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Red Sparkling Wine

Learn about red sparkling wine — the range of styles, how it’s made and more …

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What are the different types of red sparkling wine?

Red sparkling wine comes from a handful of wine regions across the globe, but Italy produces the most types compared to other countries. While the sweet style of Lambrusco is best known globally, Lambrusco actually comes in many styles. From dry to not-so-dry, Lambrusco can be incredibly aromatic, concentrated, full of flavor and appear in a range of colors from deep purple to bright pink (to gold). Travelling slightly north from Lambrusco’s homeland of Emilia Romagna, the Piedmont region of Italy wins many hearts over with its slightly sweet, rose scented Brachetto d’Acqui from Asti. Piedmont and northern Italy are home to a plethora of rare and unique red sparkling wines, often made from the Barbera and Freisa grapes. West of here, on the Alpine border of France and Switzerland, the region of Savoie boasts its own version. This cheerful and charming red sparkling wine, often from the cru of Cerdon is, by law, composed of 100% Gamay or Gamay blended with a small amount of Poulsard. Portugal makes its own version from the Baga grape. Last but certainly not least, going half-way around the globe, brings us to Australia where sparkling Shiraz is a frequently consumed beverage, especially at brunch, barbecues and Christmastime.

How is red sparkling wine made?

Red sparkling wine is made using the same methods used to make clear and rosé sparkling wines, however in contrast with these regions, which often have to adhere to methods prescribed by law, red sparkling wine production methods are often the decision of the winemaker. Lambrusco can be made using the Martinotti or Charmat method (the carbonation process usually occurs in a stainless steel tank), the traditional method (like that used for Champagne) or even the methode ancestrale (a method that uses residual grape sugar for the second fermentation). Brachetto d’Acqui is typically made using the Charmat method while in Savoie the methode ancestrale is popular. Sparkling Shiraz is produced in any of the above ways.

What gives red sparkling wine its color and bubbles?

The color in red sparkling wine comes from the red pigments in the grape skins during the initial fermentation and maceration process. Bubbles in sparkling wine are formed when the base wine undergoes a secondary fermentation, which traps carbon dioxide inside the bottle or fermentation vessel.

How do you serve red sparkling wine?

For serving, cool red sparkling wine down to about 40F to 50F. (Most refrigerators are colder than this.) As for drinking red sparkling wine, the best glasses have a stem and flute or tulip shape to allow the bead (bubbles) to show.

How long does red sparkling wine last?

Most red sparkling wines are intended for early consumption. Once opened and stoppered with a Champagne stopper, the effervescence will usually last for a few days. If you are unsure, consult a wine professional for guidance.  

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  • Lini 910 Labrusca Lambrusco Rosso  Front Label
    Lini 910 Labrusca Lambrusco Rosso
    Red Sparkling Wine from Emilia-Romagna, Italy
    • V91
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    Currently Unavailable $16.99
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