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All That Bubbles…

There is never a wrong time for sparkling wine but the holiday season always seems to be when we pop off more bubbly than ever.  We offer many sparkling options at Bottles, and since it is that special time of the year we offer a little on the different styles of effervescent wine to inspire for your next celebration.

To start let’s consider Prosecco.  An Italian sparkling wine made from Glera grapes, this is a perfect choice for light refreshment or mixers, as it typically has a low ABV and strong acidity to balance.  After crushing the grapes and fermenting to wine, a second fermentation occurs in the tank, which gives Prosecco its bubbly life.  The re-fermentation in tank leads to the characteristics of large bubbles and a more fruit forward taste.  In general, this efficient process breeds a consistent product, where buyers can expect value and consistency.

The other way to re-ferment a sparkling wine is the Méthode Traditionelle which is when the second fermentation occurs in the bottle.  In this way the wine is in much closer contact with the yeast, so one can expect more bread and biscuit notes on the palate with these wines.  The bubbles tend to be smaller and more persistent in this way, too. 

Champagne is the most famous wine made in this way, but one can find similarly complex wines made outside of the Champagne region that are equal to the most famous sparkling wine.  The most comparable to Champagne maybe perhaps Italian Francicorta because it adheres to the same re-fermentation method and grape varietals (typically Chardonnay and Pinot Noir).  But there is also Cava, from Catalonia, Spain, as well as Crémant from France.  It is important to keep in mind that when a sparkling wine is re-fermented in the bottle it becomes more of an expression of where it is grown, and there is an exciting range from more chalk and mineral driven, found in colder climates like Champagne and Brescia (Franciacorta), and softer and less acidic wines from warmer climates. 

No matter what you choose a sparkling wine is an exciting way to toast or begin a meal.  The popping sound always gets the mouth watering!  The staff at Bottles is happy to talk more about what styles pair better with foods and make their recommendations, too.

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