Chapter 10 - UNIVERSITY OF NORTH TEXAS School of...

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UNIVERSITY OF NORTH TEXAS School of Merchandising and Hospitality Management SMHM 4300 Survey of Beverages Spring 2006 (10) CLASS NOTES: Wines of France-CHAMPAGNE Champagne with its memorable bubbles and its fresh fruity taste is the most famous wine in the world. Sparkling wines are bubbling over with success. In bars and restaurants, on retail shelves and at private parties, the category is thriving once again. Driven by the demand for luxury goods, Champagne and sparklers are being embraced by the image –aware, pop culture conscious young drinkers who fuel beverage trends. It is the newest legal age (LDA ) consumers who are propelling sparkling wine forward. Instead of shying away from expensive purchases, they view them as a status symbol, much like their pop culture influence in the hi-hop world. When rappers such as 50 cents and Jay-Z mention brand names in their songs, it speaks directly to LDA consumers. To really define sparkling wines in America it is to recognize their celebratory and seasonal appeal. Every facet of the sparkling market – producers, retailers, and on-premise-operators –say sales are still skewed to November and December. For some venues, spankings get as much as 60% to 70 % of their sales during the holiday season. Rightfully, Champagne is produced only in the province of Champagne-in Northeastern France and it is France s northern most wine region. Although there are many sparking wines produced world wide, only sparking wine produced in the Champagne region of France may be called Champagne more on this later. In France the label need only read Champagne -without any other qualifications, however some producers have chosen to add on the label “Appellation d’Origine Controlee” (AOC) Grapes panted in this region have higher acidity giving Champagne its distinct taste. This acidity gives freshness in the wine as well as it is also important to its longevity.
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The balance of the fruit and acidity together with the bubbles (CO2) are the elements, which make for good Champagne. The Champagne region covers about 85,000 acres or 2.5% of the French vineyards. Production is about 280 Million bottles per year. The Champagne region is about 90 miles Northeast of Paris, and its soil is chalky and the climate is austere. The climate of Champagne is characterized by cold winters but also for long summers. Virtually, every vineyard has heating and air movement devices, which are used in the vineyards during the spring to ward- off the frosts that can damage the buds. The subsoil in the champagne region is recognized as chalky subsoil, which requires replenishment regularly due to erosion. It is recognized as outstanding subsoil for a wine region. The Romans found the vines being cultivated there when they
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Chapter 10 - UNIVERSITY OF NORTH TEXAS School of...

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