28 Jul Do You Know Your Sparkling Wine?
When you are tracking down the best of the wine bubblies, it’s important that you take some time to learn more about the grapes and regions that are the cornerstones of sparkling wines globally. Sparkling wine is a term that is broadly used for all categories of bubbly wines. These effervescent and lively, light sparkles are nothing but CO2 that’s been trapped either in the vat during the fermentation process or in the bottle.
When there is talk about bubblies, the very first one that comes to mind is Champagne and it is undoubtedly the most sophisticated of the sparkling wine offerings in the world. The fact to keep in view here is that the term “Champagne” specifically refers to bubblies that have been produced in Champagne, the premium winegrowing region in northeast France. Let’s take a closer look at some of the outstanding sparkling white wines from across the globe:
#1 New world sparkling wine
Most wine regions across the world produce their own unique varietals of sparkling wine. Today the US is at the fore when it comes to crafting a variety of sparkling wines that range from tasty and straightforward to refreshingly bubbly; and producers always look to Champagne for inspiration in terms of elegance, profile and intensity in their wines.
American sparkling wines are typically made from Pinot Noir and Chardonnay grapes and so they steer more towards various fresh fruit aromatics and lean a little less towards the Champagne’s chalky and mineral-driven character. This difference exists because of the significant disparity in the amount of sunlight the grape vines in California capture in comparison to Champagne’s cool continental climatic conditions.
The California wine scene has a number of French-themed influences and numerous Champagne houses have also bought dirt in Sonoma and Napa and Sonoma to add an old world flair to the modern day bubblies. Some of the New World Sparking Wine Makers as they are referred to include – Domaine Chandon, Mumm Napa, Domaine Carneros, Iron Horse, Schramsberg, Jansz (Australia), J Vineyards, and Sophora (New Zealand).
#2 Italian Prosecco
This ultra-fresh, white and light sparkling wine is Italy’s darling. The Italian Prosecco produced just north of Venice in Veneto located in northeast Italy. This wine is typically preferred in brut, dry style and its lively flavour profile and aromatics lean pretty heavily into melon, citrus, apples, and pears and sometimes it may exude a subtle floral nature.
#3 Spanish Cava
This is Spain’s famous sparkling wine and its price and quality ratio is practically unrivalled; and it won’t cost more than $10 per bottle. This wine is produced using the traditional methods used in Champagne; the second stage of bubble-trapping fermentation takes place in the wine bottle rather than the tank, using local white wine grapes of Macabeo Xarel-lo and Parellada. The Spanish Cava has a light to medium-bodied profile, has a lot of a food-friendly acidity and sweetness and is an ideal drink during the hot summers in Australia. Some of the Cava Producers to Try: Codorniu, Segura Viudas Freixenet, Paul Cheneau and Jaume Serra Cristalino.
This of course, is the queen of all sparkling wines. With a number of entries into the premium sparkling wine category, Champagne is available both in vintage and non-vintage variants as well as in the rosé styles. Three grapes are used to make Champagne – Chardonnay, Pinot Meunier and Pinot Noir. This wine has a certain amount of smokiness and nutty aromas as well as notes of citrus, apple and bread fruit.
Champagne can be called Champagne only when the grapes are grown and the wine produced in Champagne (France), which is located about 90 minutes northeast of Paris. Some of the Champagne producers to try include – Bollinger, Moet et Chandon, Billecart-Salmon, Charles Heidseick, Louis Roederer, Dom Perignon, Nicolas Feuillatte, Pol Roger, Veuve Clicquot and Taittinger.
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