Understanding Champagne: a fine wine series by Julien Miquel

by Aug 17, 2020Wine reviews0 comments

julien champagne vintage 5.jpgjulien champagne vintage 5.jpg


Our Chief Wine Officer Julien Miquel is always embarking on different journeys to explore what’s best and finest in different French wine regions.

From Bordeaux to Burgundy to Champagne to others, he gifts us with videos and articles about what makes the wines from these areas so unique and perfect not only for tasting, but for investing too.

Here you have the six-part Champagne series by Julien, in videos and a couple text articles. This will surely help you understand more about the culture, the terroirs and the traditions that make this French region unique in producing the finest sparkling wines in the world, which are also fantastic investment-grade.

Enjoy your bubblies. Santé!

The seven grapes of Champagne

An essential part of what makes Champagne what it is: the different grapes that are grown in the region and used to make its so special wines. From good old Chardonnay to versatile Pinot Noir and more interesting blends, this is Julien’s the introduction to deeper debates that will make you an expert in general Champagne knowledge. Read article.

Diversity of terroirs & sub-regions

Why and how terroir matters in Champagne? The different facets of the region and how and why their particular terroirs help making such refined bubblies. Overlooks of Montagne de Reims & Vallée de la Marne, Côte de Blancs, Côte des Bar & Côte de Sézanne. Exclusively on video.

Brut, Extra-Brut, Zero, Sec? The sweetness levels

Why are most Champagnes ‘Brut’? What does this sugar do to balance the bubblies’ crispness? What are the differences between Extra-Brut, Zero Dosage, Demi-sec? More than debating meaningless numbers of g/L, Julien goes to the roots of understanding the different levels of sweetness and how they can provide quite different tastings. Read article.

Vintage versus non-vintage

You may have heard about – without necessarily understanding that much – non-vintage and vintage cuvée. What does it all mean? Here, Julien talks about this specific difference, consistency of production volumes and if you should bother with it. Exclusively on video.

Blanc de Blancs, Blanc de Noirs

There are two interesting names you may sometimes see on special bottles of Champagne: Blanc de Blancs and Blancs de Noirs. What’s that, and what’s so rare about it in varietals? Julien will show you also that actually most Champagnes are neither of those things, and why. Exclusively on video.

Prestige cuvée, single vineyard & 31 Clos of Champagnes

A broad subject to close off the series is what we call the Prestige Cuvées, those flagship labels every Champagne house and producer makes to highlight what they can do best, from Dom Pérignon to Cristal to Ace of Spades and more. Julien adds something extra that very few have in mind: there are even more special Champagnes, the single vineyard ones. Read article.


All our articles tagged Champagne:



(Watch and read about the finest and rarest Bordeaux wines)

(Watch and read about the finest and rarest Burgundy wines)


Follow Julien’s accounts on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Check out also his award-winning blog, Social Vignerons.

You can find his wine reviews in video here.

And you have his latest articles posted to our blog below:

Explore More from Our Blog

Would you bring your child to a winery?

DEAR READER, What a pleasure to be back! I admit it: these mailbags are now my favorite point of the week. Even during the contentious back-and-forth, I always enjoy opening my inbox to see words from you all. “Kind” ones, sometimes—but as you know from last week—I...

Our Sommeliers suggested wine

DEAR READER, I must be honest—I expected many more well wishes after posting that old journal entry. Everyone is modest when they say they don’t want well wishes, and so I expected there would be a few of you who saw through my “plea for privacy”. But, I forgive and I...

Because Life Needs Good and Evil

Black and white. Chaos and order. Sinner. Sinless. Life is a constant search for the happy medium, the yin and the yang. It’s as renowned psychologist Jordan B. Peterson explains, “Order is not enough. You can’t just be stable, and secure, and unchanging, because...

Thank you, Lehman Brothers?

On this day, 13 years ago, the world broke out in a panic when Lehman Brothers filed for Ch. 11 bankruptcy. Still the largest bankruptcy filing in US history, it was the climax of the Great Recession of 2007-2009. Subprime mortgages were to blame, lending money to...

Beer vs Wine, a timeless debate…

DEAR READER, Blah blah blah let’s get right to it! Dear Sommelier Ferdinand, You’ve dropped some hints that you look down on beer. Why is this, Sommelier Ferdinand? You have a growing fanbase—surely, you’re aware the effect that your insults have? And before you...

What would you do if you found an expensive wine in a cellar?

DEAR READER, Never in my life have I been happier to pontificate about wine than at my computer desk. In person is stimulating, sure, but they always talk back at some point. My lovely readers, however, only speak when I like! This internet thing has utility!...

The Beginning and The End.

Alas, the sun has crossed the celestial equator from north to south. Summer is now quite uneasy, shifting into fall in the north, while life is springing into action down south. What a beautiful time of the year! When grapes are cut from the vine to create new wine,...

Ever heard of a wine cocktail?

DEAR READER, I hope some of you learned from the reader letter last week [hyperlink to Week Ten post] and checked your attics! You never know how much wine sits above you, waiting to be uncorked and decanted—on someone else’s dime! Dear Sommelier Ferdinand, I have a...

The Future of Wine

We humans are bold if nothing else. Unlike any other species (that we know of), only we have chosen time and again to go boldly where no other has gone before. This holds especially true to the modern European, the first to really “discover” ignorance. Though they...

Could Mozart Make Your Wine More Complex?

We usually do three things when drinking wine: look at it, smell it and taste it. We activate three of our five senses to understand what’s going on in the glass. I propose we go further by incorporating sound and touch. Surely what we’re listening to while...

What on earth is a ‘Wine Decanter’?

DEAR READER, It’s come to my attention that many of you are ill-informed, misinformed, and frankly, uninformed about how wine is to be consumed. Were I only a wine enthusiast, it would be wholly dispiriting. But—wine is my profession, and I’m obligated to recognize...

“What’s My Next Question?” – Benjamin Kaplan

What’s My Next Question? On a random day like today 11 years ago, a legendary Harvard Law professor and lawyer, Benjamin Kaplan, died at 99 years of age. A rich, marked life that left an impact long after his last breathe. Apart from influencing the likes of Ruth...