Whenever we want to celebrate, we tend to think of a bottle of Fizz… but what fizz? that is the question. I have put together a brief note on various bottles of Sparkling wines that will help you celebrate.
CHAMPAGNE – This is a region of France and only wine made in this small region, made to strict regulations and of specific grapes can be legally called Champagne. Prices range from £15.00 to £125,000.00 (Yes that is what someone paid recently!) and everything in between.
CREMANT – Another French Sparkling wine, with stringent regulations as to the making of the wine, but not limited to one specific region of France. (in fact 7 regions, and one in Luxembourg) The wine is made in the Champagne Method but with many different grape varieties so the taste is quite different, as is the price tag. Spending £15.00 on a bottle of Cremant could be far better value and a more interesting taste than a very cheap bottle of Champagne in my opinion.
PROSECCO – This is a grape and a region (Confusing I know) the style of Prosecco ranges from very sweet to bone dry and can be slightly sparkling or beautifully fizzy… (I repeat -confusing) Prices range from £5.00 to £50.00 Personally I feel that about £12 to £15 will get you a wonderful, fresh, joyous Prosecco.
ASTI – This is a slightly sweet sparkling wine made in Piedmont and is often much lower in alcohol, (about 8%) A Moscato d’Asti is more of a frizzante (Lighter fizz) and usually much sweeter. (Try it with a bit of fruit cake… lovely!)
FRANCIACORTA – A region in Northern Italy (Lombardy), the sparkling wines from this area are less famous than some of the other wines of Italy but they can be wonderful. Made to strict regulations in the Method Traditional this is a wonderful alternative to Champagne. With prices ranging from £20.00 to £200.00
LAMBRUSCO – (Don’t Laugh!) with prices starting at £3.00 a bottle this wine has a strange reputation. HOWEVER – there are some wonderful wines from this region of Emilia. They also make sparkling red wines that are full bodied, full flavoured and fizzy! The reds start at about £10.00 a bottle, go on give it a go, you will be surprised. (Pleasantly I hope.)
ESPUMANTE – This is the name given to Portuguese sparkling wine. It is produced throughout Portugal, however the quality assured wines must come from Northern Portugal. (Bairrada) and comply with stringent regulations. These are stamped VEQPRD. The cheapest sparkling wines from this country are injected with CO2 to give them the Fizz. Prices range from £8.00 to £80.00
CAVA – This is the name that springs to mind when thinking of Spanish Fizz. It is produced throughout Spain and is made in the traditional method and with prices ranging from £6.00 it is a good everyday fizz. This wine also comes in various styles, which I will touch on later.
Oh yes… We are now producing about 2 Million bottles of Fizz in England each year. Try some… you will be very pleasantly surprised.
Rest of the World
America, South Africa, Germany, Romania, Hungry, The Soviet Union,Austria, Canada, Australia and others all make sparkling wines either by the Method Traditional, or Charmat or by injecting CO2 into the wines.
SWEET OR DRY???
Sweet – Doux – Dolce – Doce
Medium Sweet – Moelleux – Amabile – Meio Doce -Semidulce
Medium Dry – Demisec – Abboccato – Adamado/Meio Seco – Semiseco
Dry – Sec – Secco/Asciutto – Seco
Whatever you try – have fun with your Celebrations.
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Alex the Wine Lady
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