A look at how and where sparkling wine is made, and how to read those mystifying French labels
Why does Champagne cost more than other wines? You can get sparkling wine around the globe: Spain 's cava and Italy 's Prosecco are also world-famous. But the real-deal stuff-wine that can legally be called Champagne -generally costs between $25 and several hundred dollars in the United States . Why the steep price? First, there's a limited quantity: It must come from a specific region of France . Second, it goes through a labor-intensive process (described in the production section). Third, you are paying rent on the aging of the bottle, in a sense. Like any good wine, the aging process transforms (mellows, integrates) the flavors. Better Champagnes have been laid down for several years. And finally, there are many special cuvées (blends): Some contain wine only from a specific vintage (harvest), for example.
In this mini-guide, we'll tell you when Champagne was first made, how it'sRead More »from A champagne primer