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Guide to Sparkling Wine

Beginners Guide to Sparkling Wine

All the basics you need to know

Are all your friends wine enthusiasts? Or do you want to be more confident in talking about Sparkling Wine? We have a beginners guide here for you.

Nothing beats a glass of bubbly to celebrate an event, milestone, or even a an everyday occasion. The sight of tall, thin flutes filled with fizz and finesse have always managed to spark excitement and cheer. Now next time you pop the bubbly you can show off your knowledge with these simple facts.

Wine Folly explains that ‘Sparkling wine is (arguably) the most technical wine in the world. What makes the stuff so technical is that it undergoes not just one fermentation (to make the alcohol) but a second fermentation to make bubbles! Throughout the entire wine making process, the winemaker has a lot of choices to make that will greatly affect the way the final wine tastes. And this is how we’ve come to discover sparkling wine’s many styles.’

What Grapes are in Sparking Wine?

The finest Sparkling wine is only made from three varieties; Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier. If you find a sparkling wine called Blanc de Blanc, this means it is made with all white grapes e.g. Chardonnay.

Using these varieties, sparkling wine can be white, red or rose.

What’s the Difference Between Champagne and Sparkling Wine?

Champagne comes exclusively from the Champagne region of France and is the most famous of the sparkling wines. Technically, it is the only sparkling wine that may be accurately referred to as “Champagne.” Bubbly from all other regions in the world are referred to as “Sparkling Wine”.

Where Do the Bubbles Come From in Sparkling Wines?

The bubbles of sparkling wines are formed during a second fermentation process. For the second fermentation, the winemaker takes still wine and adds a few grams of sugar and a few grams of yeast. This yeast and sugar convert to carbon dioxide (bubbles) and, of course, alcohol.

How Are Sparkling Wines Classified?

  • Extra Brut (pronounced broot) – is “extra” dry
  • Brut – dry (most popular style and very food-friendly)
  • Extra Dry – middle of the road dry, not as dry as Brut (great as an aperitif)
  • Demi-sec – pretty sweet (pair with fruit and dessert)

Vintage and Non Vintage

Champagne and sparkling wines are categorised as “vintage” or “non-vintage” (NV on the label) meaning they either come from a single year or are a blend of several different years.

Yarra Burn Wines

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