I love sparkling wines! They are a little intimidating for some people, so I wanted to sort it out for you. This way you will be comfortable buying and enjoying them too!

Here is a quick lesson on Sparkling wines~

Bottles labeled Champagne, Cava, Prosecco and Sparkling Wine are all sparkling wines. The major difference between them is where they are made.

Champagne 

Legally speaking, a bottle that is labeled “Champagne” has to come from the region in France called Champagne. Wine makers take this very seriously. Without getting into specific tasting notes for individual Champagnes, know that even though they all come from this area, the taste of each wine can change dramatically. For example, one Champagne may have a strong “aspirin like” taste (this is a common and often a desired taste in Champagnes); another brand of Champagne might not have this taste, at all. So, try a few different brands before you decide if you like it or not.

To get you started, here are a few popular brands that are easy to find no matter where you live.

Moet & Chandon
Perrier Jouet

Cava

Cava is a sparkling wine from Spain. It is limited to 8 specific regions, but let’s keep this simple to start. If you want to know more specifics on the regions there is an unlimited amount of information on good ol’ Google!

Not long ago Cava was allowed to be labeled Spanish Champagne, but that is technically illegal now. I find Cava to be a little lighter tasting, very enjoyable and easy to drink.

Here are a couple of popular Cava brands that you may recognize:

Freixenet
Segura Viudas

Prosecco

Prosecco is a sparkling wine that is made in Italy. I find it to generally have a slightly sweeter taste than other sparkling wines, but no less satisfying. Here are two common brands that are easy to find:

Il Prosecco (yes, it has a bottle cap on it)
Villa Sandi

Sparkling Wine

Sparkling wines pretty much originate from the other major wine producing countries: Canada, USA, Australia, South Africa, Germany etc. They vary greatly in taste. With so much variety why not take a tasting trip around the world to find a favourite!

Henkell Trocken
Henry of Pelham
Henry of Pelham
Domaine Chandon
Domaine Chandon

Honourable Mention goes to …

Moscato

Moscato is not technically a sparkling wine. Let’s call it effervescent. It has a very light bubble to it so it is great for those who love a little but not a lot of bubble.

It is also usually lower in alcohol content so it is perfect for a brunch or  a long day of sipping. It is sweet and fruity tasting. I mention it here because it has a slight bubble to it but also because it is super trendy right now. Wall Street Journal recently proclaimed that Moscato will be the world’s hottest wine in 2012, ‘like it was in 2011’… so I wanted to add it to this list. Here is one that I had the opportunity to taste recently and loved it.

Jacobs Creek
Jacobs Creek

Take the formality out of sparkling wine. Have it on a weeknight while making dinner! Keep some on hand for when friends drop by. It can be totally affordable so don’t be scared to pop a bottle. Even serve it in a wine glass… it is wine after all!!

Cheers!!

Here is a clip from the CityLine segment that I did on this… enjoy!

http://www.citytv.com/cityline

[wpvideo 2TMwAb96]

Shoana Jensen