What are the different types of Champagne and sparkling wine?
Beloved for its spirited bubbles, sparkling wine is the ultimate beverage for any festivity, whether it’s a major celebration or quiet time… Sparkling wine is made throughout the winemaking world, but can only be called “Champagne” if it comes from the Champagne region of France and is made using what is referred to as the “traditional method.” Other regions have their own specialties—Crémant in other parts of France, Cava in Spain, and Prosecco in Italy, to name a few. New World regions like California, Australia, and New Zealand enjoy the freedom to make many styles, with production methods and traditions defined locally. In a dry style, Champagne and sparkling wine go with just about any type of food. Sweet styles are not uncommon and among both dry and sweet, you’ll find white, rosé—or even red!.
How is Champagne and sparkling wine made?
Champagne, Crémant, Cava, and many other sparkling wines of the world are made using the traditional method, in which the second fermentation (the one that makes the bubbles) takes place inside the bottle. With this method, spent yeast cells remain in contact with the wine during bottle aging, giving it a creamy mouthful, toasted bread or brioche qualities, and in many cases, the ability to age. For Prosecco, the carbonation process usually occurs in a stainless steel tank (before bottling) to preserve the fresh fruity and floral aromas imminent in Prosecco.
What gives Champagne and sparkling wine its bubbles?
The bubbles in sparkling wine are formed when the base wine undergoes a secondary fermentation, which traps carbon dioxide inside the bottle or fermentation vessel.
How do you store and serve Champagne and sparkling wine?
Champagne and sparkling wine stored in any long-term sense, should be at a cellar temperature, about 55F. For serving, cool Champagne and sparkling wine down to about 40F to 50F. (Most refrigerators are colder than this.) As for drinking Champagne and sparkling wine, the best glasses have a stem and flute or tulip shape to allow the bead (bubbles) to delicately dance to the surface in full view.
How long can you keep Champagne and sparkling wine?
Most sparkling wines like Prosecco, Cava, or others at the “$20 and under” price point are intended for early enjoyment. Wines made using the traditional method with extended cellar time before release can improve with age. If you are unsure, definitely consult a wine professional for assistance.
Enjoy this Wine.com Experiences virtual Champagne tasting video, featuring Moët & Chandon, Veuve Clicquot, and Ruinart! Taste Champagne while you hear a conversation with the Cellar Masters of these three legendary Champagne houses.