Showing posts with label Prosecco. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Prosecco. Show all posts

Jul 17, 2015

Cava, Champagne, Cremant, and Prosecco

These are currently the four most popular sparkling wines, although there are many others. Sparkling wines are made using a secondary fermentation of the wine in the bottle to create carbonation. In 2013, Prosecco outsold champagne around the world.

Cava comes from Spain, primarily around Barcelona and the sparkling wine can be extremely high quality. Cavas are made in the 'Traditional Method', and many are aged longer than Champagne is. The principal grapes used are Xarello, Macabeo and Parellada.

Champagne is made from Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier grapes. Only grapes grown in the Champagne region of France can be used for Champagne, which is produced in that region using a specific 'Traditional Method'. Although its history dates back many hundreds of years, Champagne only got its sparkle in 1668 when Pierre Dom PĂ©rignon, cellar master for the Benedictine Abbey was developing new ways to make wine more enjoyable and stumbled on the method by accident.

Cremant is the sparkling wine made in the same way in any French region other than Champagne. There are 23 sparkling wines made in France and each region may use different grapes, such as Chenin Blanc, Cabernet, Pino Gris, etc.

Prosecco is made from the Glera grape in the Veneto region of Italy. It is made using the ‘Tank Method’. Prosecco is perhaps America’s favorite bubbly, because it is not aged “sur lie” as Champagne is, the flavors of Prosecco tend to be simpler and less complex. Think white flowers, apple, and pear. Some even have a bit of sweetness. Sur Lie is the method of adding extra flavor to the finished wine by letting it sit on the lees (decomposing yeast and grapes) in order to extract more aromas and flavors.

Bottom line, all Champagne sparkles, but not all sparkling wine is Champagne. Champagne is perceived as a region for luxury wines, so it can command higher prices than the others, which can be as or more enjoyable. As with all wines, trust your tongue and not the advertising.