Sunday, December 31, 2023

Happy #NationalChampagneDay

Tomorrow may be January 1st, tonight may be New Year's Eve, but today is National Champagne Day. From a marketing perspective, what can be called champagne, and which are some of the most famous champagne brands?

First, in order to be called champagne, the wine must be produced in the Champagne region of France. which is located about an hour and a half northeast of Paris by car. And as for taste, champagne has low-to-medium-acidity with hints of toast, yeast, fig, apple, pear and citrus.

According to Food & Wine, "Champagne is a sparkling wine that bears the name of the region it comes from and must be made according to a long, strictly regulated list of requirements that govern every step of the production process from grape to glass. This covers details like the permitted grape varieties, along with pruning, grape yields, the winemaking method (the Méthode Champenoise or Traditional Method), minimum alcohol levels, a minimum storage period (15 months) prior to release, and more."

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To quote The Pioneer Woman: "Not every chilled bottle of bubbles is created equal. While prosecco, cava, and other sparkling wines are delicious in their own right, there's something about the rounded flavor and distinct bubbles of the "méthode champenoise" that make it extra special."

According to Insider Monkey, here is the list of the top seven champagne brands, their brief histories, and the number of annual bottles sold, as of September 2023:

1. Moët & Chandon

Annual Production Volume: 30 million bottles

"Since 1743, Moët & Chandon has been passing down unequaled winemaking savoir-faire and an innovative and pioneering spirit from generation to generation. Commonly referred to as Moet, it was the first winery in Champagne to produce only sparkling wine. Moët & Chandon merged with the cognac producer Hennessy in 1971 to form Moët Hennessy, which then merged with Louis Vuitton in a $4 billion deal to form LVMH in 1987. An annual production of 30 million bottles means that a bottle of the company is uncorked every second somewhere on earth, making Moët & Chandon the Best-Selling Champagne Brand in the World."

2. Veuve Clicquot

Annual Production Volume: 19 million bottles

"Recognized as a famous high-end champagne, Veuve Clicquot has been around for more than two centuries, and its history and quality have made it one of the most sought-after Champagnes in the world. The brand is often associated with luxury and prestige, which is why its bottles can be expensive. Veuve Clicquot is also the best-selling Champagne Brand in America, with 647,000 9-liter cases exported to the U.S. in 2021. The brand was acquired by the LVMH group in 1987."

3. Nicolas Feuillatte
Annual Production Volume: 11 million bottles

"In the span of 30 short years, Champagne Nicolas Feuillatte has become the number one Champagne brand in France and the world’s third-largest producer of Champagne, now represented in over 80 countries. The trend-setting brand Nicolas Feuillatte stands for creativity, modernity, elegance, and curiosity."

4. G. H. Mumm
Annual Production Volume: 8 million bottles

"For almost two centuries, at the heart of the Champagne terroir, Maison Mumm has been crafting exceptional Champagnes that can be found on the tables of royal courts and the finest restaurants. Mumm was the official sponsor of Formula 1 racing from 2000 until 2015 and provided the Champagne bottles for the podium celebrations after each race."

5. Laurent-Perrier
Annual Production Volume: 7 million bottles

"Laurent-Perrier’s signature style, conceived by Bernard de Nonancourt, aims to provide freshness and elegance in a glass. To do this, its blends are driven by a higher-than-normal percentage of Chardonnay grapes, the least-planted and most expensive in the region."

6. Taittinger

Annual Production Volume: 5.5 million bottles

"Taittinger’s non-vintage Brut Champagne is a refreshing, fruit-driven bottle of bubbles. You have undoubtedly come across it in your local wine store, given that the Champagne House is one of the region’s largest producers."

7. Dom Pérignon
Annual Production Volume: 5 million bottles

"With roots dating back to the 17th century, Dom Pérignon is one of the most long-standing brands in the LVMH empire. LVMH assumed control over the brand when it acquired Moët & Chandon."

According to Luxe Digital, here are the brand associations for the above-referenced brands:

1. Moët & Chandon = Parties
2. Veuve Clicquot = Romantic Moments
3. Nicolas Feuillatte = Family Get-Togethers
4. G. H. Mumm = Five-Star Dining
5. Laurent-Perrier = A-List Events
6. Taittinger = Elegant Toasts
7. Dom Pérignon = Memorable Gifts

Since you now know the key players in the champagne world, get ready to pop the cork and celebrate tonight. Happy new year, and cheers!

Image Credit: DNY59/Getty Images.

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