With New Year’s Eve just a day away, you might be looking for a bottle of something bubbly to toast with at midnight. There are so many options out there, and it’s hard to go wrong, but if you want to know just what you’re getting, read on.
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Sparkling wine is a catchall term for effervescent wines made in regions outside of Champagne—from other parts of France to Italy to California and beyond.
Champagne is a sparkling wine from the Champagne region of France. The three primary grapes used to make Champagne are Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, and Pinot Meunier. This bubbly must be made in the Champagne region using the traditional method, or méthode traditionelle, in order to be called Champagne. For this method, after the primary fermentation, the wine is bottled with yeast and sugar for the second fermentation.
Pink Champagne CakeThis bubbly showstopper is the pride of the Madonna Inn in San Luis Obispo, California.
Crémant is sparkling wine that uses the same method as Champagne but comes from other regions in France, including Alsace and Burgundy. Each region has its own regulations, so these sparkling wines vary in style and grape variety.
Cava is bubbly that hails from Spain. The primary grapes used for making cava are Macabeo, Parellada, and Xarel-lo. Cava is made via the same method as Champagne and is similar-tasting but typically more affordable.
Cava SangriaSangria, a wildly popular fruit-and-wine punch from Spain and Portugal, is a perfect beverage to set the tone for good times in the sun.
Prosecco is a sparkler from Italy. This fruity wine is made from Glera grapes and uses the Charmat process, in which the second fermentation takes place in steel tanks before the wine is bottled.
Pétillant naturel (pét-nat) is natural sparkling wine that is bottled before fermentation is finished. Grapes vary. Pét-nats can be funky and cloudy. They are primarily from France, but natural wines are produced all over the world.
Grab a bottle of whatever sounds best to you, and have a very happy New Year!