With so many sparkling wines available it’s not surprising that there’s a lot of confusion about what, where, and who. If you're browsing the aisle and come apon a sparkling wine that’s not familiar, it’s probably one of these.
Italy – Produces its own Prosecco, which tends to be light, fruity, and a touch sweet, as well as Methodo Classico. Methodo Classico is a style that uses traditional Champagne methods and grapes. Another Italian sparkler is Moscato d’Asti, a slightly sweet, fruity and floral bubbly that is decidedly different from both Prosecco and Methodo Classico.
Spain – Cava is the sparkling wine of Spain. These can be great values, and while they use the Meethod Champenoise the grape varieties tend to be different. Traditionally made from the indigenous Macabeo, Parellada, and Xarel-lo varieties, Cava tends to be dry and fairly fruity.
Germany – Sekt is the traditional German sparkler. Generaly produced by using the bulk, or Charmat, method. These tend to rather simple sparklers, though the best, based on Riesling and Pinot Blanc are delicious.
Austria – Another source of Sekt, though in Austria the quality tends to be higher and the main grapes are Gruner Veltliner and Welschriesling. These are lovely, somewhat fruity wines produced in either a trocken (dry) or halbtrocken (off-dry) style.
USA – Domestic sparkling wine production has exploded over the past two decades. Almost all of these wines are produced using the Method Champenoise, mostly with traditional grape varieties. Nomenclature for sweetness on US bottles is the same as that found on Europen bottlings.
That’s it. That’s all you need to know so get out there and but some bubbly. Oh and enjoy yourself, it’s later than you think.
Happy New Year!