The 3 most popular types of sparkling wine
Sparkling wine has increased in popularity in recent years, with most UK bars and clubs now serving a variety of types. Here are three of the most common types of sparkling wine you can expect to see in your local.
Prosecco gets its name from the Italian village of Prosecco, which is near Trieste. It comes in three forms, not just the sparkling variety most people are aware of. Prosecco is made from Glera grapes and is produced as: spumante (sparkling wine), frizzante (semi-sparkling wine) or tranquillo (still wine). In 2015, approximately 450 million bottles of prosecco were produced, with the UK being the largest export market for the wine.
Prosecco tends to be on the sweeter side and as a result pairs nicely with aperitif foods such as cured meats or Asian dishes, including sushi and Thai noodles.
Cava is a sparkling wine from Spain and is mostly produced in Catalonia. The word Cava derives from cellar or cave, a throwback to the traditional method of preserving the wine. Cava is predominately made from Spanish grapes, but can also incorporate other varieties including chardonnay grapes from France. Rose cava is produced from small quantities of still red wines being added to the process. Cava is cheaper than champagne and works nicely with fish and seafood dishes, and refreshes heavier items such as pasta and rice on the palate.
Champagne is the best known of all sparkling wines, produced from grapes grown in the Champagne region of France. The wine follows a very specific production method and is made from pinot noir, pinot meunier and chardonnay grapes. In France, the creation of Champagne actually came about by accident and it was known as devil’s wine due to the corks popping out of the bottles from the gases trapped inside. Due to the costly and lengthy production method required to produce champagne, the wine is often set at a higher price point than other sparkling wines and has generated an impression of expense and luxury as a result.
Champagne often has a toasty or biscuity taste due to the length of time it is aged on yeast particles. The wine is highly acidic and intensely dry, which means it complements pickled vegetables and crispy or fried appetisers extremely well.
All three varieties of sparkling wine are best served chilled and enjoyed in a thin, ideally fluted glass.