All That Sparkles

I absolutely love fizzy and sparkling wines! And, since New Year’s Eve celebrations are fast approaching, I thought it may be fun and helpful to share some information about Champagne and sparkling wines.  I’ve also included a few of my favorites. Champagne: First, all that sparkles isn’t Champagne. Sparkling wine can only be called Champagne if it’s from the Champagne region in France and made in the traditional method (méthode champenoise).  The traditional method is a labor intensive, multi-step process (two fermentations) that contributes to the expense.  Champagne can be made from three grapes:  chardonnay and red-skinned pinot noir and pinot meunier.  Sometimes the label will use the terms “blanc de blancs” meaning the wine was made from white grapes, or “blanc de noirs” indicating that the Champagne is a white wine made from the dark pinot noir and pinot meunier varieties.  There are also different levels of dryness/sweetness in Champagne: **Grower Champagne refers to sparkling wine that is not only made in France’s Champagne region (as a protected designation of origin), but is also specifically crafted by families who are cultivating the grapes on their own land. It is made in much smaller volumes, and can really showcase the terroir of each farm. Since the elements that inform the terroir can vary (sometimes slightly, sometimes dramatically), each year’s output is different than the one before. Brut Nature/Brut Zero:  Bone dry.  No residual sugar. Extra Brut:  very dry Brut: very […]

Read More →