If you are buying Champagne online, it is wise to find out as much about the product as you can before purchasing. To lend a helping hand, Ideal Wine Company explains how to read a Champagne label.
Finding key information
You can find a wide range of fine wines on Ideal Wine Company’s website. To help you determine whether one of our bottles is right for you, it’s useful to learn how to read a wine label! A wine label features key information, such as its region of production, which you can use to figure out whether the vintage will appeal to your taste buds.
We also offer a selection of Champagnes here at Ideal Wine Company. Exclusively produced in the French region of Champagne, these sparkling wines are the ultimate luxury product! Similarly to wine, you can learn about a particular Champagne by reading its label.
Reading a Champagne label
Luckily for you industry publication Vinepair recently released an infographic detailing how to decode Champagne labels!
The infographic features a standard bottle of Champagne, with arrows pointing to the key features of a label. These arrows direct the eye to explanations which detail what these pieces of information can tell you about the liquid which lays inside the bottle. The information listed includes:
- Producer name: The name of the producer will always be listed prominently on the label. For example if you purchase the Krug 1988 from us, you’ll notice that the word ‘Krug’ is depicted in large bold letters on the upper-middle portion of the bottle’s label.
- Producer type: On the label, often somewhere near the bottom, you’ll see a two letter code such as ‘NM’ (Negotiant Manipulant). This refers to the type of producer which made the Champagne. There are seven types of Champagne producer.
- Region and area: The word ‘Champagne,’ in this case referring to the French region of the same name, will always be featured prominently. If the bottle doesn’t include this word, the product isn’t an authentic Champagne. The specific area of Champagne the vintage was produced within e.g. Reims, will usually be listed lower down the label in a smaller font.
- Sweetness: While reading a Champagne bottle, you may notice a word like ‘Brut’ or ‘Sec.’ These terms are used by producers to describe the sweetness level of the Champagne. Lower down the infographic you’ll see a scale which depicts what these terms can tell you about the sweetness content of a Champagne.
- Grape types: Wine bottle labels list the grapes used to produce the vintage. A Champagne label may provide the same information, but not always. Lower down the graphic you’ll encounter a section detailing the grape varieties and blends typically seen in Champagne.
As you may have guessed by now, lower down the infographic you’ll find additional information on how to read a Champagne label. As well as the sweetness scale and the section on Champagne varietals, this part of the image also features a full list of the different types of Champagne producers. We will also be looking at these in future blog posts, so remember to check back!
Try out reading Champagne
Now you know how to read a Champagne label, why don’t you try testing out your new knowledge? Say you recently decided to buy the Veuve Clicquot Ponsardin 1998, a great year for the Veuve Clicquot brand by the way, from Ideal Wine Company. Take your purchase and see if you can decode its label to unlock the mysteries which lay inside this standout Champagne!