Champagne gets its legitimacy from grapes that are grown in Champagne, the northeast region of France, only 90 miles outside of Paris, and produced by following the very precise Comite Interprofessionel du Vin de Champagne guidelines. What makes this bubbly so special is the region in which it’s grown. The latitude is higher than any other wine region for producing this sparkling wine.

Anything tasting like champagne produced outside Champagne cannot be labeled as such. In the U.S., it’s a sparkling wine, in Spain it’s cava and in Italy, it’s called prosecco or spumante in Italy. For champagne lovers all you need to know is that it’s a blend of three grapes — pinot noir, chardonnay, and pinot meunier – mixed in the traditional fermentation method. Champagne is as versatile as any wine that you will drink. It can be very dry to extremely sweet, ranging In color from white to a rose.

Some relevant terms in helping you choose the best champagne for your palate: blanc de blanc is champagne that’s made of 100% chardonnay; blanc de noir is made from the pinot noir grape and will pour as a rose-colored champagne. A cuvee is a proprietary blend that the winemaker thinks is his best. There are vintage champagnes that are made in a single year and non vintage champagnes that mix wines from more than one year. For sweetness, you can choose a brut, which is a dry champagne while a demi-sec has a medium sweetness to it.