Sparkling Wine #1
My first wine post should be the first wine I loved right? Sparkling wine
The bubbles in sparkling wine make whatever you may be doing seem more special.
It makes the best "kick-off" drink for a celebration, or a meal, or a Friday evening. A lot of people tell me they only drink sparkling for special occasions but there are wonderful affordable sparkling wines to try that work well with many foods.
I feel like we have to start with the most popular 3.
Each known as the epitome of sparkling wine in it's respective country.
My husband and I celebrated our 4th anniversary with friends in Reims, France-located in the Champagne region. Our anniversary bottle of Henriot. It was an amazing and tasty experience!
We can't mention sparkling wine without talking about Champagne. The region and the rules of the region create a bottle of Champagne. From what I've learned so far, Champagne creates the most quality-controlled wine produced. Every step is regulated. From the grapes used-to the harvest timing-to the pressing of the grapes-bottling-fermentation process to the aging times, Champagne is completely calculated. Surprisingly, all the wines turn out with their own character. It is fantastic - and often more expensive than other sparkly choices.
My favorite bites alongside sparkling wine are salty snacks. This photo is from a trip to Italy - known for their sparkling Prosecco.
Prosecco is very much governed in Italy as Champagne is in France, lots of regulations. It is made using a completely different method and completely different grapes from Champagne.
The Italian Aperitivo is similar to our American happy hour and always includes light snacks. This bar in Rome served complimentary chips, olives, pizzettes and little tomato and egg sandwiches.
Cava is Spain's own premier sparkling wine. I always find Cava to be lighter and brighter than the 2 above. It is also typically priced a bit better than most sparkling wines.
I find that a lot of Spanish wines are also great values. I'm not sure exactly why (I need to research this). Gracias Spain!
Cava also comes with its own set of rules and regulations. Lots of compliance required for a bottle of bubbly in all 3 of the popular regions.
Maybe you prefer sweet wine...maybe you prefer dry wine... When choosing Sparkling - how do you know which is which? We need a label check!
You can, of course, learn to do this yourself - or - you can find a wine shop and ask them to choose one for you depending on your preference. I really feel there are 2 benefits to buying wine from an independent wine shop.
1-The selection is wider and typically more "selective" than buying from a grocery store. The shop owner only has so much space - so thy have to select quality wines that customers will really enjoy.
2-Free advice from someone who has tried the wine, is interested in wine and has quite a good knowledge of wine.
So, when you go - tell them how much you want to spend and why you want the wine (for a dinner with chicken and mushrooms/to try a dry sparkling wine versus a sweet sparkling wine/etc). You'll enjoy it so much more!
Back to the labels... When sparkling wine is made an addition of sugar is introduced near the end of the wine-making process. Below are the indications of how much sugar was added to your bottle. Lowest on the left / highest on the right.
Wine Folly has great visuals of all things wine - which is where I grabbed the above image.
Example labels: Brut - Brut Nature - Brut
I've shared info from Wine Folly here but I have to mention my French friends who have taught me oh-so-much about sparkling wine. If you love wine - be sure to check out the experts...Audrey and Alexis.
Try some sparkling wine!
Look out for post #2 of Sparkling wines - alternatives to Cava, Champagne, Prosecco.