The Bubbly Diaries: Champagne Vs. Sparkling Wine
Summer in Montreal. People come out of hibernation ready to party, looking good after spending months in the gym, ready to hit up a sunny terrace or a street festival. What could be better? Grand Prix weekend is the main event kicking off the summer season in Montreal. Celebrities from around the world will converge on our island for a weekend of drinking, partying, shopping and of course watching the F1 race.
This is the one weekend where Montreal becomes a jet set destination and the bubbles flow with abandon. Unfortunately while many of us have champagne tastes, some of us have tap water budgets. Champagne can cost anywhere between $45 to $1000+ a bottle. With that in mind, we’ve broken down the differences between champagne and sparkling wine to help you save money and become a bubbly expert. Drink away!
To make matters easy, the shortest answer we can give you is: it can only really be called Champagne if it’s comes from the region Champagne in France. Furthermore, the only grapes allowed to be used for Champagne are Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, and Pinot Meunier.
Champagne holds its fancy title due to the “Méthode Champenoise” used in order to make the best champagne yet. This process not only requires the use of the aforementioned grapes but they must also be hand picked and pressed in a covered environment. The grapes then go through a two-step fermentation process.
Sparkling wine, a.k.a. bubbly, can be made with the same ingredients (grapes) as Champagne or with a completely different blend. There are no regulations in this category!
Many sparkling wines follow the “Méthode Champenoise” while others might go for the cheaper option by creating tank wine, sparkling wine carbonated in vats instead of individual bottles.
Two of our favorite types of sparkling wines are:
Prosecco: Originally from Italy, this sparkling wine is made with Glera grapes as well as Bianchetta Trevigiana. They are typically known for being more dry with a little fruity aroma (perfect for mimosas!).
Cava: Originally from Spain, they are known for resembling Champagne the most in terms of taste! These are typically made from Macabeu grapes.
As you can see, we have different types of sparkling wines that resemble Champagne and can be less than half the price. We are not saying Champagne is out of the question, but we’ll keep that for fancier evenings or gifts. Not every bubbly needs to be a splurge.
Do you usually drink champagne or bubbly? Let us us know your faves in the comments!