What’s the difference between Champagne And Sparkling Wine?
“Come quickly, I am tasting stars”
– Dom Perignon’s famous quote after his first taste of Champagne, and a fairly apt description of what a good Champagne or sparkling wine experience should offer.
“Champagne” comes exclusively from the Champagne region of France, and claims the honor of being the most famous of the sparkling wines. The French are really, really prickly about misuse of the word champagne. Only sparkling white wine that comes from the Champagne region of France, in the northeastern part of the country, can be called champagne. And that’s not a suggestion; in Europe, it’s the law. It has been illegal for non-Champaignois vineyards to call their booze champagne since 1891. In fact, so important is French ownership of the word champagnethat it was reaffirmed in no less important a document than 1919’s Treaty of Versailles—the one that ended World War I.
It has been reported that there is a loophole: The United States never ratified the Treaty of Versailles—not because of the champagne clause, but because the Republican-controlled Congress didn’t want to see the formation of a League of Nations. However, state labeling laws prohibit labeling bubbles as champagne except in California. So don’t confuse calling your bubbles Champagne with labeling your bubbles Champagne..