Pop that Cork Anytime!
I find myself constantly drinking bubbly of all kinds. No longer is it a special occasion where only Champagne is popped, but also brunch, late lunches on a hot day and casual afternoons with friends. Let’s break down the different styles of sparkling and what makes them so special.
There are different methods of production for different styles of sparkling wine.
All sparkling wines, with the exception of injected carbonation, undergo two fermentations. The first to make wine, converting sugar into alcohol, and the second to create the sparkle. The biggest factor is method of production. From the Traditional Methode used for Champagne and Crémant, to the Charmat method used for prosecco. Lastly, at the bottom of the proverbial wine barrel, the carbonation method, like how cola gets its fizz. Let me explain!
Traditional Method sparkling wine (think: special occasion Champagne)
The traditional method has been the classic technique of Champagne and Crémant from France. It is highly labour intensive in that the first fermentation happens in large vats, but the second fermentation happens in the very bottle you purchase on the shelf. After the still wine is added into the bottles a concoction of sugar and yeast (if you’re feeling fancy ‘liqueur de tirage’) is added to the bottle and a cap is placed on the bottle. Slowly over a legally imposed period of time this fermentation creates carbon dioxide and the yeast cells slowly slip towards the neck of the bottle. When the winemaker decides it is ready to go they remove the cap and the yeast pops out! At this point the sweetness level is determined by adding (or not adding) a sugar/wine solution (liqueur d’expédition). The cork is put in place where it can further age, or be sold. Wines included in this category are traditionally: Cava, Champagne, Crémant, Franciacorta. There are lots of new world producers that use the same method including Schramsberg in California.
Pop the cork on these traditional method bubbles:
At Truvé Wines we have been very lucky to acquire Henri de Villamont Crémant de Bourgogne Blanc de Blancs and Crémant de Bourgogne Rosé. Given this labour intensive process you would think they would be quite expensive, but come into our shop to see just how affordable they are!
Tank Method for sparkling wine (think: an every day Prosecco)
We are all familiar with the Prosecco craze that has swept us in the past 10 years, value bubbles that are made in the tank method. To elaborate, the tank method (aka Charmat method) is when grape juice is placed into a tank and fermented. The second fermentation (where the bubbles happen) occurs in a large tank. A touch of sugar and a pinch of yeast are added to the wine and then the second ferment begins in a sealed pressurized tank. These wines are fresh and lively with lots of fruity aromas.
Pop the cork any time on these any occasion bubbles:
Currently at Truvé Wines we are stocking the Canella DOCG Prosecco and also the Marcarini Moscato D’Asti that have those fresh fruity lively flavours. For me the Moscato is the best pairing for a fresh end of summer fruit salad you could ask for.
Injection Carbonation (think: mass-produced bubbles)
Carbonation is used in the least expensive sparklings of all. This is the exact same technique used to make soda. With so many options that are thoughtful and made with love at reasonable price points, it is truly beyond me why one would choose the biggest, bulkiest, production style method when drinking bubbly.
What gives me passion about bubbly? Winemakers taking the time to raise the wines as they are their own. The love and attention that goes into crafting handmade items is the definition of passion.