How Bubbly Should Champagne Be?

Champagne’s defining feature is undoubtedly its bubbles. But just how aggressive should they be? Peter Liem on why producers are reconsidering the standard pressure in their wines, and what it can tell us about modern champagne.

Champagne’s defining element is undoubtedly its effervescence. After all, what is champagne without bubbles? Not champagne.

Historically, Champagne has been an exceptionally cool wine region, its geographical location placing it at the northernmost limit of viable grape growing in France. While it’s true that the region was highly regarded for its still wines prior to the invention of sparkling wine in the 18th century, the still wines created there today are usually too austere for modern palates, characterized by high acidity and relatively low levels of ripeness.