Champagne Guide


The ultimate guide to everything about the world’s greatest sparkling wine: superb value bottles, exceptional cocktail recipes and top tasting destinations the region.

Champagne Region Basics

Champagne Basics

This essential cheat sheet explains the region’s grapes, winemaking style and best bottles.

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Top Picks

Champagne Lexicon

  • Blanc de Blancs

    • White Champagne made exclusively from Chardonnay grapes.

  • Dosage

    • A blend of wine and sugar that is added to most Champagne at the final bottling to offset the acidity of the wine.

  • Blanc De Noirs

    • White Champagne made from red Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier.

  • Mousse

    • The foam that appears at the top of a glass of Champagne when it’s poured.

  • Brut

    • Dry, meaning that the wine has a minimal dosage—less than 12 grams of sugar per liter.

Editors’ Picks

NV Pol Roger Brut Réserve

NV Pol Roger Brut Réserve

This regal nonvintage wine is creamy and rich, with layers of dried apple, toast and mango.

More Champagne Pairings
Les Crayères in Reims
  “If money were no object, I’d stay at Les Crayères in Reims,” says sommelier Laura Maniec. “It has only 20 rooms and a garden that feels like another world.”
Champagne Destinations
Where to Go Next

Champagne Destinations

Laura Maniec of New York City’s Corkbuzz wine bar is such a Champagne fiend that she spent three weeks during harvest, working in the vineyards and getting to know the region—its wineries, shops, restaurants and even the local bowling alley all the pickers frequent.

World’s Best Champagne Bars
Drink Here Now

World’s Best Champagne Bars

Festive and versatile, impressive Champagne selections are now everywhere, from a tree house in France to Chicago’s O’Hare airport.

Champagne Cocktails

  • French 75

    Mixologists around the world make this fizzy, lemony drink with gin, but New Orleans bartenders opt for cognac.

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    French 75
  • Champagne Mojitos

    This puckery drink is prepared with rum and fresh mint like a classic mojito, but New Orleans chef John Besh makes it party-worthy by topping it with a splash of Champagne.

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    Champagne Mojitos
  • Cork County Bubbles

    Mixologist John Coltharp likes making this Champagne cocktail with herbal, woody Jameson 12-year Irish whiskey (made in Ireland’s County Cork).

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    Cork County Bubbles
  • Champagne Cocktail

    At the revamped Merchants restaurant in a 118-year-old Nashville building, suspender-clad mixologists serve old-school drinks like this one from the mid-19th century.

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    Champagne Cocktail
  • Americana

    Chef Darren Bartley brandies peaches for this Champagne drink.

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  • More Champagne Cocktails

    Bartender Eric Alperin explains that almost all great cocktails involve a few fundamental categories of flavor: strong, sweet, sour and bitter most commonly, plus the outliers floral, smoky and spicy.

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    Southside Royale

Expert Lesson

How to Open a Bottle of Champagne Play Video
Jacques Pépin Demonstrates How to Open a Bottle of Champagne