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ratafia de champagne

Ratafia De Champagne

Ratafia de Champagne is a grape-based spirit they make in the Champagne region.

The word ratafia comes from Latin Rata Fiat meaning it is ratified. A traditional spirit made in Champagne from the must of Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier grapes, fortified with Marc de Champagne and/or eaux-de-vie from the region.

The must (which is grape juice) that goes into Ratafia comes from the third or fourth press. The first two presses are used to make champagne, although many producers only use the juice of their first press (the cuvee) for their wines and sell the juice from the second press (the taille) to larger houses. The third and fourth presses are called the rebeche (which sounds like rubbish when the French say it!)

And Ratafia de Champagne tastes nothing like champagne. I find it to be sweeter (but not overly) and more syrup-y… on my first try I thought it tasted like a light port. And I say light because it’s only 17 or 18% alcohol and the French actually serve it chilled as an aperitif or with dessert at the end of a meal. And it’s often used in cocktails… I had a ratafia cocktail during my degustation at Assiette Champenois (it was our 11th course so my appreciation was a bit lower than usual).

While I was aware of ratafia de champagne on my previous trip to champagne (June 2015), it wasn’t something we were ever really offered then. Which makes sense when I read that it was only given official status as a product of the region in September 2015.

I also enjoyed a 1996 ratafia in my tasting at Michel Gonet and one of the most highly regarded ratafias on the market, the Solera at Henri Giraud (Emperor was selling this earlier in the year, so keep an eye out – it was really good). But you can still get Ratafia in Australia from Emperor… they currently stock Chevreux-Bournazel Ratafia for $59.

Ratafia de Champagne Ratafia de Champagne

So who knew they made other boozy drinks in the Champagne appellation?

There are actually a few more you can check out here…

The Oeil de Perdrix

Rosé de Riceys

Coteaux Champenois

Champagne Spirits – Marc de Champagne, Fine de la Marne, and Chardonnay Vodka

If you do visit Champagne, seek out these different options for a bit of variety and don’t forget to tell me about it in comments below or post a pic and tag @bubbleandflute #bubbleandflute #happychampers on facebook and instagram.

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


AUD: Australian dollar (AUD$)