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Ultimate Guide to the Champagne Wine Region

Famous Wines of the Champagne Wine Region

Having trouble deciding on which champagne to choose for that special celebration? Don't worry, you can­ narrow down your choices based on looking for the official Champagne appellation labels from France. Once you find the labels, there are a variety of things to consider before making your selection.

Grape Type


Champagne comes from three types of grapes. Depending on your preferences, you can choose wines based on one of the three main fruits:

  • Pinot Noir has aromas of red fruits and produces a powerful punch
  • Pinot Meunier creates a fruity, supple flavor
  • Chardonnay has a floral flavor and sometimes contains mineral aromas [source: Le Champagne]

Champagne Houses

Once you have narrowed down the particular flavor you fancy, you can move on to the houses. The Union of Champagne Houses provides a complete list of official houses used to produce its sparkling wines [source: UMC].

World-Famous Champagnes

If you'd rather just pick up a bottle based on the region's acclaimed champagnes, consider these, which have received international accolades for their excellent qualities:

  • Cristal (Louis Roederer)
  • Dom Pérignon (Moët & Chandon)
  • Comètes de Champagne (Taittinger)
  • Grand Siècle (Laurent Perrier)
  • Grand Cru (Mumm)
  • Dom Ruinart (Ruinart)
  • Belle Époque (Perrier-Jouët)
  • La Grande Dame (Veuve Clicquot
  • Charlie (Charles Heidsieck)
  • Clos du Mensil (Krug)
  • Noble Cuvée (Lanson)
  • Winston Churchill (Pol Roger)
  • La Grande Année (Bollinger)
  • Louise (Pommery)
  • Rare (Piper Heidsieck)
  • Charles VII (Canard Duchene)
  • Clos des Goisses (Philipponnat)
  • Celebris (Gosset)
  • Amour (Duetz)
  • Nec Plus Ultra (Bruno Paillard)
  • Femme de Champagne (Duval Leroy)
  • Josephine (Joseph Perrier) [source: UMC]

For more wine-related information, visit the links below.

Related HowStuffWorks Articles

More Great Links


  • "Champagne: Geography and Climate." (Accessed 02/07/09)
  • Gaffney, Jacob. "Champagne Region Set to Expand." The Wine Spectator. 03/14/08 (Accessed 02/05/09),1197,4296,00.html
  • "The History of 'le' Champagne." (Accessed 02/06/09)
  • Le Champagne. "An exceptional 'terrior'." (Accessed 02/05/09)
  • Le Champagne. "An Unusual Wine." (Accessed 02/05/09)
  • Le Champagne. "The Appellation d'Origine Contrôlée." (Accessed 02/05/09)
  • Le Champagne. "The gift of effervescence." (Accessed 02/05/09)
  • Tanasychuk, John. "10 Things: You gotta know about Champagne." Office of Champagne, USA. 12/27/07. (Accessed 02/05/09)
  • UMC. "From Vines to Pleasure." (Accessed 02/05/09)
  • UMC. "Origins, history and objectives: the great brands and Champagne houses since 1882." (Accessed 02/05/09)
  • UMC. "The Great Brands & Champagne Houses." (Accessed 02/05/09)