Everything You Need to Know About Sparkling Wine
Food & Wine's comprehensive guide to Champagne, Prosecco, Cava, and everything in between.
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.
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.
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.
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.