All That Sparkles
For the Love of All the Sparkling Wine
Bubbles Bring Joy!
It is no secret that we at Yeg Women in Wine are big fans of the wonderful world of Bubbly Wines: Champagne, Franciacorta, Cava, Crémant, Prosecco, Méthode Champenoise, Méthode Traditionnelle, Methode Cap Classique, Metodo Classico, Brut, Canadian Bubbles. So many delicious wines, from all over the world.
We can also be a little protective of all this category of wine that we enjoy so much (and so often). For the New Year, Yeg Women in Wine has compiled the top ten things to know about Bubbles:
- There are 2 primary ways of getting bubbles into the bottle: Traditional Method where the secondary fermentation happens in the bottle, a complex and costly way of producing sparkling wine. Known as: Méthode Champenoise, méthode traditionnelle, Methode Cap Classique, Metodo Classico, Franciacorta, Cava. The second is the Charmat Method, where the secondary fermentation happens in tank and the wine is then bottled with the bubbles. Known as the Tank Method, Prosecco, lots of inexpensive bubbles around the world are produced this way.
Champagne is a type of sparkling wine, not all sparkling wine is Champagne. Champagne is a sparkling wine from a region in France of the same name. The method of production is very detailed & regulated, after pressing and the first fermentation occurs, then a second fermentation (where the bubbles come from) happens in the bottle.
- The three Grape Varieties, that are primarily used in Champagne are: Chardonnay (29.4%), Meunier (32%), Pinot Noir (38.8%)
- Blanc de Blanc is white wine from White grapes (Chardonnay), Blanc de Noir is white wine from Red grapes (Meunier and/or Pinot Noir)
- Champagne is run by Powerful Houses known as Négoicant-Manipulants (NM), these account for 90% of Champagne exports… BUT… independent growers, Récolant-Manipulants (RM) are starting are becoming more recognized, and more readily available. Look for and try Grower Champagne.
- It is easy to identify what type of producer made your Champagne, look for the initials in front of a small code or number on the label, usually found at the base of the label. This will tell you if it was produced by a house, Négoicant-Manipulants (NM) or a grower, Récolant-Manipulants (RM) or a cooperative, Coopérative-Manipulant (CM), or one of the other (less common) producers.
- Prosecco is a type of Sparkling wine, not all sparkling wine is Prosecco. Prosecco comes from the Veneto region in the North East of Italy, and is made predominately from the grape Glera (indigenous to the Veneto). The secondary fermentation happens in the tank, making wines that have softer bubbles, and are often slightly sweet. Prosecco is a growing category for wine drinkers in our market, there are more and more producers available. There is a sea of Prosecco out there, and not all of it is good, look for DOC and DOCG classifications on the labels.
- Cava is a type of sparkling wine from Spain. Made in the same method as Champagne, with indigenous grapes Macabeo, Parellada, Xarello, as well as international grapes like Chardonnay, Cava is an affordable alternative to Champagne (however, It is not another name for Champagne).
- Franciacorta is a type of sparkling wine from Italy. Haven’t heard of it? Still relatively unknown in our market, this fantastic wine from the hilly slopes near Lake Isco, in Lombardy Italy. It is Italy’s most prestigious Metodo Classico (made in the same way as Champagne), consumed predominately locally by savvy and stylish Italians. Made using Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Pinot Bianco grapes.
- Crémant is sparkling wine made in eight different appellations throughout France, in the same method as Champagne with the second fermentation happening in the bottle. These are often really great value wines. The grape varieties vary per region, they must all follow the stringent French Wine laws to use the Crémant name. The eight appellations are: Crémant d’Alsace, Crémant de Bourgogne, Crémant de Limoux, Crémant de Loire, Crémant du Jura, Crémant de Savoie, Crémant de Die, and Crémant de Bordeaux. Crémant can also be found in the neighboring country of Luxembourg, the only country outside of France where it is legal to use the name.
Drink More Bubbles in 2018!
Yours in Wine, Sasha