Wines produced with the ‘Champagne’ name must follow strict rules, including the production method, grapes used and areas produced, to ensure a quality sparkling wine.
Those guidelines extend all the way to the label on the bottle. Here are the 10 things all Champagne labels have to include and what they mean:
1. ‘Appellation of Controlled Origin Champagne’ – Essentially, it must say ‘Champagne’, which is a guarantee to the buyer that it is from that region and produced to a high standard according to the rules.
2. Volume – The amount inside the bottle, even though standard bottles are the same – 750ml. However, you can buy larger, such as magnums and smaller bottles.
3. Alcohol Content – This can vary, but it’s generally around 12%.
4. Brand Marque – The brand under which the Champagne is sold, such as Bollinger.
5. Country of Origin – This needs to say France, as Champagne can only be made in France.
6. Town where it was produced – The town, village or city where the wine was made.
7. Champagne Code – You may spot two letters such as ‘RM’ or ‘NM’. These codes refer to the type of producer – see more here.
8. Winemaker – Usually just at the bottom or in small text, you can find the winemaker. It may say ‘Élaboré par [winemaker name]’.
9. Degree of sweetness – An important note, usually clearly displayed, such as ‘Brut’. This signifies the amount of sugar in the Champagne.
10. Trade Registration – Number given by the CIVC