Teaching Students About Champagne Color
When it comes to teaching students about champagne, there is more than just the taste and effervescence that make this famous beverage unique. The color of champagne plays a significant role in its identity, and delving into the topic allows students to develop an appreciation for the nuances of this elegant drink. In this article, we will explore how educators can teach students about the different shades of champagne and the factors that contribute to their distinct hues.
1. Introduce the Spectrum of Champagne Colors
Begin by presenting a visual guide showing the varying colors found in different champagnes. Provide samples or images representing the range, including straw yellow, clear yellow, gold, and even pink champagne. By showcasing the various shades, students will gain a greater understanding of the diversity within the world of champagne.
2. Delve into Grapes Varieties
The base color of champagne primarily comes from the grape varieties used in its production. There are three main grapes used in creating champagne: Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, and Pinot Meunier. Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier are red grapes, while Chardonnay is white. Explain how red grapes contribute more color to a blend than white grapes do. Then, discuss how combining these grape varieties result in different shades and flavors.
3. Discuss Aging and Color Development
The aging process is another significant factor contributing to champagne’s color development. Teach your students about vintage and non-vintage bottles; explain how vintage bottles are from a single harvest year, and non-vintage bottles are from multiple years’ harvests combined. Longer aged champagnes often have deeper hues due to longer contact with grape skins during fermentation or extended aging on lees (dead yeast cells).
4. Cover Decolorization Techniques
Highlight techniques used by winemakers to achieve a desired color palette for their champagnes. One such method is decolorization, where producers remove color from grape juice through processes like reverse osmosis or carbon filtering before fermentation. Discuss how this process affects the outcome of a champagne’s color and taste.
5. Explore Rosé Champagne
Rosé champagne adds an alluring touch to the spectrum of champagne colors. Explain the two primary methods for producing rosé champagne – blending and the saignée technique. Blending involves adding a small amount of red wine to a white base wine, while saignée involves allowing the grape skins to macerate in juice for a brief period, lending a pink hue to the final product.