Previous Article: Infographic — Intro to Sparkling Wine
Whether you are ringing in the New Year or gathering the family together for a holiday, sparkling wine is the drink for all occasions. It is made all over the world and is known for its lively bubbles that dance at the top when you pour a glass.
Just in time for the holidays, we have put together a detailed guide to the most popular types of sparkling wine, the different glasses to serve them in, the levels of dryness they come in and the most appropriate times to gift them. From Prosecco to Sekt, to a chilled glass of rosé bubbles, we hope this guide will help you to understand the differences in these bottles of bubbly.
How Sparkling Wine is Made
In order to get those bubbles that we all know and love, sparkling wine has to be produced in a certain way. Every sparkling wine goes through two fermentation processes, but it is the second fermentation (the one that produces the bubbles), that differentiates them. There are several ways that sparkling wine can be produced, each method resulting in a different carbonation level and taste profile. However, the two most popular sparkling wine production methods are the Traditional Method and Tank Method, each described below:
- Traditional (Classic) Method: What separates this method from the rest is that the second fermentation takes place in a bottle where sugars and yeasts are added. This method produces smaller bubbles and is used when making Champagne.
- Tank (Charmat) Method: What makes this method different from the others is that the second fermentation process takes place in a large steel tank. This process helps to create larger bubbles that can be found in sparkling wines like Prosecco.
Types of Sparkling Wine
For many, the sparkling wine aisle can be confusing. To help you navigate the wine aisle and choose the perfect wine for your taste buds, we have outlined the six most popular types of sparkling wine including where they are from and the types of grapes they are made with.
Champagne: The Benchmark of Sparkling Wine
Arguably the most popular type of sparkling wine, sparkling wine can only be considered Champagne if it comes from the region of Champagne, France. To clarify, all champagne is sparkling wine, but not all sparkling wine is champagne. Basically, all you need to know is that because Champagne is so versatile, it goes great with just about anything from breakfast dishes to fried foods. It has small bubbles that produce a fruity, but not always sweet taste on your buds; it’s great for all of life’s celebrations.
Prosecco: Italian Bubbles
Prosecco gets its name from the village it originated in: Prosecco, Italy. It comes in other forms besides bubbly, but is most known for its sparkling variety. Prosecco is made from Glera grapes and tends to be on the sweeter side when it comes to taste. This particular sparking wine is made using the tank method, causing it to have larger bubbles and making it a popular addition to cocktails.
Cava: Spanish Sparkling Wine
Cava is a sparkling wine that comes from a town in Spain called Catalonia. It is produced in the traditional method and is primarily made from the Spanish grape, Macabeo, which adds a fresh, lemony flavor to the taste. It can also be made with Xarello and Parellada grapes which have fruity undertones of pear and citrus. All have floral aromas and are a lot less sweet in taste than Prosecco.
Crémant: French Sparkling Wine
Crémant is a sparkling wine that can be produced in several areas of France such as Limoux, Loire and Burgundy. This particular sparkling wine is created in the same traditional method as Champagne and has a flavor that can vary depending on the type of grape it is made with. However, most types have a creamy and nutty taste rather than sweet.
Sekt: German Sparkling Wine
This particular sparkling wine is from Germany and is known to for its low sweetness and alcohol levels. It can have alcohol levels as low as 6% and contain fruity and floral aromas such as apples, pears and white flowers. This wine has a natural acidity and fruitiness that is growing popular in other regions aside from Germany. The Sekt wine is made using both the tank and traditional method depending on the type.
Rosé can be made still, but is a fan favorite in its sparkling, bubbly form. It is most known for its pink hues and fruity aroma. Some common flavors in rosé are strawberry, citrus, honeydew, rose petal and rhubarb. Sparkling Rosé can come from a variety of places from Italy all the way to California.
Sources: Winefolly.com | drinks.seriouseats.com | perfectwinelist.com | legrandcourtage.com | decanter.com | mucci.wine | wineware.co.uk/blog