Champagne 101

Knowledge is Power. We've brought together some of our favorite wine and Champagne resources here so that you can arm yourself with everything you need to know for the next time you're out to dinner, and you want to take charge of ordering the first bottle at the table.

First things first: Champagne is... from Champagne

Champagne's Location

Soil & Terroir

The 3 Major Grapes of Champagne

Pinot Noir

your favorite thin-skinned red grape provides structure, weight, and power in many of the wines of Champagne.


Champagne’s longest-lived wines are often based on Chardonnay.  The grape tends to produce the most elegant styles of wine in Champagne. Our Juliette is chardonnay-dominant, with a blend of both pinot noir and meunier.


Directly translated as “Miller’s Pinot,” Meunier is named for its characteristic speckled appearance—as if the red grapes’ leaves have been dusted with flour—contributes attractive fruitiness and youthful accessibility to the wine.  Many non-vintage cuvées contain a significant proportion of Meunier.

Styles of Champagne

Blanc de Blancs

Blanc de Blancs are Champagnes produced using only white grapes, and may be vintage-dated or NV.  The Blanc de Blancs category represents some of Champagne’s most age-worthy examples of Chardonnay. The wines are often austere and steely in youth, but they can develop an intense, toasty bouquet with maturity.

Blanc de Noirs

Blanc de Noir Champagnes are white wines produced solely from red grapes.  Blanc de Noirs can be powerful, rich and intense.

Rosé Champagne

Rosé Champagne is usually produced by blending red and white base wines prior to the second fermentation.  Vintage, NV, and prestige cuvées may also be produced in pink versions. A rosé prestige cuvée, a novelty in years past, is usually the most expensive and rare product a house offers.

Grand Cru & Premier Cru Champagnes

The Champagne Method (or, how Champagne gets its pop)

How Sweet Do You Like Your Wines?

The sweetness level of a Champagne is determined by the “dosage”, an addition of liquid sugar and wine occurring after disgorgement.  Most styles are “Brut,” or dry in style. Une Femme wines are brut—personally, we like our wines dry.

Champagne Styles

Non-Vintage (NV)

Generally brut, the NV cuvée represents a house’s signature style, and the blender’s job is to ensure its consistency from year to year. Some people also to non-vintage wines as “multi-vintage.” Une Femme's Champagne is NV, and represents a blend of several years' harvests.


Vintage wines are superior offerings from a single harvest.  As the wines are aged in a producer’s caves for a longer period of time than NV bottlings, they often display a greater “leesy” character.  Respectable houses only produce vintage wines in good years.

Prestige Cuvée (Tête de Cuvée)

Usually the finest and most expensive bottling that a house offers, the prestige cuvée is typically (but not always) vintage-dated and aged for a number of years prior to release.  Prestige Cuvées are usually only released in superior vintages.  Many of the large houses produce prestige cuvées from their own vineyards—even single vineyards in exceptional cases.  Prestige cuvées may be Blanc de Blancs, Blanc de Noirs, a blend or Rosé in style.

The 5 Main Regions of Champagne:


Sparkling Wine Making Methods

Méthode Champenoise

French AOP Regions for Crémant Wines

Italy, Spain & Germany

Méthode Ancestrale

The Charmat Process/Cuve Close/Tank Method

Continuous Method/Russian Continuous Method