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Sparkling Wine & Champagne

Learn about sparkling wine & Champagne — the range of styles, how it’s made and more ...

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What are the different types of sparkling wine and Champagne?

Beloved for its lively bubbles, sparkling wine is the ultimate beverage for any festivity, whether it's a major celebration or a mere merrymaking of nothing much! Sparkling wine is made throughout the winemaking world, but only can be called “Champagne” if it comes from the Champagne region of France and is made using what is referred to as the "traditional method." Other regions have their own specialties—Crémant in other parts of France, Cava in Spain and Prosecco in Italy, to name a few. New World regions like California, Australia and New Zealand enjoy the freedom to make many styles of sparkling wine, with production methods and traditions defined locally. In a dry style, Champagne and sparkling wine goes with just about any type of food. Sweet styles are not uncommon and among both dry and sweet, you'll find white, rosé—or even red!—examples.

How is sparkling wine and Champagne made?

Champagne, Crémant, Cava and many other sparkling wines of the world are made using the traditional method, in which the second fermentation (the one that makes the bubbles) takes place inside the bottle. With this method, spent yeast cells remain in contact with the wine during bottle aging, giving it a creamy mouthful, toasted bread or brioche qualities and in many cases, the capacity to age. For Prosecco, the carbonation process usually occurs in a stainless steel tank (before bottling) to preserve the fresh fruity and floral aromas imminent in this style.

What gives sparkling wine and Champagne its bubbles?

The 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 sparkling wine and Champagne?

Ideally for storing sparkling wine and Champagne in any long-term sense, they should be at cellar temperature, about 55F. For serving, cool sparkling wine and Champagne down to about 40F to 50F. (Most refrigerators are colder than this.) As for drinking it, the best glasses have a stem and flute or tulip shape to allow the bead (bubbles) to show.

How long does sparkling wine and Champagne last?

Most sparkling wines like Prosecco, Cava or others around the “$20 and under” price point are intended for early consumption. Sparkling wines made using the traditional method with extended cellar time before release can typically improve with age. If you are unsure, definitely consult a wine professional for guidance.

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  • Schramsberg Reserve Brut 2011  Front Label
    Schramsberg Reserve Brut 2011
    Vintage Sparkling Wine from North Coast, California
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  • Louis Roederer Blanc de Blancs with Gift Box 2011  Front Bottle Shot
    Louis Roederer Blanc de Blancs with Gift Box 2011
    Vintage Sparkling Wine from Champagne, France
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    • J. Lassalle Brut Premier Cru Cuvee Angeline 2011  Front Label
      J. Lassalle Brut Premier Cru Cuvee Angeline 2011
      Vintage Sparkling Wine from Champagne, France
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      • Caves Roger Goulart Gran Reserva Cava 2011  Front Label
        Caves Roger Goulart Gran Reserva Cava 2011
        Vintage Sparkling Wine from Cava, Spain
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      • Ferrari Perle 2011  Front Label
        Ferrari Perle 2011
        Vintage Sparkling Wine from Trentino, Trentino-Alto Adige, Italy
        • RP94
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      • Louis Roederer Brut Rose 2011 Front Label
        Louis Roederer Brut Rose 2011
        Rosé Sparkling Wine from Champagne, France
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        4.5 8 Ratings
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      • Avinyo Cava Reserva Brut Nature 2011 Front Label
        Avinyo Cava Reserva Brut Nature 2011
        Vintage Sparkling Wine from Cava, Spain
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        • Contratto Millesimato Extra Brut 2011 Front Label
          Contratto Millesimato Extra Brut 2011
          Vintage Sparkling Wine from Piedmont, Italy
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        • Ben Haines B Minor Blanc de Blanc 2011 Front Label
          Ben Haines B Minor Blanc de Blanc 2011
          Vintage Sparkling Wine from Victoria, Australia
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          • Gramona La Cuvee Cava 2011 Front Label
            Gramona La Cuvee Cava 2011
            Vintage Sparkling Wine from Cava, Spain
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            • Iron Horse Wedding Cuvee 2011 Front Label
              Iron Horse Wedding Cuvee 2011
              Vintage Sparkling Wine from Green Valley, Russian River, Sonoma County, California
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            • Domaine Carneros Brut 2011 Front Label
              Domaine Carneros Brut 2011
              Vintage Sparkling Wine from Carneros, California
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              • Argyle Brut 2011 Front Label
                Argyle Brut 2011
                Vintage Sparkling Wine from Willamette Valley, Oregon
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              • Juve Y Camps Cava Gran Reserva Brut 2011 Front Label
                Juve Y Camps Cava Gran Reserva Brut 2011
                Vintage Sparkling Wine from Cava, Spain
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              • Juve Y Camps Reserva de la Familia Cava Brut Nature 2011 Front Label
                Juve Y Camps Reserva de la Familia Cava Brut Nature 2011
                Vintage Sparkling Wine from Cava, Spain
                • D92
                • W&S90
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              • Louis Roederer Brut Rose with Gift Box 2011 Front Label
                Louis Roederer Brut Rose with Gift Box 2011
                Rosé Sparkling Wine from Champagne, France
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              • Delmas Cuvee Memoire 2011 Front Label
                Delmas Cuvee Memoire 2011
                Vintage Sparkling Wine from Limoux, Languedoc, South of France, France
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                • Domaine Pichot Brut 2011 Front Label
                  Domaine Pichot Brut 2011
                  Vintage Sparkling Wine from Loire, France
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                  • Vins el Cep MIM Reserva 2011 Front Label
                    Vins el Cep MIM Reserva 2011
                    Vintage Sparkling Wine from Penedes, Spain
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                    • Philipponnat Clos des Goisses 2011  Front Label
                      Philipponnat Clos des Goisses 2011
                      Vintage Sparkling Wine from Champagne, France
                      • D96
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                    • Schug Rouge de Noirs Brut 2011 Front Label
                      Schug Rouge de Noirs Brut 2011
                      Vintage Sparkling Wine from Carneros, California
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                      • Mont-Marcal Cava Brut Reserva 2011 Front Label
                        Mont-Marcal Cava Brut Reserva 2011
                        Vintage Sparkling Wine from Spain
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                        • Perrier-Jouet Belle Epoque With Glassware Set 2011 Gift Product Image
                          Perrier-Jouet Belle Epoque With Glassware Set 2011
                          Vintage Sparkling Wine from Champagne, France
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                        • Bodegas Muga Cava Conde de Haro 2011 Front Label
                          Bodegas Muga Cava Conde de Haro 2011
                          Vintage Sparkling Wine from Rioja, Spain
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                          • Schramsberg Brut Rose 2011 Front Label
                            Schramsberg Brut Rose 2011
                            Rosé Sparkling Wine from North Coast, California
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