Champagne Taste-Off: Champagne vs. Methode Champenoise

Over the past few months, I have learned quite a bit about my favorite wine – Champagne.  I know that Champagne is only Champagne if from Champagne, France, and I recently learned about Growers Champagne – those wineries that grow their own grapes for their Champagne.

I was recently introduced to Methode Champenoise – basically making sparkling wine the same way as Champagne (just not in Champagne, France).

I am quite fond of comparing different wines, and with my family all getting together, I thought what a better way to celebrate than with a Champagne taste-off!

I had a bottle of growers Champagne, Champagne Aubry, and a bottle of Methode Champenoise, Arbor Crest Estate.  My brother contributed a bottle from a Champagne House, Drappier.

champagne tasting

The corks were popped, the glass poured and the tasting began:

  1. Champagne Aubry, Premier Cru (Growers Champagne).  Very pale yellow in color, it had a nose of citrus – tart and sour.  The palette was light citrus, very dry – good acidity.
  2. Arbor Crest Estates (Methode Champenoise). Also very pale, but with a hint of pink.  It had an earthy nose to me – I could smell a touch of sulfur.  The palette was slightly sweet and savory – and dry.
  3. Drappier, Carte-D’Or Brut (Champagne House).  This wine was more of a honey color, with a nose of yeast.  The palette had citrus, slightly sweet and slightly bready – kind of like dry toast.

All of the wines were good.  The Arbor Crest was the sweetest, the Drappier the driest.  But of all three, we all thought the Aubry was the winner!

The best part – I purchased this bottle all on my own – I think my studies and tasting are starting to sink in!

I do really enjoy these different taste-offs and am looking forward to the next (and am always open to recommendations).

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