Sparkling Wine 101: All the Bubbly Facts You Want To Know
Who doesn’t like the idea of popping a bottle of sparkling wine and enjoying a bubbly glass in celebration of a successful project or just enjoying a fun night out with friends? There’s just something about sparkling wine that can instantly make things more special.
But where exactly do the bubbles come from, and how is sparkling wine different from Champagne? In this post, Quello answers some of the most commonly asked questions about sparkling wine that you want to be answered:
FAQs About Sparkling Wine
What Is It and How Is It Made?
You’re probably curious about how sparkling wine is made because it’s so unique. Well, there’s a simple answer to that. It’s because it undergoes a second round of fermentation. The first round of fermentation gives you a table wine or base wine. You then add sugar and yeast. At this point, the alcohol content increases by 1.5%, and the carbon dioxide is trapped in the sealed container, and that’s where the bubbles come in.
What Makes It Bubbly?
It’s the second fermentation process that creates the bubbles as a byproduct. There are, however, several different ways to produce those bubbles based on the quality of the wine and the style of making it.
What Are the Different Styles or Methods of Making Sparkling Wine?
There are three different methods used in making sparkling wine:
- Traditional Method
- Transfer Method
- Tank Method
Also known as Methode Champenoise, this method is used in Cava, Champagne, Franciacorta, some New World sparkling, and some Prosecco.
For this method, the second fermentation happens in a bottle to get a higher yeast to liquid ratio. After that second fermentation is done, dead yeast cells called “lees” release chemical compounds. Extended contact with lees helps the wine maintain its freshness and produce more flavors.
This is similar to the traditional method as it also takes place in a bottle. The difference is that after the second fermentation is completed, the wine is then disgorged into a new tank to remove the lees before getting rebottled. Sparkling wine made through this method often has the label “Bottle-fermented.”
As you can tell from the name, the Tank Method happens in a tank instead of a bottle. This change means there’s less yeast contact, which means there are low autolytic influences. This method is commonly used for fruity styles of wine like Prosecco, Sekt, and other variety-driven types of sparkling wine. This method produces wine faster, and the wine created this way usually costs lower.
How Is Champagne Different from Sparkling Wine?
Authentic Champagne is made in Champagne from start to finish. That means the grapes used are grown and fermented in the Champagne region of France, where the final product is also bottled. Champagne is always created using a traditional method. The European law states that a wine must be bottled within a hundred miles of Champagne, France, to be legally labeled Champagne. The same rule applies to other wines like Bordeaux, Chablis, and Burgundy.
What Are All Those Terms on the Label?
Aside from the region where the wine was made, sparkling wine can also be classified based on sweetness. Brut Nature, Brut Non-Dose, or Brut Zero means the sparkling wine is completely dry without any residual sugar. Extra Brut means it’s very dry, and Brut means dry. Extra dry, on the other hand, implies off-dry. On the sweetness level, Secco or Dry means it’s light or moderately sweet, Demi-Sec is sweet, and Dolce or Doux is straight out sweet.
Hopefully, this quick guide answers some of the questions you have in mind about sparkling wine. Mind, this is just scratching the surface because truly understanding wines would take months or even years of learning. What doesn’t take that long is enjoying wine!
When you simply want to enjoy Italian semi-sparkling wine anywhere you are without the fuzz and with all the bubbles, Quello is your best choice. Quello is a naturally fermented semi-sparkling Italian white wine in a can that can be enjoyed anytime and anywhere. Give it a try today!