What’s the difference between Champagne and Blanc de Blanc?

Answered by Cody Janus

Champagne and Blanc de Blancs are both terms associated with sparkling wines from the Champagne region in France. While they are related, there are some key differences between the two.

Champagne is a sparkling wine that can be made from a blend of different grape varieties. The three main grape varieties used in Champagne production are Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, and Pinot Meunier. Champagne can be produced using a combination of these grapes, resulting in a blend of flavors and characteristics.

On the other hand, Blanc de Blancs is a specific style of Champagne that is made exclusively from white grapes. The term “Blanc de Blancs” translates to “white from whites” in French, indicating that only white grape varieties are used. The most common grape variety used in Blanc de Blancs Champagne is Chardonnay, known for its elegance and vibrant acidity. However, other white grape varieties such as Pinot Blanc and Arbane can also be used, although they are less common.

The use of white grapes in Blanc de Blancs Champagne gives it a distinctive flavor profile compared to other styles of Champagne. Blanc de Blancs tends to be more delicate, with crisp citrus notes and a mineral undertone. The Chardonnay grape, in particular, adds a touch of elegance and finesse to the wine. It is often described as being lighter and more refreshing than Champagne made from a blend of grapes.

Another difference between Champagne and Blanc de Blancs lies in their aging potential. Blanc de Blancs Champagnes, especially those made from high-quality Chardonnay grapes, have the potential to age gracefully over time. The aging process allows the wine to develop more complex flavors and aromas, while still maintaining its freshness and acidity. On the other hand, Champagnes made from a blend of grapes may not have the same aging potential, as the different grape varieties can evolve at different rates.

In terms of food pairing, both Champagne and Blanc de Blancs can be versatile options. Champagne, with its blend of grapes, can pair well with a variety of dishes, from seafood to poultry and even certain cheeses. Blanc de Blancs, with its bright acidity and citrus notes, is often a great match for lighter fare such as oysters, sushi, or grilled fish. Its refreshing nature also makes it an excellent choice for aperitifs or to enjoy on its own.

While Champagne can be made from a blend of different grape varieties, Blanc de Blancs is specifically made from white grapes, most commonly Chardonnay. Blanc de Blancs has a distinct flavor profile, often described as more delicate and refreshing, with citrus and mineral notes. It also has the potential to age well. Both Champagne and Blanc de Blancs have their own unique characteristics and can be enjoyed in different settings and food pairings.