What is a Sparkling Wine?
What is a Sparkling Wine?
Sparkling wine is basically wine that is fizzy, this is achieved with the wine containing significant levels of carbon dioxide in it. The process of making a wine have sparkling quality is a result of natural fermentation increasing the carbon dioxide content in the wine, this is achieved via different methods depending on the producer.
The alcohol content of a sparkling wine is typically up to 12% but it can be alcohol-free!
Champagnes vs Sparkling wines
What is the difference between a champagne and a sparkling wine? In essence, they are the same! So, why the different names? In short, all champagnes are sparkling wines but not all sparkling wines can be considered champagnes. Why’s that? Only sparkling wines that are produced in the winemaking region in northern France known as Champagne can be classified as champagne! The sparkling wines produced in Champagne are governed by strict regulations in regards to their production process and types of grapes used.
Now that you understand the fundamental difference between the two, we will continue the article using the term sparkling wine but do note that it covers champagnes too!
There are many different types of sparkling wines that can be segmented by various factors. One of the differentiators that affects the taste of the sparkling wine is the sweetness level.
The amount of sugar added to the sparkling wine determines how sweet or dry the bottle is. There is no one ‘best amount’ of sugar as everyone has different preferences, however the most popular type of sparkling wine is the Brut variation as the wine is dry with a hint of sweetness and pairs well with food! A strong favourite Brut champagne is the Moet & Chandon Imperial Brut N.v featuring a bright fruitiness, a seductive palate and an elegant maturity- a signature Moet & Chandon style.
Types of sparkling wine
You will see that champagnes and sparkling wines have terms such as Vintage, Prestige Cuvée, Rosé etc attached to their title. This refers to the type of sparkling wine it is and these terms give you a general idea of what to expect!
These are the terms and what they mean:
Non-vintage: a blend of grapes that are from different years
Blanc de Blancs: only Chardonnay grapes are used
Blanc de Noirs: made from black grapes, Pinot Noir & Pinot Meunier
Rosé: a pink colored wine that is made by mixing red wine with the white
Vintage: made solely from grapes of a single year’s harvest, the year used will be featured on the bottle
Prestige Cuvée: the premium product in a producer’s offerings
What you will find on a bottle of champagne typically is a combination of the sweetness and type. For example: this bottle of Veuve Clicquot Vintage Rosé 2008 shows that it is a Vintage champagne with grapes from the year 2008 and it is also a Rosé which means that it is a mix of red and white grapes. The bottle also states that it is a Brut champagne so you can expect it to be dry with hints of sweetness!
Jacob’s Creek Chardonnay Pinot Noir N.V. S$29.00 at 3mk.sg
Champagnes are considered to be a luxury product (with an equally luxurious price!), and most might find it only worth getting for a special occasion. If you feel like sipping on a more affordable option, you can turn to sparkling wines such as the Jacob’s Creek Chardonnay Pinot Noir N.V. or Brown Brothers Sparkling Rosé, both are amazing sparkling wines to sip on whilst enjoying some party nibbles!