Updated: Dec 28, 2020
This Sparkling Wine Guide gives you highlights for French Champagne, Spanish Cava, Italian Prosecco, and US Sparkling Wine.
Sparkling wine is known as a celebratory beverage and comes with many names. The most infamous is Champagne. As we approach the ultimate night for Champagne – New Year’s Eve of course – let’s find out more about these bubblies and decide which one (or two) is best to showcase at your party.
Types of Sparkling Wine and Its Regions
Sparkling wine is the overarching name for carbonated wine. You can find wineries around the world producing this celebratory wine style.
American Sparkling Wine
Called sparkling wine in the States, you will find some delicious bottles out of California, Oregon, and New York. I’ve even had some exceptional sparkling wine right here in Illinois (if you can believe it) from the Illinois Sparkling Company. Their sparkling was even used to christen the USS Illinois in 2015.
The matriarch of the sparklings is Champagne which hails from a region in Northern France that goes by the same name. There are strict rules governing what can be called Champagne and it can only come from this region.
Champagne is made with Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, and Pinot Meunier grapes. When called blanc de blanc (white of whites), this means it’s produced using 100% Chardonnay grapes (white grapes). When called blanc de noir (white from blacks), this means it uses the black (red) grapes of Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier but removes the skins right away in order to keep the juice white in color. Rosé Champagne is produced by leaving the wine juice on the skins of the black or red grapes for just long enough to give that nice pink or Rosé color.
Cava is a sparkling wine produced in Catalonia, Spain just west of Barcelona. Three local white grape varieties are used to make Spanish Cava: Macabeo, Xarel-lo, and Parellada. If you are looking for top-quality sparkling wine at a great value, then look no further. Cava will be your new go-to!
Prosecco is a sparkling wine produced in Northern Italy and made primarily with a white grape variety called Prosecco or also called Glera. This is a very popular sparkling wine in the US and you can find it at affordable prices.