What is Sparkling Wine

by John Staughton (BASc, BFA) last updated -

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Drinking sparkling wine is a refreshing and delicious way to celebrate any special occasion, along with getting a few surprising health benefits!

What is Sparkling Wine?

Sparkling wine is wine with extra carbon dioxide added to it, which makes it fizz and bubble. Champagne is a type of sparkling wine that specifically is produced in Champagne, a northeastern region of France, and the name is strictly used as such in the European Union. Sparkling wine can have many other names, however, depending on the country, region, and the grape variety that it comes from. Sparkling wine is produced all over the world and has become a common part of many cultures.

To create the carbonation, the wine is fermented a second time, either in the bottle (champagne) or in large steel tanks (all other types). The alcohol by volume (or ABV) ranges from 11% to 14%. Sparkling wine does not last as long as non-carbonated wines, and it is usually best when consumed within three years of purchase. Of course, if the beverage is a vintage champagne, aging will actually improve the taste and quality.

Sparkling wine is poured into a glass with other already filled glasses next to it

Sparkling wine or champagne is a wine with significant levels of carbon dioxide in it, making it fizzy. Photo Credit: Shutterstock

Nutrition

Although the nutritional information varies based on the type of sparkling wine, the average glass contains 87 calories and 2.8 grams of carbs.

Types of Sparkling Wine

There are many different types of sparkling wine, including champagne, prosecco, cava, cremant, sekt, rose, and more. Let’s take a detailed look at them below.

Champagne

This type of sparkling wine is exclusively produced in the Champagne region in France and fermented in the bottle. It tastes fruity, but not sweet.

Prosecco

Named after the Italian village, this variety is fermented for a second time in a tank and tends to be sweeter.

Cava

Produced in the Catalonia region of Spain, this type has a lemon flavor and is traditionally made in bottles.

Crémant

Manufactured in France, this variety of wine is made in the bottle, with a creamy and nutty flavor.

Sekt

This type of wine comes from Germany and tends to be lighter, fruitier, and with a higher acidity.

Rosé

Often created as a still wine (without bubbles), this variety can also be fermented a second time to add fizz. It is pink, has high tones of fruit flavors, and is produced worldwide

How to Make Sparkling Wine?

The process to make sparkling wine is quite simple. To begin with, you must make wine by pressing grapes and adding yeast.

  • Step 1: To create champagne-type small bubbles, place the wine in permanent bottles, add yeast and sugar, and let the alcohol ferment a second time for at least 15 months. Place a permanent stopper in when it is done fermenting.
  • Step 3: To create prosecco-type large bubbles, place the wine in large, sealed stainless steel tanks with yeast and sugar, and let it ferment. Bottle the wine when this process is complete.

How to Store?

You should keep the following things in mind while storing sparkling wine.

  • Store the beverage in a dark, cool place, such as a cabinet or cellar, until a few days before you’re ready to drink it, which is when it can be transferred to the fridge.
  • Preferably, lay the bottle on its side in order to preserve the cork.
  • After opening, drink as soon as possible to take the advantage of the bubbles, which will dissipate over time.
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About the Author

John Staughton is a traveling writer, editor, publisher and photographer with English and Integrative Biology degrees from the University of Illinois in Champaign-Urbana (USA). He co-founded the literary journal, Sheriff Nottingham, and now serves as the Content Director for Stain’d Arts, a non-profit based in Denver, Colorado. On a perpetual journey towards the idea of home, he uses words to educate, inspire, uplift and evolve.

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