A Beginner's Guide To Bubbly
Is there ever a bad time to bring out the bubby? No!
But with so many different options to choose from, it can be hard to know which type of bubbly to bring out at what time.
For example, while all types of Champagne are sparkling wine, not all sparkling wine is Champagne.
So what's the difference between them all? Let's break it down:
CHAMPAGNE – “World’s Oldest & Most Famous Fizz”
Without question, Champagne is probably the most popular type of sparkling wine. One thing that many people don’t know is that sparkling wine can only be “Champagne” if the grapes come from the Champagne region in France. Sparkling wine made in Champagne are required to follow strict regulations on the specific grapes used and the production process.
- Grapes: All champagne is made with one or a combination of three permitted grapes- Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, and/or Pinot Meunier
- Taste: Flavors of toast, marzipan, nuts, citrus fruits, and stone fruits
- Styles: Non-vintage, Blanc de Blanc, Blanc de Noirs, Rose & Vintage
PROSECCO – “Clean & Floral Aromas”
Just as Champagne is from France, Prosecco originated in Prosecco, Italy. Almost entirely produced from Glera Grapes, Prosecco tends to be on the sweeter side and makes the perfect base for admired cocktails like Aperol spritz and, of course, mimosas.
- Grapes: Prosecco is produced almost entirely from the Glera Grape. Other grapes used: Pereda, Bianchetta, and Verdiso
- Taste: Flavors of apple, peach, and kiwi with creamy and uplifting floral finish
- Styles: Brut, Extra Dry, Dry, or Frizzante (Spumante)
CAVA – “The Most Prolific Sparkling Wine”
The sparkling wine of Cava comes from a town in Spain named Catalonia. While Cava is aged the same way as Champagne, Cava is much more affordable and pairs well with just about anything.
- Grapes: Typical grapes used in the production of Cava are Macabeo (Dominant), Parellada, and Xarel-Lo, although Chardonnay sometimes makes it into the blend
- Taste: Look out for greener. Flavors: celery, apple, grass, and lime. With a touch of brioche or almond.
- Styles: Standard, Reserva, Gran Reserva, and Rosado
Other Types of Sparkling Wine
The United States, England, Germany, Canada, Australia, and South Africa also make delicious version of sparkling wine. However, for countries that are outside of Europe, there are no guidelines as to which grapes they are required to use which allows for endless flavors to try and discover.
Here's a guide to knowing which type of bubbly to use when!