Wine Basics: A Beginner’s Guide To Sparkling Wine

Celebrations without popping open a wine bottle are lifeless like a delicious meal without a dessert. A good wine sets a base for a grand celebration; it has become a quintessential marker that helps us make each milestone achieved a memorable one. 

With such a distinction dedicated to wine in our life, don’t you think it is apt for us to understand the basics of this beverage? Let’s dwell further and learn more about this intoxicating drink.

A bit of history:

Throughout history, wine has been experimented with and reinvented by varied winemakers. The origin of Sparkling wine can be considered more of a funny journey or a coincidental invention. 

The first-ever differentiation of sparkling wine was identified during Ancient Greek with the Roman writers’ occasionally mentioning it in history.  

Initially, it was thought to be a drink of evil spirits, and due to the various phases of the moon, the bubbles are formed. Many winemakers were unable to find the reason behind the bubble formation and threw away the drink.

With popularity and demand in the 18th century, the toxic drink gained popularity and slowly created a niche for itself. 

Now, Sparkling wine holds a large market for itself and has become a part of grand celebrations. 

How is it made?

Preparation of Sparkling wine is similar to that of the regular white wine, the only difference being sparkling wine being fermented twice. 

To make the best sparkling wine, winemakers pick the grapes when their acid levels are high; this helps to retain the taste of fruit intact.

The fizzy little bubbles make the sparkling wine different from other wines, and this is added only during the second round of fermentation of wine. Sparkling wine can be fermented in two different ways:

Traditional

During this process, the wine is sealed in a bottle with sugar and yeast added to bring out its fizz formation. The traditional method is also known as methode champenoise or method classique. The traditional fermenting method is widely used and famous with winemakers such as Champagne, Crement, Cava, and many other producers. 

Tank  

In the Tank method, the fermentation takes place in a large steel tank, where a large amount of wine is fermented together with sugar and yeast added to form a large number of bubbles. Tank fermentation is also known as the Charmat or Metodo Italiano. Most Italian winemakers employ this method of fermentation, and a famous brand that uses this method is Prosseco

Types of sparkling wine:

Sparkling wine is the most sought after wine; many winemakers and wine lovers have tried their hand in picking the best that suits each occasion. 

In case you are an amateur and struggling to pick the right sparkling wine to celebrate the big day, here is the list of a few famous wines for you to keep an eye for:

  • Champagne
    Not all types of sparkling wine are or can be called Champagne. Champagne makes for the best pick to celebrate the big days of your life, and it very well blends with the other main courses you choose. The bubbly wine contains the right amount of sweetness and fruit punch, which would make your taste buds craving for more.
  • Prosecco
    This wine’s origin traces its roots from a small village in Italy and is fermented in the tank method. Prosecco is much sweeter, and is prepared from Glera grapes. The larger bubbles, the sweet punch, and the fruity flavor make the wine most popular among dinners.
  • Cava
    Mainly made out of Spanish grape, this wine has a unique floral and lemon flavor. The wine is brewed in the traditional method, traces its roots from a small town in Spain called Catalonia. Cava brings the best wine with a beautiful balance of sweet and tangy flavor in your wine, unlike the Prosecco which is on the sweeter side.
  • Crémant
    Fermented in the traditional method, this wine shares similarities with Champagne. The wine is a proud production from France, and it carries the flavor of the grape it is made from. The wine mostly tastes creamy instead of sweet and a bit nutty.
  • Sekt
    This wine would sweep you away with its alcohol percentage and fruity flavor, a proud product of Germany. Sekt is available in both traditional and tank methods of fermentation. The wine has its uniqueness and stands out due to its floral aroma and low sweetness levels.
  • Rose
    The brand steals the shows, with pink in appearance and fruit punch, this is the favorite pick for romantic dates to proposals. The drink comes in various fruit flavors and is famous from Italy to California, and it is commonly produced in France.

Pairing Suggestions:

Sparkling wine pairing with food makes a mouthwatering dish. Here are a few pairing suggestions that you must try:

Aging sparkling wine

Sparkling wine, if stored well, can turn into a treasure to be savored. The right way to store the sparkling wine is to keep it in the dark place with no sunlight and where the temperature is close to 50-55 Fahrenheit. The use of a suitable wine rack is recommended.

The Sparkling wine tastes better, and the color turns richer as it ages; at the max, the sparkling wine can last close to 8 years, with proper care, the wine can last long.

Frequently Asked Questions

How long does Sparkling wine last once opened?

Once a wine bottle is opened, it can last up to 3 days if stored in a wine fridge. Ensure you close the bottle with a wine stopper so that the bubbles remain intact.

How many calories does Sparkling wine contain? 

Generally speaking, it contains close to 135-200 calories for a glass of red or white wine, and close to 95 calories for a dry one.

Bottom Line:

Next time, you are ready to celebrate a big day of your life, you know which sparkling wine to pick.

Cheers!!!