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Sparkling Wines

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Home Winemaking - Sparkling Wine And Champagne

We'll take a look at the best and most famous sparkling wines in the world. Most everybody knows a thing or two about Champagne. Whether that it's wine with bubbles or that it's a different kind of wine reserved for special occasions you can safely say Champagne is known world-wide. However many people confuse sparkling wine and take it as Champagne.

Sparkling wine and Champagne, as you can guess, are not entirely the same thing. Although all Champagnes are sparkling wines, not every sparkling wine is Champagne. In truth, Champagne is the sparkling wine produced in the region of Champagne (in France). There and only there the denomination is Champagne.

It may strike you as a surprise, but there are laws protecting the label of "Champagne" and there is even a specific process used in Champagne that is also protected by law. By now I think it's clear that there's a difference between sparkling wine and Champagne.

Introductions almost done, there's only one more thing we need to talk about. Truthfully Champagne has it's amazing reputation because it makes the best sparkling wine in the world. However this doesn't mean that Champagne is the only sparkling wine worth a dime. Let's take a look at some of the finest sparkling wines out there:

1. Champagne and fame

There is not much to talk about in terms of taste and bouquet, by now this is well known. More interesting are the types of Champagne. Most of the Champagne today is non-vintage. This means that it's a blended product from multiple vintages (years). The base will be formed by a single year vintage and will amount to 60-90% of the final product. The rest is a blend from wine from older vintages. Sometimes producers make vintage Champagne but in a limited manner so as to preserve a style that customers expect from Champagne.

There are 2 terms in France called Blanc de noirs and Blanc de blancs. These mean "white of blacks" and "white of whites" respectively. As you can expect the former designates white wine produced entirely from black (or red) grapes while the latter means white wine made exclusively from Chardonnay.

While Champagne might well be the best in the business it's also the most expensive. Let's take a look at other not so expensive but still excellent sparkling wines that will bubble up your party just as well.

2. Sekt and its perks

In essence German sparkling wine is called Sekt. Compared to it's French counterpart Sekt wine has less alcohol. Like most sparkling wines sweetness ranges from quite sweet to quite dry. The best serving temperature 7 degrees Celsius, chill but not quite fridge temperature. For best results take the bottle out 20-30 minutes before serving it.

You can serve it in any wine glass but a flute-like glass can enhance some flavors and will help preserve the bubbles. It pairs best with light dishes. Sekt can also be labeled with a quality term if it passes a blind taste test as well as specific chemical standards. If it does it will be labeled Qualitatsschaumwine.

3. Enjoying Cava

Cava is a sparkling wine produced in Spain, mainly in the region of Catalonia. The method of production is the same as Champagne's. Cava is similar to other sparkling wines in terms of sweetness range. But a fact that is not very well known is that cheaper Cava is usually sweeter.

To fully enjoy Cava you should drink it after dinner and pair it with Spanish sweets. Cava is best served right out of the fridge. The perfect glass is a flute champagne glass to preserve the bubbles longer. One extra tip - place the glasses in the freezer for about 30 minutes before you will use them. This will help keep the Cava cold and will further enhance the experience.

From the many types of sparkling wines these are the most famous. When taking a deeper look at Sparkling wine and Champagne you will find there are delightful new experiences to be had all the time. Next time you toast in your champagne flutes remember that Champagne is just the tip of the iceberg.

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Original posting date
01/01/2008
01 January 2008

Original posting date
01/01/2008
01 January 2008