Everything You Need to Know About Sparkling Wine

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By Ray Isle Posted November 18, 2016

Food & Wine's comprehensive guide to Champagne, Prosecco, Cava, and everything in between.

Champagne

With flavors shading from citrus fruit to 
ripe pear, this elegant wine—against which 
all other sparkling wines are judged—comes 
only from the French region of the same name. It’s made with varying percentages 
of Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier. 


Prosecco

Fruitier and simpler than Champagne, this peachy northern 
Italian sparkler (made mainly from the 
Glera grape) offsets what it lacks in complexity with cheery, all-purpose approachability. 


Cava

The classic sparkling wine of Spain is made by the same method as Champagne, but uses native Spanish varieties. It typically has hints 
of green apple and lime, with earthy notes.


California Sparkling Wine

Most California sparkling winemakers stick to Champagne’s classic trio of Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier. Expect a richer, riper style, though, thanks to the state’s balmy climate.


Pét-Nat

Low in alcohol, often hazy and funky, pét-nat (a.k.a. pétillant naturel) is an acquired taste, 
but it’s gaining more 
fans every year. This might be your moment 
to give it a try.


And the rest...


Sparkling wine is made throughout the world. Crémant from Alsace, German Sekt, Italy’s Franciacorta, even vivid purple sparkling Shiraz from Australia—find your favorite today.

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