Posted: Dec 30, 2017
Discover high quality sparkling wines by exploring 7 global regions plus Champagne, learn how to quickchill a bottle and get bubbly cocktail recipes.
Champagne is the most famous of the sparkling wines, but it certainly isn’t the only quality offering available. With entertaining at the forefront, consider this your guide to the high-end, the quirky and how to serve it all.
Sparkling Wines Around the World
Regions cooled by latitude, altitude or breezes are ideal sources for sparkling wine. Look for “traditional method,” “méthode traditionelle” or “metodo classico” on the label, and seek out the following regions:
Trentodoc—elegant, vibrant sparkling wine made from Chardonnay and Pinot Nero—comes from Alpine heights, in Trentino, Italy.
Italian Franciacorta, made predominantly from Chardonnay and Pinot Nero (a few producers also use some Pinot Bianco), is usually richer, which allows many producers to use less dosage or skip it entirely.
Spanish Cava, traditionally made from Xarello, Parellada and Macabeo grapes, has a round fruitiness.
Californian fizz is often made with Chardonnay and/or Pinot Noir, with Pinot Meunier sometimes in the mix. It’s marked by Pacific freshness and grace.
German or Austrian sekt is made from a range of grapes. Try Riesling sekt for added aroma, or Zweigelt rosé for fruity flavors.
English fizz, which uses the classic French trio of grapes (Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier), is an up-and-comer that impresses with its cool briskness.
Back in France, non-Champagne sparklers fermented in bottle are known as crémant. Both Loire and Alsace have lots to offer.
What Are Prestige Cuvées?
Prestige cuvées are top-of-the-range sparkling wines usually made from a special selection of vineyard parcels or reserve wines. Often produced in limited quantities, these stand above the nonvintage bottlings and alongside vintage releases. Sometimes, they’re vintage-dated or aged for an especially long time. Meant to represent the very best sparklers that a house can offer, they are ideal to mark a special occasion.
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