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Sparkling Wine #2

I found way more sparkling wines than I expected!

In an effort to post in a reasonable amount of time without causing myself liver failure; I cannot tell you that I've tried them all.


I can tell you that I'm excited to try the new ones I've found and I'll come back and add to this post as I DO try them


Enjoy the bubbles and please comment if you try any - or just share your favorite!



Crémant

Almost always French.** I'd had this a few times (because I am a curious shopper and just wanted to try it) but never really knew the "deal" on Crémant until we took a trip to the Loire Valley in France. Audrey of Ame Wine served our group a Crémant de Loire during our day-long wine tour of the Touraine region in the Loire Valley. It was wonderful. Now I seek these out instead of Champagne just to try them all.

Crémant is made using the same méthode traditionnelle used to produce Champagne and can be a great value for the quality you'll find in the bottle. The differences include location and grape varietals. Each region is restricted to its own list of allowed grapes - which offer different flavor profiles. I like to think of it as a happy experiment of "what-if?" compared to the 3 allowed grapes in Champagne.

Cremant Name / Region

Crémant de Loire / Loire Valley

Crémant de Bordeaux / Bordeaux

Crémant d' Alsace / Alsace

Crémant de Bourgogne / Borgogne (or Burgundy in English)

Crémant de Limoux / Languedoc-Roussillion

Crémant du Jura / Jura

Crémant de Savoie / Savoie

Crémant de Die / Rhone Valley

**Crémant de Luxembourg is the only region outside of France is allowed to use the name"Crémant" for their sparkling**


Metodo Classico

These Italian sparkling wines are made using the same thode traditionelle that is used in Champagne - only it is done in Italy. Several to look for below and more in the Metodo Classico link. These are on my list to find and try!

Popular Regions

Trento DOC [Trentodoc] / New region founded in 1993-climate mimics that of Champagne. High in acid, these should pair well with food. Look for Ferrari, Letrari, and Rotari.

Franciacorta DOCG / More expensive, overall, of the 3. Compared to Champagne-using the same grapes and most are of very high quality.

Alta Langa DOC & DOCG / These wines "read" to be amazing based on the terroir and aging -very Champagne-like. I cannot wait to find one for tasting.

Lessini Durello / Most descriptions I find for this wine mention fresh or bright with mineral notes on the finish..sounds refreshing.


Lambrusco

We are still in Italy and this is one of the very first red wines I tried a long, long time ago. It is fruity and light / easy drinking for someone who likes the idea of red wine - but is not yet accustomed to those tannic red wine qualities. My friend Kaysie, who is now a sommelier, introduced me to Lambrusco and we had it along with a homemade cherry gallette-yum!

According to several sources, the Lambrusco family of grapes are some of the oldest grape varieties that exist. Check out the linked words for some history and food paring ideas. This wine says early fall to me.

Something about a bubbly, deep red wine is really beautiful-try it!

Lambrusco Varieties


Lambrusco di Sorbara / Most refined and food-friendy

Lambrusco Grasparossa di Castelvetro / More tannic and most similar to still red wine

Lambrusco Salamino / Usually sweet-Falls between the two above-good levels of acidity with a fair amount of tannin

Lambrusco Maestri / Dark and fruity with creamy bubbles




American Sparkling Wine

I am 100% positive I have had sparkling wine produced in the US but I can't say I've focused on it enough to remember key details. Shame on me - this is an area I look forward to exploring.

Here is my bottle from New Mexico - Gruet - very affordable - totally drinkable. You see thode champenoise on the label. This is the same as thode traditionelle, just older lingo.


Side-note: The grapes are form several states but the wine is made in New Mexico.

The article in the "US" link above gives more recommendations that I plan to try---will report back!


Pétillant Naturel / "Pét-nat"

These wines are made using an ancient method, méthode ancestrale, of wine-making that tends to be more natural than other methods used to create sparkling wine.


They have a more relaxed, cider or beer-like quality. Pét-nats are even capped like beer--bring your bottle opener! They are said to be very trendy at the moment - particularly in France / Loire Valley.

Pét-nats are not bound to one region or even country - you can find them across the globe though you may have to ask around at your local wine shop.

Plus, they have playful labels. Who wouldn't have a smile on their face looking at this bottle of Luigi? It just looks fun.



Méthode Cap Classique / Cap Classique / MCC

South Africa's answer to Champagne - produced using the same thode traditionelle.

These quality sparklers are said to be a bit more fruity than the Champagne that inspired them.

Most the wines are made of the same grapes found in Champagne but there are others that give MCC a bit of uniqueness. Chenin Blanc, some Sauvignon Blanc and even Pinotage are among grapes found in a few sparkling Cap Classiques.

I loved this tasting report with notes-reviewed by two of the top MCC experts.

I believe we will find some great-value-for-the-money wines in this category based on what I've read.


Espumante

Sparkling wine from Portugal or Argentina

Portuguese Classifications

DOC Bairrada / Must be produced in the Bairrada region and be made using the thode traditionelle as in Champagne

VFQPRD / Made in the traditional champagne, charmat or transfer method in one of the following determined regions: Douro, Ribatejo, Minho, Alentejo or Estremadura

VQPRD / Made in the traditional champagne, charmat or transfer method anywhere in Portugal

Espumosos / Cheapest and lowest level of sparkling wine, made by injecting the wine with CO2


Sekt

Sparkling wines from Germany and Austria that are typically sweeter and lower in alcohol than Champagne. I would imagine these to be good with food-whether rich, fried or spicy-which is my favorite way to enjoy Riesling.

German Sekt Classifications

Winzersekt / German, almost always made with Riesling and of exceptionally high quality

Sekt B.A. / German, made in one of the thirteen official quality wine regions in Germany

Deutscher Sekt / German, entry level, usually sweet, made from German grapes like Riesling

Perlwein / Semi-sparkling, can be decent or horrible, difficult to know what you are getting


Austrian Sekt Classifications

Grosse Reserve / Austrian, cru level, made using thode traditionelle, grapes must be from a specific village, aged for 30 months, exceptionally high quality

Reserve / Austrian, made using thode traditionelle, aged for at least 18 months and usually of high quality

Klassik / Austrian, made from grapes of the major Austrian wine growing regions, aged for a minimum of 9 months. Recommended with Thai food

Austrian Sekt / Austrian, entry level, made from [a combo of the] 36 official grapes

It's nearly impossible to immediately recognize the method used to create every single bottle of sparkling wine - but check out this guide see the details of each method if you are interested.

Lastly, there are even more sparkling wines to be discovered. Talk with the staff at your local wine shop. I recently picked up a 3-bottle package from Wahoo Wine and Provisions to join an online tasting. The wines were Slovenian and one was sparkling! Those guys live and breathe wine so they'll be more than happy to find something new for you to try.


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