Vinatis proposes a quality range of Champagne so you can have a good time without breaking the bank. All our bottles are blind tasted by our expert Sommeliers before being selected for our site, so you know that every bottle has our stamp of approval.
Don't forget to check out our Champagne Deals corner! Even the best brands from this great French region go on sale! Bollinger and Don Perignon among them, but that's not all! You'll be surprised by our bargains…
A special occasion is approaching, and you want to celebrate it with fine bubbles. No matter how many people you are, there is a solution for you: a half-bottle, magnum of champagne or Jeroboam. Bottled wine up to 15 L of capacity!
Champagne growers are numerous in the region; there are even some small producers who make their own wine, instead of selling their grapes to big brands such as Veuve Cliquot or Taittinger. Very high quality for a lower price: why not give in?
Different kinds of Champagne exist. The most common and affordable Champagne is Brut NV (non-vintage) as opposed to a vintage Champagne made from a special years harvest. Blanc de Blancs and Blanc de Noirs make the distinction between the Champagne made from white grape varieties and black grape varieties. Find out selection below!
It all started in the vineyards that the Romans planted 1500 years ago in the region now known as Champagne. In that chalky area many underground quarries were dug, which were later used as cellars to store the wine as the temperature in them was constant and cool. In ancient times and in the Middle Ages wine was a staple commodity, consumed daily even by the poorest sections of the population.
In regions that were too cold for wine-growing, wine was a luxury drink for the wealthy and was obtained in exchange for other commodities. In warmer countries the poor too enjoyed wine but of a much inferior quality, which they often diluted with water or vinegar! In any case, wine or beer was better than water, which was itself of poor quality.
In the Middle Ages it was the monks who applied their knowledge and physical strength to the cultivation of vines. They grew wines for the rich and poor alike. It was a Benedictine monk who, more by chance than intentionally produced a sparkling wine, which was to become the fine beverage that we know today.
During winemaking the juice from the grapes would ferment in the barrels. The process would then stop in the cold winter and start again in the spring. Carbon dioxide had formed.
A monk, Dom Pérignon, had been called to the Abbey of Saint-Pierre d’Hautvillers as keeper of the cellar. He discovered that a “cuvée” (i.e. a mixture of different varieties of grapes) produced the best quality.
At the time the bubbling was seen more as a flaw. But as the English and even their King Louis XIV seemed to enjoy the sparkling wine, others too decided that it couldn't be bad.
HOW DO YOU SERVE AND DRINK CHAMPAGNE?
Champagne is a favourite for most celebrations. It can be served on its own. Its fine bubbles and its exceptional taste can be enjoyed by themselves. You soon discover that Champagne is the most versatile beverage: on its own (as an aperitif or served with festive meals) or in cocktails (like Kir royal, a mixture of blackcurrant liqueur and Champagne) Champagne will delight your guests.
To pair it with food, it all depends on the sweetness of the champagne.
A “brut” (dry) will match food such as fish or seafood (salmon, caviar, mussels…).
A “sec” (slightly sweet) can be served with creamy soups, ham, soft cheese and some seafood like lobster.
A “rosé” matches food such as melon and ham, fresh goat’s cheese, or can be served with main courses such as poultry (duck, goose, pigeon) or veal. It is a good match for red berries (strawberries…).
WHY IS CHAMPAGNE SO UNIQUE?
If you take a closer look at how much care and attention is required to produce Champagne according to traditional methods, then it is understandable why Champagne is in a higher price range than Sekt, Prosecco, Cava, Crémant and similar sparkling wines. That said, some of them bring their production into line with the methods applied in the making of Champagne and produce quality wines too.
Yet only wine produced with the “méthode champenoise” and coming from a specific region of France (the province of Champagne) can be called Champagne. Champagne is not just the name of a particular type of sparkling wine. It is mainly made from the following grapes: Chardonnay, Pinot noir and Pinot Meunier. The soil they grow on is chalk covered with a thin layer of humus. The grapes are picked by hand. Most Champagne is made from a blend of these three varieties, with the exception of “Blanc de blancs”, that is made only from white grape varieties. What differentiates “méthode champenoise” from others is the fact that the second fermentation occurs directly in the bottles, not in huge vats, which makes the traditional French process much more expensive. But it improves the taste significantly. The delicious wine never leaves the bottles.
After the bottles have been laid to age, they are manipulated (“remuage”) so that the lees (dead yeast cells) settle in the necks. After chilling the bottles, the necks are frozen and the caps removed. The pressure in the bottle forces out the ice containing the lees, and the bottle is quickly corked to maintain the carbon dioxide in solution. Sugar (“dosage”) is added to maintain the level within the bottle and, importantly, adjust the sweetness of the finished wine. A Brut contains up to 12g per litre sugar, whereas Brut Nature between 0-3g per litre.
Coming from the north of Italy, prosecco is becoming one of the most popular wines in the world, and it's no wonder why! Affordable, fresh; bubbly… Prosecco wine always manages to give you a summer feeling, even more so with Aperol Spritz! Do not forget to check out our prosecco offers!
