastry and a restrained, elegant palate with zippy acidity. The true form is inimitable.

French Wine - Wines of Champagne
Champagne can only be produced within a specific region of France called Champagne, centered on the towns of Reims and Epernay.

French Wine - Wines of Champagne
Champagne is made from one or more of three grape varieties: Pinot Noir, Pinot Meunier, and Chardonnay. Pinot Noir gives body and power to the wine, Pinot Meunier imparts suppleness and fruitiness, and Chardonnay lends finesse and delicacy.

French Wine - Wines of Champagne
Although Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier are red grape varieties, the grapes are pressed gently enough to keep the skins from imparting color to the wine. In the case of pink Champagne, some color is intentionally bled from the red grape skins.

French Wine - Wines of Champagne
The two ways of making pink Champagne are the traditional saignée method and by blending red and white wines. The saignée method involves making a rosé wine by allowing brief contact between the pressed grape juice and the red grape skins.

French Wine - Wines of Champagne
Pink Champagne is becoming more popular in almost every major market. From 2004 to 2005, sales of the pink fizz rose 23 percent in the UK, 40 percent in the U.S., 50 percent in Spain, 20 percent in Belgium, 10 percent in Italy, and 78 percent in Australia.

French Wine - Wines of Champagne
A blanc de blancs Champagne is made from 100 percent white grapes (Chardonnay) while a blanc de noirs is made exclusively from red grapes (Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier). Red grapes are often called black grapes in the wine trade—hence the name blanc de noirs, which is of course French for white of blacks.

French Wine - Wines of Champagne
Ever wonder how they get those bubbles in the bottle? Champagne houses make still wines first, called vins clairs, from each grape variety and plot of land. Then they blend them to achieve an intended style. After bottling this still wine, yeast and sugar are added to start a second fermentation. The yeast consumes the sugar, produces alcohol and carbon dioxide in the sealed bottles, and creates bubbly wine. After this second fermentation, the wine is matured at least fifteen months with the spent yeast to impart characteristic flavors and aromas. The bottles are slowly turned upside down to encourage the yeast to collect in the bottleneck, where it is removed before the bottles are topped up with wine, recorked, wire muzzled, and foil wrapped.

French Wine - Wines of Champagne
The large foil wrap around the neck of a Champagne bottle was used traditionally to hide the gap between the cork and the wine because bottles were not always topped up.

French Wine - Wines of Champagne
Champagne without bubbles is also produced in the region under the name Coteaux Champenois. This name applies to all red, white, and pink still wines from the area. These wines are fairly rare and tend to be tart and thin.

  • American Wine - Wines of California
  • American Wine - Wines of New York State
  • American Wine - Wines of Oregon,Washington, and Idaho
  • Argentinean Wine
  • Australian Wine
  • Austrian Wine
  • Buying Great Wine
  • Canadian Wine
  • Central and Eastern European Wine
  • Chilean Wine
  • Detecting Faulty Wine
  • French Wine - Wines of Alsace
  • French Wine - Wines of Bordeaux
  • French Wine - Wines of Burgundy
  • French Wine - Wines of Champagne
  • French Wine - Wines of Languedoc and Roussillon
  • French Wine - Wines of Provence and Corsica
  • French Wine - Wines of Rhône
  • French Wine - Wines of Southwest France
  • German Wine
  • Giving the Gift of Wine
  • Knowing When to Drink It
  • Mediterranean Wine
  • More about Wine
  • New Zealand Wine
  • Ordering Wine in a Restaurant
  • Pairing Food and Wine
  • Portuguese Wine
  • Portuguese Wine - Madeira
  • Portuguese Wine - Port
  • Serving Wine Like a Professional
  • South African Wine
  • Spanish Wine - Sherry
  • Spanish Wine - Wines of Central and Southern Spain
  • Spanish Wine - Wines of Northeast Spain
  • Spanish Wine - Wines of Northwest Spain
  • Spanish Wine - Wines of Ribera del Duero
  • Spanish Wine - Wines of Rioja
  • Swiss Wine
  • Talking the Talk—Wine Terminology
  • Tasting Wine Like a Professional
  • Trade Secrets - Storing Wine
  • Trade Secrets - Wine Myths
  • Vin de Pays
  • Wine from the Rest of the World
  • Wines of Northeast Italy
  • Wines of Northwest Italy
  • Wines of Southern Italy and the Islands
  • Wines of the Rest of Central Italy
  • Wines of the Rest of France
  • Wines of the Rest of the United States
  • Wines of Tuscany
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  • Forever Young Naturally Eating

    What to Eat When Root salad

    Savor the earthy sweetness of carotenoid-rich carrots and red beets in a robust, clean-tasting coldseason salad. Serves four.
  • 4 carrots
  • 2 beets (uncooked)
  • generous handful sunflower seeds
  • balsamic vinegar, to taste
    Grate the carrots and beets. Toast the sunflower seeds and toss into the salad while warm. Dress with a little balsamic vinegar.

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