There are many different styles of sparkling wines around the World, from dry and complex Champagne to fragrant and sweet Moscatos. To make easy and accessible for you, at Cellars Wine Club, we've created this quick guideline to the grape varieties used to produce sparkling wines, enjoy!
Champagne is a sparkling wine produced in the region of Champagne, and it can only be made using Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, and Pinot Meunier grapes.
Pinot Noir: a thin-skinned red grape that contributes aromas of red fruits, such as strawberry, cassis, and raspberries, while adding structure and body. For some, it is the key to Champagne's elegance, as it adds backbone and softens the acidity. It is also responsible for the rose color of some Champagne blends.
Pinot Meunier: also, a red grape, which is the quickest to mature. It adds an elegant body, intense fruit character, and roundness in the palate.
Chardonnay: gives a delicate fragrance, with floral notes, typical citrus flavors, and a gentle mineral edge. It also brings freshness, a lean body, and vibrant acidity. As it is the longest-lived of the three varietals, it gives a Champagne the ability to age.
Prosecco is the Italian most famous sparkling wine. It's made in the North-East of Italy from Glera grape. This grape delivers fresh and young wines, with bright flowery and peachy aromatics.
Cava is the Spanish sparkling wine. It's usually made from a blend of Macabeu, Parellada, and Xarello, which are local grapes. This style of Spanish sparkling delivers freshness and great balance, quite similar to Champagne. Local producers also can add Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Garnacha, Monastrell and Subirat to their blends. When making Single varietal cavas, they tend to choose 100% Macabeo.
In Germany, sparkling wine is called Sekt, and it is typically made from Riesling. They are very aromatic, with noticeable floral aromas, apricot and even tropical fruit notes. Expect a fresh crisp acidity, light body and a wide range of styles from dry to sweet
Moscato d'Asti is the signature style that has given birth to the modern New World versions known as Moscato, as it made with Moscatel grapes. It is known to be naturally sweet, lightly fizzy, and with very expressive floral aromatics.
New World Sparkling Wines
Most of the New World use the classic Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, and Pinot Meunier to emulate the Champagne style. Some producers might choose to add some other varieties like Chenin Blanc as well.
Some other winemakers might take a more adventurous approach, like Ozzie producers, have their own take with Sparkling Shiraz. (yes! Sparkling reds). Believe it or not, it is a great local success in Australia since it goes excellent with backyard barbecues in a warm summer. The world of wine is not simple, and it is easy even for the most experienced experts to get confused about the different wines. From Champagne to Prosecco, including Cava, and New World Sparkling, at Cellars Wine Club, we've got you covered. Cheers!
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