Champagne is synonymous with celebration the world over, thanks to the method discovered in France.
Fun fact – only champagne made in the Champagne region of France can actually be called champagne.
Everything else that is bubbly is a sparkling wine.
If you know true champagne brands, then you can be aware that they all come from the same area.
The Story Behind Champagne
There is a wonderful myth about a monk by the name of Dom Perignon that is supposedly behind the way champagne was invented. According to the story, it was a happy accident.
Is All Champagne Expensive?
Surprisingly, no. Not all champagnes are expensive. There are plenty of different prices and styles. You just have to know where to look.
Methods to Create the Bubbly
Sparkling wine is carbonated like soda and has bubbles. There are two methods to creating the bubbles – the Champagne method and the Charmat-Martinotti method.
The Champagne method involves bottling wine before they finish fermenting while it is still cold. What happens is the yeast wakes up and eats what is left of the sugar. At that point, you’ve got the start of bubbles.
The Champagne method is also considered the traditional method and is often highly regarded as the best way to make wine.
Even the Spanish make sparkling wine using the same method, except it’s called Cava due to where it comes from. Once upon a time, the Spanish tried to call it Champagne, but were overruled by the European Union and could not call it Champagne due to it being from Spain and not from France.
The Charmat-Martinotti method is a less expensive way to create sparkling wines and was developed by Eugene Charmat and Federico Martinotti. The wine goes from first fermentation to a second fermentation in a pressurized tank. Using this method, you’ve got a Prosecco.
Champagne's Levels of Sweetness
There are four distinct levels of sweetness in champagne, and you’ll see them on whatever bottle you pick up.
The Extra-Brut is arguably the driest sparkling wine available. It is dry because the yeast ate all the sugar, so all you have left is a bubbly wine.
Brut wine is probably the one you recognize most. It is the most common one available on the market. While dry, there is some sweetness to the taste. Most champagnes carry this label.
Extra Dry is not as dry as the Extra-Brut even if the name makes you think otherwise. This one is usually labeled as a Prosecco wine as opposed to a Champagne.
Demi-sec bubbly is a sweet wine and is best served with dessert. There is no denying the sweetness in this one. If you prefer sweet wines, then this is an excellent option for you to try.
What Are the Most Expensive Champagnes?
There are several names that you’ll recognize on this list of the most expensive champagnes on the market as of early 2018.
Taste of Diamonds – 2013 vintage
The champagne is as opulent as it sounds. On the bottle, you’ll find an 18k gold label with a diamond set right into the center. It rings up at over $2 million per bottle.
Armand de Brignac – 2011 vintage
This champagne makes the list partially because of the size of the bottle. It is a 15-liter bottle branded by rapper, Jay-Z, and makes for quite the party drink. It runs over $90k per bottle.
Dom Perignon Rose Gold Methuselah - 1996 vintage
Champagne would not exist if not for Dom Perignon, so it makes sense that this champagne is on the list. Coming in at $49k per bottle, there were only 35 bottles ever made. They are plated in rose gold and incredibly challenging to find.
Dom Perignon - 1959 vintage
This Rose wine made waves back in 1971 when several of these bottles were ordered in Persia as part of a 2500th anniversary celebration. There were only 306 bottles of this vintage ever made, but interestingly enough, never actually made it to the market. If you can find one, expect to pay more than $42k for this piece of champagne history.
Finding a Bottle
Of course, this is only a short list of the most expensive champagnes available today. Some are harder to get your hands on than others, but every one of them is worth the hunt to own a bottle yourself.