Sparkling wines are produced all over the world and are synonymous with celebration, festivities and enjoying the good life. They're great enjoyed on their own as an aperitif or paired with everything from oysters, lobster and creamy cheeses to spicy Asian dishes and salads. The most famous way of making sparkling wine is the traditional method which is used for Champagne, Cava, and Cremant. For this process the secondary fermentation takes place inside the bottle to create the bubbles. Prosecco is made using the Charmat method with secondary fermentation happening inside a large sealed tank.
Key Sparkling Wine Regions
Champagne in northern France is the best known region for sparkling wines. Close second are the Veneto and Fruili-Venezia Giulia regions of northern Italy which are the homeland of Prosecco. Spain's most famous sparkling wine is Cava which is predominantly made in the small region of Penedes in Catalunya. Other important sparkling wine regions include France's Loire Valley which is known for its Cremant as well as parts of California, Australia and New Zealand.
Sparkling Wine Grape Varieties
The most famous sparkling wine is Champagne which is typically made from the Chardonnay, Pinot Noir or Pinot Meunier grapes. Prosecco is made from Italy's native Glera grape, while Cava is traditionally made from the local Xarello, Parellada and Macabeo grapes. There are also sparkling rosé wines and sparkling red wines which are made using black grape varieties. For example, in Australia the Shiraz grape is used to make powerful sparkling red wines and in Cabernet Franc and Grenache are often used to make sparkling rosé wines in France.