Sparkling wine is a type of white or rose wine and it is produced in almost every wine-making country in the world. From Australian Shiraz, Pinot Noir, Pinot Blanc and Chardonnay, to Italian Lambrusco, Moscato and Prosecco, many world-wide popular grape varieties are used for producing sparkling wines.
To make a bottle of a sparkling wine, wine makers use big amounts of carbon dioxide to create bubbles. According to very old sources, the sparkling wine was an accidental discovery; a result of dual fermentation within a barrel and a bottle. There are many ways of adding carbon dioxide to a sparkling wine, out of which the most famous one is the so-called Methode Champenoise.
This method was born in the French Champagne region and has since been used in many other wine regions across the world, if not in all. With this method, wine is stored in large barrels for fermentation before being bottled and before bubbles are added. Onc ethe forst fermentation is completed, the wine is bottled; more sugar and more yeast are added to the bottle. This is where the secondary fermentation occurs (in the bottle), and this is where the iconic bubbles we all love are created.
Many people ask what is the difference between a sparkling wine and a champagne. The answer is very simple: there is no difference. Champagne is a well-known wine-producing region in France and the sparkling wines produced here are labeled Champagnes. If a bubbly is produced anywhere else in the world, it has the label ‘sparkling wine’. Simple as that. The name Champagne represents the region the grapes are grown in. There are many more sparkling wines that are named after the wine region.
When it comes to serving sparkling wine, regardless of common belief, there is in fact a proper way to do serve a bubbly. Most sparkling wines are best served very cold, from 4 to 6 degrees Celsius. However, there are sparkling wines that should be served a little warmer, at about 10 degrees Celsius. DO NOT chill your sparkling wine in a freezer, because that’s a sure way of losing its effervescence. The best way to chill before serving sparkling wine is to put the bottle in a pot full of ice and water and leave it for about 20 minutes.
If serving sparkling wine at a fancy dinner, you need to learn the hardest part – how to open the bottle. This can be tricky and requires a lot of attention. We love watching the cork exploding from the bottle and hearing a loud “pop”, but there are many consumers who find this as wasting an expensive product. Once you know master how to properly open a bottle of a sparkling wine and the right serving temperature, you are ready for serving sparkling wine.