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Opening a bottle of crisp, Sparkling Wine has the instant gratification of enjoying a cold glass of tea or lemonade on a sticky Midwestern summer’s day. But better…because it’s wine!
Sparkling wine is a carbonated wine that can be made from any red or white grape. White Sparkling wines are typically more common, though sparkling rosé and other sparkling red wines are produced, just not as frequently. And since they can be made from any white or red grape, they can be produced in any region that can grow the grapes; most Sparkling wines come from Italy, France, Germany, England, U.S., or Australia.
Similar to other wines, depending on the grape(s) used, the climate they were grown in, and the winemaking processes used, Sparkling wines can give a variety of flavors and range from dry to sweet. According to VinePair, there are four main levels of sweetness - many times which are labeled on the bottle. These levels include:
Extra-Brut: The driest style of sparkling wine. In these wines, the yeast has consumed absolutely all of the sugar, so there is a complete absence of sweetness in the wine.
Brut: The most popular type of sparkling wine. These wines are dry, but do show a hint of sweetness. Champagne is the most common sparkling wine to be labeled Brut.
Extra Dry: Also dry, though sweeter than Brut or Extra-Brut. Prosecco is the most notable example of sparkling wine produced in the Extra Dry style.
Demi-sec: A sweet sparkling wine with noticeable sugar content — perfect for pairing with dessert.
Regions Known For Sparkling Production
Most famously, France is the home to the most sought-after sparkling wine, Champagne.
Widely known for their production of the delightful Prosecco, which is made using the Glera grape in the northeast regions of Veneto and Friuli. Italy is also home of another famous sparkling wine, Asti, which is native to Piedmont in the northwest. Asti is typically lower in alcohol, quite fruity in character, and made using a unique technique: Rather than gaining fizz through a secondary fermentation, primary fermentation takes place in a pressurized vat that can be sealed towards the end of fermentation, trapping carbon dioxide that would otherwise be released.
Becoming more widely consumed in the U.S. over the last few years, Cava is Spain’s most famous sparkling wine. The majority of production takes place in Penedès, though it can be made in several other regions of the country. Cava is made in the traditional method and it absolutely must age on its lees for nine months before release. It’s made with Macabeo (Viura), Xarel-lo, and Parellada, while rosé versions can be made with the addition of Garnacha or Monastrell.
Other regions that produce sparkling wines include the Germany, England, the U.S., Canada, Australia and South Africa. Producers located outside of Europe have a little more freedom when it comes to regional laws for sparkling wine production: they can use whatever grapes they choose and can age the wine for any length of time.
Check out the following Sparkling wine recommendations from our Vanguard Wines portfolio:
Corte Fusia Franciacorta NV Satèn DOCG
An extremely elegant wine with a bubble soft and creamy taste but faithful to a style that wants to emphasize the characteristics of Chardonnay in the terroir. From Lombardia, Italy.
Mirabello NV Prosecco DOC 187ml
Light and delicate with citrus notes. The palate is dry, soft and creamy. There are hints of apple and peach on the nose. From Veneto, Italy.
Charles Bove NV Sparkling
Based heavily on Chenin Blanc with a dollop of Chardonnay to add richness
A sparkling wine which reflects the beautiful characteristics of Chenin Blanc. Medium dry with almond and pear flavors. Great minerality. From Loire Valley, France.
Corte Fusia Franciacorta NV Brut DOCG - 90 Wine Enthusiast
70% Chardonnay, 20% Pinot Noir, 10% Pinot Bianco
"White stone-fruit and yellow spring-flower aromas align with a whiff of bread crust on this elegantly sparkling wine. Bright and linear, the tangy palate offers mature yellow apple, lemon drop and hazelnut." - Kerin O'Keefe, Wine Enthusiast. From Lombardia, Italy.
DeFilippi NV ‘Dieffe’ Metodo Classico Blanc de Blancs Brut
100 % Chardonnay
Straw yellow with greenish reflections, fine-grained and persistent perlage. Young, fresh and elegant. Soft and persistent on the palate with hints of white peach, snuffbox and small white flowers. Even in its youth, this Blanc de Blancs displays beautiful complexity and integrity. From Piedmont, Italy.
Terregaie NV Prosecco Brut DOC
Straw-yellow color with greenish tints. Fresh and delicate bouquet with fruity aromas and hints of apple. Palate is very fine and persistent while quite elegant and lively. From Veneto, Italy.
Còsmic Vinyaters Empordà Vitalitat Pét-Nat
92% Parellada 8% Moscatell
Ultra fine, with precise bubbles and lots of citrusy, lemon-lime deliciousness. Blossom, green apples and elderflowers. Light, fresh and creamy. A Pét-Nat that drinks more like natural Cava. From Cataluña, Spain.
Conti Riccati Prosecco DOC
Enticing scents of ripe orchard fruit, aromatic herb and fragrant white spring flower. The generous palate doles out juicy white peach, ripe Granny Smith apple and tangerine zest. Fresh acidity brightens the creamy flavors while an elegant mousse imparts finesse. From Vento, Italy.