Sparkling Wine

Pop, Fizz, Clink: Celebrating with Sparkling Wine

Publish Date December 1, 2023

Nothing says celebration and joy quite like a glass of sparkling wine. The effervescence. The tingling bubbles. The bursts of flavor. It’s joy in a glass.

Sparkling wine is the perfect partner to merriment, toasts, and good times whether celebrating a special occasion or just indulging in a bit of luxury. In this sparkling journey, we’ll delve into the fascinating world of bubbles and how to savor every sip!

Sparkling Wine 101

What is Sparkling Wine?

Sparkling wine is any fizzy wine made with carbon dioxide. It’s a style, not a varietal. So virtually any wine — from white wine to rosé to red wine — can become a sparkling sensation. That also means your bubbles can be anywhere from dry to sweet, depending on the winemaker.

Where did sparkling wine come from?

Happy Little Accident: Sparkling Wine

The history of sparkling wine began in 17th-century France. While making wine during certain times of the year, temperatures would fluctuate, causing the fermentation to halt. When temperatures resumed, so did the fermentation (aka secondary fermentation), resulting in fizzy bottles of wine. Initially seen as a flaw, winemakers struggled to prevent it. But by the 18th century, Champagne houses like Dom Pérignon had perfected the art of producing this sparkling wine intentionally. Hence, a happy little accident!

Champagne vs. Sparkling Wine: What's the difference?

Types of Sparkling Wine

You will often hear “Champagne” being used interchangeably with sparkling wine. However, while Champagne is a sparkling wine, not all sparkling wines are Champagne. To be legit, it must come from the Champagne region of France. Any sparkling wines produced outside this region are termed "sparkling wine" or "bubbly."

Today, sparkling wine encompasses a lot more than just Champagne. Rather each region is known for its diverse style of bubbling masterpieces. Here are some of the more popular types:

  • Champagne: The original sparkling wine. True Champagne comes from the Champagne region of France. It's known for its tiny, persistent bubbles and recognized for its elegance and complexity, like Veuve Clicquot.
  • Prosecco: Coming from the Veneto region of Italy, Prosecco is fresh and fruity. It's probably best known for its ability to make fabulous mimosas. Look for "Brut" for a drier style or "Extra Dry" for a touch of sweetness.
  • Cava: Spain's answer to sparkling wine, Cava, offers great value and quality. Cava can be as complex as Champagne but at a fraction of the price.
  • Crémant: France doesn't limit its bubbly to Champagne anymore. Regions like Crémant d'Alsace, Crémant de Bourgogne, and Crémant de Bordeaux all produce sparkling wines. Each offers a unique character, from crisp and mineral to rich and fruity. This white and rose are great examples.
  • American Sparkling Wine: Not to be left out, the United States, particularly California, has gained recognition for its sparkling wines. You can find labels from Napa Valley and Sonoma County, with high-quality bubbles.

Pairing Sparkling Wine: Food Companions

Food Pairing Simplified

If you’re a wine drinker, you know the importance of a good pairing. Choose the right food to accompany your sparkling wine, and magic is made, lighting your taste buds with delight. However, the wrong pairing is like trying to stick two opposing magnets together. It just doesn’t click.

Here are some classic combinations that allow you to savor the flavor without fail:

  • Oysters: The briny goodness of oysters finds a perfect partner in the crisp acidity of sparkling wine. Look for fresh ones when you can!
  • Cheese: From creamy brie to tangy goat cheese, sparkling wine complements a variety of cheese types.
  • Sushi: The clean flavors of sushi and sashimi harmonize beautifully with the refreshing bubbles.
  • Fried Foods: Whether it's fried chicken or tempura, the effervescence helps cut through the richness.
  • Desserts: Pairing a sweet sparkling wine with fruity desserts like tarts or fruit salads makes for a delightful contrast.

Best Serving Practice

How to Properly Serve Sparkling Wine

Step one: Proper temperature. Cool your sparkling wine down prior to enjoying it to ensure maximum bubbles, aroma, and crispness. Think 30 minutes in a tub of ice or 3 hours in the fridge.

Step two: Opening the bottle. No, you don’t need to fire the cork across the room or punch a hole in the ceiling to get the job done. Rather, gently let the pressure release by loosening, but not removing the cage. Then slowly twist the bottle while holding onto the cork to allow the pressure to slowly push the cork out.

Step three: Pouring. Angle the glass and slowly pour your bubbly into either a fluted or tulip glass to hold the bubbles and prevent your sipper from going flat.

Step four: Toast and enjoy!

In conclusion, sparkling wine has become a symbol of elegance and celebration. Its rich history and diverse types make it a treat that can be sampled over and over. So, whether toasting a special moment or just enjoying a great day, let sparkling wine be your uplifting companion. Cheers!

Ready to find your signature taste?

Try a few of our masterfully crafted holiday mocktails.

Ready to find your signature taste?

Try a few of our masterfully crafted holiday mocktails.