The Truth About Non-Vintage Champagne

Celebrating great success.Champagne, if you are seeking the truth, is better than a lie detector. It encourages a man to be expansive, even reckless, while lie detectors are only a challenge to tell lies successfully.

English novelist Graham Greene wrote that, and perhaps you’ve seen it to be true at a holiday party this year. Office parties are infamous for revealing unwanted truths, especially when the bubbly is flowing.

Rather than an unwanted truth, today’s blog will deal with an essential truth about Champagne (the official bubbly of France) and sparkling wine in general.

Some have the mistaken belief that a “non-vintage” wine is an inferior wine. Nothing could be further from the truth.

Non-vintage (often abbreviated NV on bottle labels) simply means that a wine does not have a specific vintage year designation. Normally, that’s because wine from more than one harvest season is used in the cuvee, a practice most common with sparkling wines.

Tapping multiple vintages helps minimize the impact of a so-so growing season, and enables sparkling wine makers to develop and maintain a recognizable “house style.”

And that’s the truth about “non-vintage” wines.

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Tomorrow: The proper… and safe… way to open a Champagne bottle.

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Posted in Wine in the Glass
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