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More about Half Bottles of Sparkling Wines
When it comes to Champagne it is hard to beat a quote from Madame Bollinger. She was asked "When do you drink champagne?", she replied: "I only drink champagne when I'm happy, and when I'm sad. Sometimes I drink it when I'm alone. When I have company, I consider it obligatory. I trifle with it if I am not hungry and drink it when I am. Otherwise I never touch it - unless I'm thirsty.” Most wine regions produce a sparkling wine that is not allowed to be called Champagne because it does not come from the Champagne region in France. However, it is often made the same way and the bottle will say something like Methode Traditionelle. halfwine's Sparkling Wine Tasting Pack has examples of half bottles of sparkling wine from different countries including Champagne. Those sparkiling wines that are as good as champagne are usually priced similarly.
Champagne is most often made from three different grape varieties Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier.The Chardonnay being a white grape and the other two are red. The reason why Champagne is not red is that the juice from the red-skinned grapes is not left in contact with the skins and so does not get the red colour as red wine does. Champagne can be made purely from Chardonnay in which case it is call Blanc de Blanc. It can also be made purely from either of the red grapes when it is call a Blanc de Noir. And, of course, there is rosé champagne. Rosé is made from the simple blending, that is, mixing of red wine to a white to impart colour. This method is discouraged in most wine growing regions, especially in France, where it is forbidden by law, except for Champagne. The other method of making rosé, the saignée method, removes the grape juice from contact with the red grape skins when the targeted colour has been achieved. halfwine's Grower Champagne Tasting pack includes an example of each of these variations in style.
In Champagne half bottles of sparkling wine are, by law, made the same way as full bottles, that is the still wine is bottled in half bottles and the same process is followed until the cork is wired on. Half bottles of champagne are more difficult to make because the disgorging and dosage are more fiddly on the smaller bottle. In other places half bottles of sparkling wine are often made by bottling already sparkling wine.
Halfwine stocks half bottles of brut (dry) or extra brut champagne and sparkling wine.