When looking at all the different champagne brands that are on offer to buy, it can often be a challenge to know the difference between the famous champagne brands and the ones produced from the smaller houses.
Are the smaller brands of a lesser quality than the well-known names such as Bollinger Champagne and Mumm Champagne? Or do they offer better value for money, simply because they aren’t the immediate brands that spring to mind when you think of a bottle of bubbly?
Good Champagne Brands
The thing is, every single champagne house creates products that can only be as good as the base wine used. And, naturally, every champagne house has their own slightly different methods of producing their fizz – whilst keeping to the strict rules that govern the making of all champagne – be it cheap or expensive champagne.
In fact, many of the top brands, such as Bollinger, Korbel, Mumm, Cristal and the like, have only become household names though clever advertising or the fact that certain celebrities have endorsed them.
So, whilst you might think that a cheap champagne – or one that is relatively cheaper than the top champagne brands – is of a lesser quality, what might be closer to the truth is that it might just prove better value for money.
Choosing Champagne Brands
There are a multitude of different champagne brands to choose from. However, when it comes to understanding the various qualities of the champagne brands, it all comes down to vineyard classification.
These are graded according to the suitability of the land to produce the best grapes. This is given in terms of a percentage. So the very highest classification of land gets 100 per cent – and these are known as the Grande Cru areas – of which there are 17 – and therefore produce the highest quality of champagnes.
The land that is graded from 90 – 99 per cent is known as Premier Cru, which currently consists of 38 villages. The lesser favoured land scores down to around 80 per cent.
Champagnes produced from the houses that use the very best wines are known as the Club des Grandes Marques. These include what are probably the most famous champagne brands.
The 24 champagne houses that make up this exclusive champagne list are the following:
- Deutz & Geldermann
- Dom Perignonc
- Heidsieck & Co. Monopole
- Lanson Champagne
- Moet et Chandon Champagne
- G H Mumm
- Perrier Jouët
- Joseph Perrier
- Piper Heidsieck
- Pol Roger
- Ch. & A Prieur
- Louis Roederer
- Veuve Clicquot-Ponsardin
About Champagne ExpertWe are four people working on this blog: Jacki (England), LeChamp' (France) and Sophie & Marc (Germany)... and we love Champagne and all sparklers out there. We just started this website, we still learn, we will drink a lot of Champagne.
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> July 25th: Charles Lafitte 1834 Blanc de Blancs 12%. Nice nose, but far too sweet. The bubbles are great. 5.5/10
> July 19th: Billecart Salmon Brut. Rather balanced, not enough bubbles for my taste, a good pre-dinner Champagne, a bit too flat 6.5/10
> July 14th: Henri Giraud Cuvée Argonne 2002. Gentle fine bubbles: 9/10
> June 29th: Val de Cune Prosecco Treviso Brut. Very nice: 8/10
> June 25th: Champagne Mailly Grand Cru Brut Réserve: No bubbles, sour, flat.. 4/10
> June 20th: Champagne Beauvalet Brut Cote Des Bar Urville: 7/10
> June 18th: Piper Heidsieck Standard: very nice Champagne, that's a 8/10
> June 16th: Freixenet Cordon Negro Brut (Cava) .. stuff is too sweet 4.5/10
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