Bubbly wine can be a great Champagne alternative! We have selected for you the best sparkling wines from Europe: from the Spanish Cava, to the French Crémant and Clarette… But also the ItalianLambrusco. You will surely find what you are looking for!
Favorite champagne brand? MoetChampagne? Pommery, Taittinger, Perrier-Jouet, Bollinger..? You will find here all champagne brands and houses from our wine and champagne retailer online. Whether world-famous or small vintner champagnes, at Vinatis you can buy your champagne online at the best price!
Discover the pleasure variety of the noblest sparkling wines from the Champagne region.
Buying champagne online is more worthwhile than ever, because the largest selection and best priced offers can only found on the Internet. As a champagne specialist, Vinatis would like to offer you champagne at the best prices.
Our online offer is large and varied, we have champagne for every budget: unknown and budget champagne and of course the famous and high-quality luxury champagnes, such as the legendary champagne Moët & Chandon Brut Impérial. Champagne is the noblest sparkling wine in the world and with us you can buy all first-class champagnes such as Bollinger, Veuve Cliquot, Moët et Chandon, Perrier-Jouet, Mumm, Pommery, Taittinger, Roederer, Ruinart, Deutz, Gosset, Dom Perignon, Laurent Perrier and many more at the best price.
At Vinatis you buy with confidence thanks to our best price guarantee on top of our many offers; special prices and champagne deals, both for large and small champagne brands, so that you can buy even cheaper. Also if you are looking for champagne gifts, you will find what you are looking for at Vinatis.
Champagne, the finest sparkling wine
Champagne is the finest sparkling wine in the world, and probably no other drink embodies luxury and elegance like this fizz. Champagne is a festive drink that immediately creates the setting for a unique moment. At engagements, weddings, passed exams and very personal events, this drink makes it really festive, and creates a very special moment. Champagne symbolizes happiness and perfection, something outstanding, special, and much more. And even though many alcoholic drinks are popular to "raise a toast", the sparkling drink from the French region of Champagne remains an exceptional drink, because this is exactly the atmosphere it creates.
Champagne has an exclusive reputation. It may only be produced in France, where the strictest production regulations apply and where the cultivation area is also locally restricted. The champagne market is more diverse than before, offering a wide range of products that has evolved over the years, adapting and presenting itself to us with individuality and diversity of taste. Thus, Champagne Brut is trendy and common today and the preferred level of dosage worldwide. We also find rosé Champagne and even Ice Champagne, vintage Champagne and of course not forgetting the other types of Champagne: Brut Nature, Demi-Sec, Blanc de Blancs, Blancs de Noirs... which all have, different dosages, residual sweetness and grape origin.
History of champagne and the origins of this noble drink
Wine grows in the vineyard and the beginning of the champagne is also in the vines. The Romans had planted wine here and used the limestone rocks to build their cities. The immense underground quarries thus created were later and still are the vaults of the champagne houses and still serve as storage facilities for wine and champagne. The white wine of the Champagne region received little attention at first, it was not until the 16th century that it became increasingly popular at the courts of England and France, and the sparkling wine developed towards the end of the 17th century.
For transport reasons, the wine was bottled early in the growing region, which in turn resulted in bottle fermentation and this made the wine tingly and tasty. It was also discovered that the fermentation process stopped in very cold winters and started again in spring, but carbon dioxide was formed during this time. Monks devoted themselves to the cultivation of the vineyards and created the wines that were consumed. In order to avoid the loss of wine due to suddenly exploding bottles and cork shooting, the Benedictine monk Dom Pérignon developed a bottle stopper that secured the cork with cords at the bottle neck.
As cellar master of the of Saint-Pierre d'Hautvillers abbey, he discovered in 1668 that a cuvée, i.e. an assemblage of several grape varieties, produced the best quality. Even if the bubbles were initially considered a flaw and unwanted, this was the beginning of a turning point, as more and more people liked the sparkling drink, which was made even more delicious by the tickle, and it was soon introduced as a wine house at the courts, in England and France. And what Louis XIV drank, other rulers naturally wanted as well. And this is how the noble drink was born. Of course, constant development and improvement followed, the striving for even better quality to reach today's quality level.
What is champagne & how is champagne made?
The production of champagne is extremely complex and justifies its higher price than Prosecco, sparkling wine, Crémant, Cava and others, even if, like the producers of Crémant for example, they have adapted the production process to that of Champagne and produce products of exceptional quality. Champagne is not only the name of a specific type of sparkling wine produced according to the firmly prescribed "Méthode champenoise", but it is also a designation of origin, as champagne can only be grown and pressed in the Champagne region of France, which is a fixed geographical area.
