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Sparkling Wine 101

While wine consumption continues to increase, and we are enjoying more varieties than ever, one type of wine is really hot – sparkling wine, particularly Italian and domestic styles, is booming!

Sparkling wine is not simply “wine with lots of bubbles” and has much more to offer than you might think.

When it comes to sparkling wine, most people think “Champagne”. In reality champagne represents only a fraction of the sparkling wine segment.

If you want to offer something fun, unique and reasonably priced at your next special event, we suggest you try a Sparkling Wine Bar.

Varieties

Champagne refers to sparkling wine produced in the Champagne region of France that has been fermented in the bottle. It’s typically made from white wine grapes such as Chardonnay and its taste is fairly dry or “brut”.

Asti is a “fully sparkling” Italian wine. It’s usually made from the Mascato grape and is typically sweeter than traditional Champagne.

Frizzante is a “lightly sparkling” Italian wine.

Cava is Spanish for sparkling wine. Its flavor is typically clean and crisp with floral notes and goes well with fried foods.

Sekt is a German Sparkling Wine and typically made from the Riesling grape. Its fermented twice and leans toward a drier finish.

American sparkling wines taste usually a bit fruitier than French Champagne, yet many domestic sparkling wines compare very well. They are certainly a lot less pricey than their French cousins.

Favorite Cocktails with Sparkling Wine

Mimosa
Mix fresh orange juice with sparkling wine.

Poinsettia
Mix lemon flavored vodka with cranberry juice (shake) and top off with sparkling wine for the perfect Holiday Cocktail.

Bellini
Go Italian by mixing peach nectar with “brut” sparkling wine.

Tips to Enjoy:

  • Serve sparkling wine well chilled at around 43 degrees F for the sweeter varieties and up to 50 degrees F for drier ones.
  • Champagne flutes don’t only look nice but they are functional.  These tall and skinny glasses focus the bubbles at the base of the glass so that they rise to the top in a beautiful, steady stream.

 

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