My recent growing love of Prosecco led me on a quest to understand the different types of sparkling wine. I will always prefer to quaff champagne but that’s not really good for the average girl’s budget. As you get older and move into the more mature years of your legal drinking age, you might start to grow a larger and more refined appreciation for wine. When you are young and in the mood to party, things like beer and spirits take precedent, but when the evening’s action starts to turn from dorm parties in to dinner parties, then wine definitely starts to be a bigger factor in your life! The problem is, where do you start? Of course, there is regular red, white and rose, but have you ever considered the delicacies of sparkling wine? Here is a great 101 guide to all of the different types of sparkling wine out there.
Cava is a sparkling wine from Spain that is either white or rose. It’s made pretty much in the same way as champagne, and bottles can only call themselves cava if they follow the traditional champenoise method. It is delicious, but in recent years cava has taken a hit in popularity, with some people seeing it as a cheaper alternative to prosecco, but that shouldn’t be the way it is regarded!
Obviously coming from France, champagne is one of the all time more popular sparkling wines out there. It can only be labelled champagne if it has been made exclusively from the grapes of the Champagne region, and the production process must follow very strict rules in all stages from the pruning to the pressing to the secondary fermentation. You want to hang on to a bottle of champagne for about 15 months before thinking about drinking it!
Prosecco is from Italy and is made from a lesser known grape variety called glera. It has a very different production method than cava or champagne, with the second fermentation not happening in the bottle but in big steel tanks. This means that the final taste is much lighter and less yeasty, so it’s perfect for things like brunch!
4. Methode Cap Classique
This is a sparkling wine from South Africa that is made in the traditional champagne style. The higher temperatures in South Africa often lead to the wine developing a much fruitier flavour in the final stages, which might suit some people’s taste more than the dryness and yeastiness of a cava or a champagne.
Sekt means sparkling wine in German, which is where this variety is from. It’s pretty much just standard, tank method, mass produced alcohol, but the Germans absolutely love it so they must be doing something right! There is a special sub section of Sekt that is a little bit more refined and expensive and is made from the same grapes as the more renowned Riesling. In general, Sekt offers a sweeter taste and a lower alcohol content than other sparkling wines like champagne, which makes it a lot more drinkable in larger quantities for parties and events.