Wine labeled “Champagne” must be produced in the eastern part of France known as Champagne. Sparkling winemakers from this region have spent vineyards of money trying to protect and defend this designation. And, to a great deal, they have succeeded.
If it’s not Champagne but it has the bubbles, what else could it be ?
Sparkling wines can be produced in other regions! Depending on the country of origin, different designations may apply. In Spain, Cava is produced in the traditional champagne method, in which secondary fermentation (creating bubbles) takes place INSIDE the bottle. Conversely, Italian Prosecco is produced in larger volume (read, less expensive) and is bottled POST secondary fermentation.
Basic flavor profiles: Cava is often drier and less fruity than similarly priced Prosecco, which is usually softer and less tart. Champagne will tend to be richer and crisper than both.
Terminology (if you’re feeling fancy)
Brut Nature: Drier than the desert
Extra Brut: Bone Dry (note: Rosie accepts bribes in this category)
Extra Dry: Slightly fruitier than Brut
Demi Sec: Oh there’s some sugar here
Doux: Sweet (hummingbird feeder?)
Which sparkling wine is the best ? Whichever one you enjoy the most.
Jim & Barbara Moroney