Champagne, a luxury product that we like to offer and share during the end of the year celebrations.


Often, we do not know which bottle to favor.

To avoid getting lost, Olivier Poels gives you the basics to correctly decipher bottle labels. 

The end of year celebrations are approaching and with them the traditional champagne.

Amateur or not, it is not always easy to decipher the labels of this much desired elixir.

So to avoid missing out on important information and because knowledge is power, we give you the keys to becoming an enlightened consumer.

For this, we listen to the advice of Olivier Poels in the program

La Table des bons vivant

by Laurent Mariotte. 

Pinot, Meunier or Chardonnay

One of the bases of champagne is the grape variety.

"You should know that there are three authorized in France: Pinot noir, Meunier and Chardonnay", explains Olivier Poels.

"A varietal difference is written on the labels via the mentions blanc de blanc which corresponds to Chardonnay, as opposed to blanc de noir which corresponds to Pinot."

>> Find La Table des bons vivant in podcast and in replay here 

RM or NM

Another mention to be deciphered: RM or NM "It is a very precious indication because it means harvesting-handling", explains Olivier Poels.

"Which is very good, because it implies that the champagne was produced by someone who harvests their own grapes whereas NM stands for trader-manipulator. So it is a champagne which is generally a house champagne. That's not why it's not good, but it came from buying grapes. "

The product does not have the same layout. 

Grand cru or not

Capital information that helps define the price of your bottle and allows you not to be fooled: the notion of grand cru.

"There are three grades: champagne, premier cru champagne and grand cru champagne. This indicates the quality of the vine from which the grapes which were used to make your bottle came from."

In fact, in the 18th century, we isolated the best vines which are great vintages, representing 15% of the area of ​​the champagne vineyard. 

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Raw or not raw 

Each champagne is measured in sugar and liquor added at the time of shipment, particularly for taste and conservation.

Depending on the taste of champagne will vary.

To find your bearings, the notion of gross or not appears.

"Less than 12 grams, we are on crude", explains Olivier Poels.

The champagne is then very slightly sweet.

More and more, we are witnessing the production of champagne at less than 3 grams, we are in brut nature.

"We call it zero dosage, that's just my opinion, but I'm not a big fan of zero dosage because if you want to age the bottle, it's not ideal."

Here we are, warned!