While the wine world is often filled with many grey areas—oddities that color outside the lines—a few things can turn out to be a little more black and white. Or maybe we should say noir and blanc.
Blanc de Blancs are sparkling wines made from white grapes. In most of France, including Champagne, the grape will likely be Chardonnay, however Pinot Blanc, Pinot Gris and other regional white grapes can also be used. Blanc de Blancs are typically zesty, linear and citrus-driven in fruit flavor, which is a result of the grapes used.
Blanc de Noirs are sparkling wines made from red grapes. Mostly found in Champagne, this style is predominately Pinot Noir-focused, yet Pinot Meunier can also be included in the blend or spotlighted in single-varietal bottlings. Generally, Blanc de Blancs offer ripe fruit flavors and a broad texture.
While Champagne set the benchmark for these two styles, they are replicated in many other sparkling wine regions. With examples from France, California and Oregon, here are five Blanc de Blancs and five Blanc de Noirs to seek out and pop open.