Everybody knows that sparkling wine is the perfect drink for a special occasion, but not everyone knows how to go about selecting the right bottle for said occasion!
So, with this in mind, we have put together this little guide for choosing a fun and zesty sparkling wine to invigorate the event, and not one that makes the guests question your party-throwing abilities:
A couple of tips for choosing your bottle:
- Look at the bubble size: Because the finer the bubbles the finer the beverage!
- Know your budget: For special occasions, you might find yourself spending a little more, so think around the $30 AUD mark for a starting point as this should get you a quality drop.
- Go for green: Dark green bottles protect the drink’s quality from the sun, so look for green (the darker the better) bottles when purchasing your beverage.
The different types
You will be well aware that there are different types of this lovely festive beverage, and here is a little info about each:
The crème de la crop of this worldly beverage, Champagne, is produced in the French region of the same name using grapes of the same name. The bottle is produced using traditional winemaking techniques that includes producing the drink in a bottle and not a barrel. Naturally, Champagne is the most expensive variety, given the quality of the grapes and difficulty to produce it. But the quality is good, and you can find plenty of it in a bottle of Champagne!
Cava is a variety produced in Spain and fermented in the bottle like its French cousin. However, Cava’s grapes are of a lower quality, but it is still a fantastic option, especially if you’re looking for a quality vino for a cheaper price than Champagne.
Prosecco is produced in Italy using the “Charmat” production method, which entails fermenting the liquid in a tank before bottling it. This method makes it the sweetest of the three European versions, as well as containing the roughest bubbles.
Sparkling wine can come from any country and doesn’t include the winemaking techniques of the above-three – it is simply an umbrella term to describe all fizzy drops!
Under the above-listed sparkling wines, there are distinctive classifications that add to the bottle’s quality:
This is the driest form available on the market. Its dryness is attributed to the bottle needing to contain less than six grams of sugar for every litre. This element means that the yeast added during fermentation has gobbled up most of the remaining sugar. Cava is an ultimate example of extra brut.
Brut is by far the most popular variety available on the market. It is very dry yet maintains a touch of sweetness and it comes with less than 12 grams of remaining sugar per litre. Champagne is the ultimate example of the brut variety.
The extra dry variety is, well, dry (obviously!) but unlike the first two classifications it comes with a remaining touch of sweetness due to the remaining sugar that comes with fermentation. Prosecco is the main example that falls under this classification.
Demi-sec is the sweetest variety and for these reasons you will always find it being enjoyed alongside a nice dessert. Obviously, it is quite sweet wine, especially as it can have up to 50 grams of remaining sugar in every litre. Champagne isn’t typically made in this variety, but you can occasionally find a bottle in your local liquor store or at a quality online retailer!