The limestone cliffs provide an ideal soil for the cultivation of the typical grape varieties that play a decisive role in the production of Champagne: Pinot Meunier and Pinot Noir, two red grapes varieties, and white Chardonnay. It is the blend of these three grape varieties, skilful and harmonious, that gives the champagne its respective character: finesse, thanks to the Chardonnay, fruit, thanks to Pinot Meunier, and fullness with Pinot Noir. For the best champagnes, only the must from the first pressing of the grape is used, which then gives a high quality cuvée. In addition to the grape varieties, different sites and vintages of vines are also blended and it is the cellar master's art to produce a champagne of consistent quality and authentic taste, year after year. Pressing is regulated by law and certain quantitative requirements must be respected.
The famous "Méthode Champenoise"
The method of production, called the “Méthode Champenoise”, is one of the most important features that distinguishes Champagne from other sparkling wines. It refers to the tradition of bottle fermentation, which is in contrast to tank fermentation. The latter allows the production of larger quantities due to them being easier to handle, the Méthode Champenoise is more complex, but the effort is worth it in terms of taste. After several years of fermentation in mostly dark bottles, coordinated processes follow.
Every single step that follows in the bottling process is well thought out, targeted, precisely dosed, significant and important, because what is in the bottle once does not come out again. After several years of storage in the famous and cool limestone vaults and cellars, the process is called "remuage", which literally means "shaking", but which refers to the only light and gentle turning of only a few degrees to loosen the sediment so that it can be kicked out by cold shock during the next step, the disgorgement/disgorging.
One of the last steps is the dosage, which determines the sweetness of the sparkling wine. Champagnes are called "Brut" if the residual sugar content is between 0 and 12g per litre. The following distinctions are made:
For Ultra Brut Champagne, Brut Nature or Brut integral, and zero dosage, the sugar content is less than 3 g/L,
For Extra Brut: between 0 and 6 g/L residual sugar
For Brut:between 0 and 12g/L residual sugar
For Extra Sec or Extra Dry: between 12 and 17 g/L residual sugar
For Sec: between 17 and 32 g/L residual sugar
For Demi Sec: between 32 and 50 g/L residual sugar
For Doux: more than 50 g/L residual sugar.
How and with what to serve champagne?
You should also pay attention to the information on the label of the bottle, as it gives you an initial indication of the type of champagne in question. For example, the Blanc de Blancs, which means "white wine from white grapes", is a champagne made exclusively from white grapes and the Blanc de Noirs, which means "white wine from red grapes" is the French appellation for a white wine or champagne made from red grapes. These champagnes are made exclusively from white or red grapes and not, as usual, from a blend of Pinot Noir, Pinot Meunier and Chardonnay. If the name "Cuvée" appears on the label, it is also a quality label in the elaboration of champagne, since only the must from the first pressing is used, which makes it possible to obtain high quality champagnes with less bitter substances than those that have undergone a second or third pressing.
The quality of a sparkling wine can certainly be recognised by its bubbles. Crémant and champagne are particularly fine sparkling wines because they have a fine and long-lasting bubbles. The finer and smaller the fizz are in the glass, in a figurative sense almost as if they were pulled on a string, the nobler the sparkling wine is.
In the case of champagne, the carbonic acid enters the bottle only slowly during the maturation process; in the case of cheap sparkling wine, the carbonic acid is simply added at the end of the production process. Moreover, the foam does not fall off immediately with champagne, because the slower it settles, the longer it stays sparkling and the better the sparkling wine is. The alcohol content of champagne is on average 9.5% by volume. The maximum limit is 13% by volume.
Drinking temperature and other champagne serving tips
Regarding the drinking temperature, it is generally true that lighter champagnes prefer a colder drinking temperature than rosé. Therefore, serve classic white champagne at 5 to 7 degrees, while your rosé is served at 6 to 8 degrees.
If champagne is to be cooled down quickly, there is a little trick: Fill a champagne cooler or a container that serves this purpose with ice cubes, crushed ice or similar, pour water over it and sprinkle two tablespoons of salt over the water-ice mixture; it will then release evaporative cold and thus make your champagne ready to drink in about ten minutes.
If you want to serve like a professional, you have to first to choose the glasses: flutes or cocktail glasses? Both have their advantages and disadvantages and are therefore preferred by one and rejected by the other. The typical tingling sensation is really emphasised in champagne flutes, but the sparkling wine may develop less well and with the once frowned upon cocktail glasses, champagne quickly becomes bland, but the aromas can develop and spread faster and better. A bulbous glass, almost in the direction of a white wine glass, would perhaps be a good and even the best solution. Just give it a try!
When serving and pouring, grip the bottle by the base of your Moët Chandon, Veuve Clicquot, Bollinger and Co., which should be clearly notched. Make sure that your guest can see the bottle label and knows what they are being served. At first, only a little champagne is poured into the glass to avoid too much frothing. Then fill the glass up to two thirds and with a short twist loosen the bottle from the glass.
You can find a large variety and large selection of champagnes from different houses and the best and most popular champagne brands at the best price online at Vinatis.co.uk.
You can buy the champagne in different bottle sizes: Impérial - 0.75L, Magnum 1.5L, Jeroboam (double magnum), 3L, Methusalem 6L, Salmanazar 9L, Balthazar 12L, Nebuchadnezzar 15L.