What are Champagne Grapes?

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  • Written By: Brendan McGuigan
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 23 November 2019
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Champagne grapes are the name given to a specific type of grape, the Corinth. They should not be confused with the various groups to make wine in the Champagne region of France. These grapes also are commonly used as currants.

This variety of grape is usually small and black, and it does not contain seeds. There are also both red and white varieties of the Corinth, but they are much less common. Champagne grapes are the smallest of all seedless grapes, which is one reason they are so popular, particularly for drying. The "Champagne" name actually comes from a photo shoot done for the grapes in a magazine, in which the fruit was shown alongside a flute of champagne.

The actual grapes used to make wine in the Champagne region of France vary. Producers there may choose from either Chardonnay or the black grapes of Pinot Meunier or Pinot Noir. Some may use Arbane, Petit Meslier, or Pinot Blanc, but rarely do. Corinth grapes are rarely used to make wine, and never in Champagne or any other major wine producing region in the world.


Champagne grapes, after they have been dried, are often sold as Zante currants, or sometimes simply as currants. Despite this name, they should not be confused with true currants, which are the berries of the Ribes plant and are usually called by a color name, such as redcurrants or blackcurrants. In some older cookbooks, people may see references to the raisins of Corinth, as well, which refers to dried Champagne grapes. The very word "currant," in fact, comes from the name of these Corinth grapes.

These grapes have an incredibly sweet taste and are bursting with flavor. They are visually very appealing because of their small fruit and tight clusters, and they are used often in situations where appearance is important. They are seen widely in the United States in food service, particularly in catering or as table decoration. Because of their lack of seeds and sweet flavor, they also make an ideal snack to accompany other fruit that may be laid out.

When buying Champagne grapes, shoppers should look for dark grapes, as this indicates ripeness and sweetness. The grapes will not gain much more sweetness after being picked, so they should be eaten as soon as possible. The skin should be taut and the bodies should be hard. Grapes that have started to wrinkle or become softer have passed their prime.


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Post 12

Where I live I seem to have a hard time finding good quality grapes. Most of the grapes in the store look wrinkly and soft and don't look fit to eat. I love small, sweet grapes like Champagne grapes but it is hard for me to find good ones.

I have some grapevines on my property that I use the grapes to make grape jelly out of. They are not naturally that sweet, but they do make good jelly as long as I can get to them before the birds do.

Post 11

I love the taste of just about any kind of grape, but Champagne grapes are one of my favorites. I like them because they don't have any seeds in them and are sweeter than other kinds of grapes. While I love the taste of grapes, raisins are a different story. I find nothing sweet or tasty about eating a handful of raisins even though I know they are good for me.

Post 10

@andee -- Yes, frozen grapes are the best, no matter what kind of grapes they are. My kids love to eat grapes this way too.

When I bring home grapes from the store, the first thing I do is wash them real good and let them drain. Then I put a bowl of them in the refrigerator to eat as snacks and put some in the freezer.

Washing any kind of produce is important before you eat it, but grapes can really have a residue left on them so I make sure they are well washed before eating them.

Post 9

@anon39860 -- My favorite way to eat champagne grapes is to freeze them and then pop them in my mouth. Something about freezing the grapes makes them taste even sweeter than they naturally are. These make a wonderful, nutritious snack on a hot day.

Post 6

really, find something to do other than gripe about how people eat grapes.

Post 5

To #4, do not forget to snip of the amount you are planning to eat. Just plucking individual grapes and leaving half of the bunch eaten, and the rest of the grapes still on is not right.

I know, there are more important things in life, but this is my pet peeve.

So what I like to do is cut bunches of grapes into smaller, more manageable bunches. If you want more, you can always help yourself with another small bunch.

Post 4

The best way to eat grapes is to pluck one from the stem, put it in your mouth, and chew.

Post 3

What is the best way to eat champagne grapes?

Post 1

Grapes are a great snack, whatever variety they are. They also have many health benefits. For example eating grapes helps the blood flow better.

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