Allow me to introduce our featured Sommelier Mark who founded Wine Service Consulting (WSC) in 2005 to offer a more diverse service to the wine world. WSC conducts fine wine service training for private and corporate aviation flight attendants, as well as, cellar valuations for the private collector, estate and divorce attorneys, and the insurance industry.
He is an award winning sommelier and has appeared on numerous television morning shows, and as a guest speaker at industry events. His Winecraft for Cabin Crew seminar is the leading fine wine educational program for private and corporate flight attendants across the United States and he is here to help Flightess readers with their Champagne service.
Sparkling Wine Production Methods:
- Méthode Champenoise/Méthode Traditionnelle – As the name suggest, this is the method used for producing Champagne. This process means that the secondary fermentation, where the bubbles come from, takes place inside the bottle.
- Charmat Method – Still wine is introduced into a closed tank, where it is artificially aged before sugar and yeast are added to make the wine sparkling.
- Bulk – Still wine is bottled and then injected with pressurized air to produce a sparkling wine.
Residual Sugar Levels of Champagne & Sparkling Wine
- Extra Brut, Natural: less than 6g/l residual sugar
- Brut: less than 15g/l residual sugar
- Extra Dry: 12-20g/l residual sugar
- Sec: 17-35g/l residual sugar
- Demi-Sec: 33-50g/l residual sugar
- Doux: more than 50g/l residual sugar
Champagne & Sparkling Wine Styles
Cuvée- a type, blend, or batch of wine, especially champagne. In its literal translation, “cuvée” means “tank” in French
Non-Vintage Brut – The cuvée (blend) is composed of blends of different base wines from several vintages. This style is perhaps the most difficult to make because the master blender, known as the “chef du cave”, has the daunting task of achieving just the right blend year in and year out to ensure the house style remains consistent, despite the vagaries of each vintage.
Vintage Brut – As the name suggests, the cuvée is composed of wines from a single harvest. Usually only two or three years out of ten have suitable growing conditions to produce vintage designated wines.
Blanc de Blancs – The cuvée is literally, white wine from white grapes, and is produced from 100% Chardonnay grapes. Blanc de Blancs tend to be austere in character when young, but they are capable of long-term aging and can attain astonishing complexity with cellar age. Vintage Blanc de Blancs are commonly made from the best producers and are a good investment wine.
Blanc de Noirs – A cuvée of white wine from black grapes (Pinot Noir & Pinot Meunier). Although a common style in the New World, Blanc de Noirs Champagne is rare and command high prices in the best vintages.
Brut Rosé -The cuvée is made by maceration or blending white and red wines. Rose’s can be among the most extraordinary and delicious Champagnes, and vintage rosé are sought after at the collector level.
Prestige Cuveé/ AKA: Teté de Cuvée– This style represents the best of Champagne. These are brilliant, age worthy wines that fetch top prices and provide hedonistic, as well as, organoleptic enjoyment.
Sparkling Wine– All styles grown & produced outside of the region of Champenoise.
The Crémant’s (Cray’ /mawn)– A sparkling wine grown and produced outside the official boundaries of the region of Champagne. Examples are Crémant de Bourgogne, Crémant de Alsace and Crémant de Bordeaux, to name a few.
Cava (Kah’/ va)– Spanish term for the sparkling wine production in Spain using the same method as Champagne.
Prosecco (Pro-sek’-ko)– An Italian grape used in the production of sparkling wine and semi-sparkling wines.
United States Sparkling Wine– Most quality sparkling wines in the United States use the Méthode Traditionnelle, and usually the same three grape blend of Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier as in Champagne. You will see in the market place, and these wines are cheap, the term California Champagne. These are not from Champagne, nor are they produced in the traditional method. It is a market term that has been grandfathered into the law of U.S. wine labeling.
Personal Favorites of Mark — Bollinger RD, Krug, Perrier-Jouet Belle Epoque, Pol Roger Churchill, Louis de Sacy Brut Rosé.
Contact Wine Service Consultancy today to make arrangements for Certified Specialist of Wine Mark C. Roberts to present Winecraft for Cabin Crew to your staff
Don’t forget! Before serving any passengers wine or champagne, be sure to check that the glass is free of water marks, finger prints, or chips. I keep my Riedel Microfiber Polishing Cloth on every plane I fly on to ensure my champagne flutes and glasses are pristine.