NATIONAL WINE WEEK 2015
Simply put sparkling wine is a wine which has significant levels of carbon dioxide in it making it fizzy. The bubbles are created by natural fermentation, either in the bottle, as with the traditional method as used in making Champagne, or in a large tank as in the (Charmat process).
Sparkling wine is usually white or rosé but recently there are also examples of red sparkling wines such as French Bourgogne Moussex or Australian sparkling Shiraz.
The sweetness of sparkling wine is defined by the terms ‘brut’ – very dry ‘demi-sec’ – semi sweet and 'doux' sweet.
The classic and most famous example of a sparkling wine is Champagne, which can only be produced in the Champagne region of France from a blend of Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier varietals.
There are many sparkling wines produced in other regions, with the two most popular being; the famous Cava from Spain, mainly produced in the Penedès region of Catalan. Prosecco and Asti are Italian types of sparkling wine (the generic Italian term for sparkling wine being Spumante.
The French terms "Mousseux" or "Crémant" refer to sparkling wine not made in the Champagne region. German sparkling wines are called Sekt.
The US is also a significant producer of sparkling wine and the UK, which produced some of the earliest examples of sparkling wine, has now started producing award-winning sparkling wines again.
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