Sparkling wine is a wine with significant levels of carbon dioxide in it, making it fizzy. The carbon dioxide may result from natural fermentation, either in a bottle, as with the traditional method, in a large tank designed to withstand the pressures involved (as in the Charmat process), or as a result of carbon dioxide injection.
Sparkling wine is usually white or rosé but there are many examples of red sparkling wines such as Italian Brachetto, Australian sparkling Shiraz and Azerbaijani “Pearl of Azerbaijan” made from Madrasa grape. The sweetness of sparkling wine can range from very dry “brut” styles to sweeter “doux” varieties.
The classic example of a sparkling wine is Champagne, but this wine is exclusively produced in the Champagne region of France.
Australian sparkling white wine takes many cues from Champagne – like the famed French wine region, Australia also uses the prescribed grapes of Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and to a lesser extent, Pinot Meunier to blend in their winemaking. It’s also true that early forays by Champagne companies into Australian wine regions have resulted in some of Australia’s best known sparkling wine brands – if it wasn’t for Moet & Chandon coming to the Yarra Valley, for example, there would have been none of Chandon’s smart range of wines for us to enjoy here.
Sparkling wine very well might be the wine world’s best answer to summer heat. First of all, both the wine’s temperature and the bubbles themselves make it a refreshing, cooling beverage, and one that restaurant guests will down a lot more quickly than a big Cabernet when temperatures rise. Additionally, sparkling wines are high in acidity, which suits them perfectly to a number of summer foods: ham, salads, chilled soups, seafood…all take well to a crisp bubbly.
Cava and Prosecco both have their own identity, lighter and fresher, if less complex, than Champagne, and well-suited to summer. Prosecco has become a popular sparkling wine and will be the bubbles of choice in Australia this summer.
Sparkling wine is made all over the world. What’s more, these sparkling wines can be delicious and are typically much more affordable. Some easy-to-find Sparkling wines is Australia are :
- Paul Louis Sparkling
- G H Mumm Brut Non Vintage
- Moet & Chandon Brut Imperial
- Clover Hill Vintage Sparkling
- Pierre De Chanvigne French Sparkling
- 42 Degrees South Sparkling
- Bollinger Special Cuvee
- Adami Prosecco
- Pizzini Prosecco
- Bellussi Prosecco
- Taltarni Cuvee Rosé NV Sparkling
- And, many more
Adding Champagne to the menu is the fastest way to elevate any occasion. Champagne, and sparkling wine cocktails use fresh fruit, juice, and bitters for tasty combinations that are guaranteed to impress guests.
Sparkling Ginger-Orange Cocktail Recipe
- 1 tablespoon finely grated ginger
- 2 x (750ml) bottles sparkling wine, chilled
- 1 x (89 oz approximately) orange juice
- 1 x (46 oz approximately) pineapple juice, chilled.
Place ginger in a piece of muslin and squeeze juice from ginger into a drink dispenser, discard muslin and ginger. Stir sparkling wine, orange juice, and pineapple juice into ginger juice. Serve over ice.