Skip to content
Champange Styles

Champagne Styles… An Overview

Once you start to scratch the surface, you quickly find there is much greater variety in champagne styles than you realise!

On a recent visit to Champagne, after three days tasting different champagne styles from different houses, one of my friends commented surprised they were that each champagne was so different. He actually said he thought “all Champagne tasted the same”.

I hope that friend doesn’t read this and remember the comment but that is a pretty ridiculous thing to say. That would be like saying all red wines taste the same… or all white wine/whisky/cola are alike!

But the misconception is actually not uncommon. I have dedicated my entire blog to tasting as many different champagnes and champagne styles as I can. I still have so many left untried and I am yet to find two champagnes which taste the same.

In fact, there are actually about 6/7 different champagne styles. And these champagne styles are being produced by around 300 different houses, with different vintages every year. You do the math (I’m a writer – I do words not numbers!) but that sounds like an awful lot of variety from where I’m sitting.

Which is awesome! So many still to try! But for now, here’s a simple run down of the different champagne styles. I have written more detailed posts about each champagne style if you want to learn more.


Non-vintage (or NV) champagne  is the house style, its signature taste, which is the same every single year. NV champs is made from grapes from more than one year’s harvests carefully blended to achieve the house’s signature taste. Read more


Vintage champagne is the stunning and elegant result of grapes produced in just one single harvest or year. Vintages differ from NV as grapes each year or vintage will have a unique character which depends largely on the weather conditions and their effect on sugar content and acidity. Read more

Cuvée de prestige 

Ahhh… the cuvée de prestige! As the name suggests, these are the prestige wines, the top end, the créme de la creme of champagnes from that house. Possibly the most famous cuvée de prestige champagnes which most people will recognise are Dom Perignon and Cristal. Dom and Cristal are the cuvée de prestige for the houses of Moët & Chandon and Louis Roederer respectively. Read more

Blanc de blancs  

Can also be non-vintage, vintage or a cuvée de prestige

Made from only white chardonnay grapes, blanc de blancs have a unique character that is lighter and more elegant in the absence of black grapes which add robustness. Blanc de blancs age spectacularly, a characteristic of chardonnay grapesRead more

Blanc de Noir 

Can be vintage, non-vintage or cuvée de prestige

After reading about blanc de blanc, it should be no surprise that blanc de noir champagnes are made from all black grapes – pinot noir or  pinot meunier or a blend of both. Read more


Can be vintage, non-vintage or cuvée de prestige

One of the very special techniques of the champagne method is the specific pressing technique to avoid damaging the skin of the grapes and releasing any colour (or tannins and histamines for that matter).

So how do we end up with rose tinted champagne? Rosé is a bit of a rebel and a rule breaker (maybe that’s why I like it so much!). It’s made from either allowing the skins to tint the juice or more commonly by blending still red wine into champagne. Read more

Varied dosage 

The dosage (liqueur d’expedition: a blend of sugar and older wine) is added to the wine right at the end of the process at bottling. A Champagne’s dosage varies the taste dramatically and while each house has a standard dosage for its different styles, they may also specifically make a wine that is extra dry or extra sweet. Read more


Make sure you post a pic and tag @bubbleandflute #Champagneschool to let me know you’re doing your homework and what you think!


Bubble & Flute promotes the responsible consumption of alcohol for individuals of legal drinking age in their country.


AUD: Australian dollar (AUD$)