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Pick the right champagne

india Updated: Sep 09, 2012 18:00 IST
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Produced by some 5,000 vintners and renowned houses such as Perrier-Jouët or Piper-Heidsieck, Champagne is one of the culinary symbols of France. Here are buying tips from Champagne expert Thibaut Le Mailloux, spokesperson for Comité Interprofessionnel du Vin de Champagne in France.

1 The label should have the word Champagne

“First of all, you have to identify the Champagne appellation on the label to make sure that this wine actually comes from the Champagne region.”

2 Identify the Champagne code

“Another important piece of information that reassures the consumer on the quality of a Champagne bottle is the code inscribed in front of the label in small letters. It can read ‘NM’, ‘RM’ or ‘CM’ for example. This allows you to know where the wine comes from, either a big producer (NM), a vintner/grower (RM), a wine cooperative (CM) or a merchant.”

3 Choose the right Champagne bottle

“Champagne can accompany any dish, from aperitif to dessert. Know, however, that certain types of bottles are more appropriate to certain dishes. Champagne brut is well adapted to the aperitif, while older bottles will suit meat dishes better. In any case, we recommend going for a well-established brand of Champagne if you want to reassure your guests and choose a vintner’s Champagne if your guests are Champagne connoisseurs ready to discover something new.”

4 Choose the right glass

“Every flute is not adapted to every Champagne. Some are too cylindrical while some require a tulip-shaped glass to open up. Older vintages are always better when served in wine glasses.”