Know Your Sparkling Wines

There are many occasions when we want to raise a glass and celebrate. Get to know your sparkling wines. They are commonly comprised of Chardonnay and Pinot Noir grapes but other grapes may be used depending on where the wines are produced. Sparkling wines are also found in recipes to top off a cocktail. You can add a bit of bubbly to any occasion by planning your wine buying budget and selecting a favorite. 

BRUT – Brut is the French word for “dry” meaning there is little sugar in the wine. Sparkling wines that have a dry quality are labeled as Brut. These can be produced anywhere in the world from California to Australia and beyond.  

CHAMPAGNE – This is a sparkling wine that comes only from the Champagne region of northern France under the rules of the appellation that demands strict vineyard practices. Its bubbles come from a second fermentation process that takes place inside the bottle. Champagne is considered a relatively expensive bottle of sparkling wine and is known to age well. 

CAVA – This is the sparkling wine that is made in Spain and uses grapes that are indigenous to the growing region.  There are Cava wines with different levels of sweetness. The name “Cava” comes from the Spanish word cave. It is considered Spain’s answer to French Champagne. 

TRENTODOC – This sparkling wine from Trentino, Italy is the only sparkling wine produced in a mountainous region. There are nine million bottles produced each year from over 60 producers with 85 percent of the wines being consumed in Italy. As Trentodoc continues to gain recognition and grow in popularity, it is being exported to countries that include the United States.

PROSECCO – The sparkling wine is produced in Italy in nine different provinces that are in the Veneto and Friuli Venezia Giulia regions. Prosecco can be found in a dry or extra dry style. You will find many different brands of Prosecco and they can often be purchased at a reasonable price.

Store sparkling wines properly. Most experts agree that bubbly wines should be stored vertically in the short term for about a month. But if you are keeping the bottle for a longer time, it should be placed horizontally in a wine rack to keep the cork moist. Put sparkling wines in a relatively cool place between 50 and 59 degrees Fahrenheit and not in a bright light.

If you open a bottle of sparkling but don’t finish it, use a Champagne stopper to keep your wine bubbly. It is a good item to have as it creates a tight seal.

Whether you are serving an expensive bottle of Champagne or a reasonable bottle of brut, use a flute glass so that the bubbles shine. Have fun exploring the differences in the bouquet, taste, and color of various sparkling wines.

Top photo: Bigstock

About Marina P. Kennedy (70 Articles)
Marina Kennedy began her writing career when her four children were grown and she returned to college to study in the humanities. She is delighted to be a contributor for Woman Around Town. The majority of her articles focus on the culinary scene, theatre, and travel. Marina and her husband Chuck enjoy the rich cultural experiences of the New York metro area and beyond. She hopes that readers like reading her articles as much as she enjoys writing them.