Most Champagne you encounter will be NV, or non-vintage. This is because the base wine is a blend of wine from multiple vintages. In producing non-vintage wines, Champagne houses strive to keep the taste consistent year by year, and non-vintage wine provides the winemakers flexibility in blending, ensuring a constant style each year. Non-vintage Champagne is released when it is ready, so drink within a year or two after you purchase or receive a bottle. That said, there are some stars of non-vintage that are as good as many vintage bottlings and can last a few more years. The higher priced non-vintage, or multiple vintages, like Krug's Grand Cuvée and Laurent Perrier's Grand Siecle are prestige cuvées, or tète de cuvées. This means these are the top blends from the house, and of no less quality than a vintage Champagne. Krug makes no entry level Champagne, so everything you see from them is a prestige cuvée.

The difference in styles can be categorized by body. Here's a quick cheat sheet for some of our most popular non-vintage Champagne.

Lighter-bodied houses

  • Deutz
  • Nicolas Feuillatte
  • Laurent-Perrier
  • Perrier-Jouet
  • Pommery
  • Tattinger

Medium-bodied houses

  • Delamotte
  • Gosset
  • Moët & Chandon
  • Mumm
  • Piper-Heidsieck
  • Pol Roger

Fuller-bodied houses

  • Bollinger
  • Henriot
  • Krug
  • Louis Roederer
  • Veuve Clicquot

Sparkling wines from other regions that are made in the traditional method will also differentiate their non-vintage and vintage bottlings, just as Champagne. Non-vintage sparkling wine from most wineries will often have a house style, just as the Champagne houses.

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