Skip to main content

HOW TO: Read a Champagne Label


As I begin to prepare for August's French Winophiles' event - hosted by Martin of ENOFYLZ Wine Blog who has us focusing on Grower Champagne - I picked up a couple of bottles to test, taste, and pair. I know, I know: Life is rough for a food and wine blogger.


So, if you know only one thing about champagne, it's probably that it has to come from Champagne, the region in France. Anything else is sparkling wine. Don't get me wrong, there's lots and lots of good sparkling wine from Prosecco to Cremant and beyond. But this post is about reading a Champagne label and there's actually quite a bit of information to be gleaned from them.

Since I'm learning...I figured I'd share the knowledge with you. Here's how to read a Champagne label.... 


The appellation ‘Champagne’ must be clearly displayed. Yep.


...the brand of Champagne. This bottle was made by Louise Brison.


...the style of wine, as defined by level of sweetness or dosage, e.g., Brut, Demi-Sec, Sec, etc. This bottle was Brut.


...the bottle capacity - in L, cl, or mL. This bottle was 375 mL.


...the percentage of alcohol by volume. This bottle was 12.5% alcohol by volume.


...any allergen content such as sulphur dioxide, sulphites, etc. This bottle did contain sulfites.


...the warning about potential harm is required by certain countries including the US. The warning cautions against drinking while pregnant and drinking before driving.



...optional information that can be included at the producer’s discretion are the varietals used, date of disgorgement, and even suggested food-and-wine pairings. This bottle was made with 50% Chardonnay and 50% Pinot Noir grapes and disgorged on November 20, 2017.


So, here's the most interesting thing that I learned as I was trying to locate Grower Champagne. Martin and Jeff of FoodWineClick! reminded me to look for the 'RM'...and I could remember that if it had that, it was made by the grower as in 'faRMer.' That's a good way to remember.


This bottle is! RM-26720-01. That's the registration and code number issued by the Comité Champagne, preceded by two initials that indicate the category of producer.

  • NM for Négociant-Manipulant (entity or person that buys grapes, must, or wine to make Champagne on their own estate and sell it under their own imprint)
  • RM for Récoltant Manipulant (growers who make and sell Champagne under their own label, from grapes exclusively sourced from their own vineyards and processed on their own estate)
  • CM for Coopérative de Manipulation (wine co-op that sells Champagne made from members’ grapes)
  • RC for Récoltant-Coopérateur (cooperative growers who sell co-op produced Champagne under their own label)
  • SR for Société de Récoltants (family of growers that make and sell Champagne under its own imprint, using grapes sourced from family vineyards)
  • ND for Négociant Distributeur (distributor who sells finished bottles made by someone else with his own label)
  • MA for Marque d’Acheteur (‘own brand’ label is produced exclusively for one client such as a single store or a celebrity or something like that)

That's it. I'm sure there's more to know. But, if you remember these things, you'll be able to purchase a bottle of Champagne with a little bit more knowledge than if you didn't. I know I feel more informed! Looking forward to continued Champagne testing and tasting for the #Winophiles event next month.

Comments

  1. important info -- clearly explained! I'm headed to Champagne next week-- so excited!

    ReplyDelete

Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

Jamaican Stew Peas #EattheWorld

  Here we are at November #EattheWorld event. What a year this has been! This challenge has been one that gave us some excuse for virtual travel as we've been sheltered-in-place with the coronavirus epidemic for most of 2020. So, we've been able to read about different parts of the world and create a dinner, or at least a dish, with that cuisine. This Eat the World project is spearheaded by Evelyne of  CulturEatz . Read more about  her challenge . This month, Evelyne had us heading to somewhere tropical: Jamaica. I have actually been to Jamaica, but it was almost thirty years ago...and it was just a jumping off point for the rest of our Caribbean exploration. I don't remember eating anything at all! Pandemonium Noshery: Pumpkin Rice   Culinary Adventures with Camilla: Jamaican Stew Peas  Amy’s Cooking Adventures: Jamaican Chicken & Pumpkin Soup   Palatable Pastime: Jamaican Jerk Chicken Burger   Sneha’s Recipe: Jamaican Saucy Jerk Chicken Wings With Homemade Jerk Seas

Lamskoteletten op zijn oud-Hollands for #TheBookClubCookbookCC

Here we are at April's #thebookclubcookbookCC event. It's hard to believe that we only have three more months in this year-long journey to explore - and cook from -  The Book Club Cookbook, Revised Edition: Recipes and Food for Thought from Your Book Club's Favorite Books and Authors  by Judy Gelman and Vicki Levy Krupp.* Judy, Vicki, and their publisher,  Tarcher-Penguin ,  have provided the hosting bloggers with copies of the book plus copies to giveaway each month of the project. Woohoo. Incredibly generous. This month Sarah at  Things I Make (for Dinner)  has selected  Girl With a Pearl Earring  by Tracy Chevalier.** Click to read  Sarah's invitation . She shared the recipe for Griet's Vegetable Soup, but invited us to find inspiration in any of the pages. On the Page... While the boys were playing around the lake during our week in Tahoe earlier in the month, I stayed by the fire and finished this book in one sitting. Loved it. photo by R

Pistachio Dukkah for #HandCraftedEdibles

In an effort to make all of my holiday gifts this year, we are sharing recipes for hand-crafted edibles. Over the course of twelve weeks, we'll be sharing recipes that you can make at home to give to friends and loved ones, or things to serve at holiday parties. We hope you'll follow along for inspiration. You can find out more information, including the schedule:  here . This week, we are "going nuts" and sharing all sorts of recipes with nuts. Think spiced nuts or nutty fruit cake or whatever floats your nutty boat! Here's what we're posting this week... Amy's Cooking Adventures  shared her Salted Chocolate Cashew Butter Cookaholic Wife  cooked up Slow Cooker Cinnamon Almonds Making Miracles  made Honey Roasted Almonds Christmas Tree Lane  posted Crockpot Spiced Nuts A Day in the Life on the Farm  wrote about the Easiest Nut Brittle in the World Sew You Think You Can Cook  prepared Orange Rosemary Roasted Almonds Culinary Adventur