What is the difference between Champagne and Sparkling Wine… a timeless question. While similarly looking and often used interchangeably, there is a big difference between Champagne and Sparkling Wine.
Champagne is from the Champagne region of France and must be made from specific grapes. Sparkling wine can come from any region and is typically made with a different set of grapes.
In this post, we’ll take a closer look at the differences between champagne and sparkling wine. We’ll also discuss what makes each one unique and how to choose the right one for your needs. Cheers!
What is the Difference Between Champagne and Sparkling Wine
All that glitters isn’t gold, and all that sparkles isn’t champagne. Strictly speaking, champagne comes from Champagne, in northern France.
“Champagne” that comes from elsewhere can be made from the same process, but purists will tell you that it’s not Champagne, just as “Bordeaux” from California isn’t true Bordeaux. If made outside Champagne, France, the wine can still be marketed as “champagne” — but, with a lower case “c.”
Champagne as we know it has been in commercial production since the eighteenth century. The grapes grown in the Champagne region give the wine its unique flavor.
The production process is perhaps the most distinctive feature of genuine Champagne. The wine is bottled prior to the completion of the fermentation process; subsequent fermentation inside the bottle produces additional carbon dioxide. True Champagne, then, gets bubblier during an organic post-bottling process.
It’s clear that champagne is a sparkling wine, but it has its own special category. Other wines can be made using the “méthode champenoise” too-but they’re not really worth calling Champagne if you ask me!
The Cava from Spain might just about qualify as an example of how things should work.
A good quality sparkler made in France with enough originality and character to make them stand out against other similar products on offer around Europe or even internationally for those willing drinkers who love exploring new flavors without being limited by traditions.
Other sparkling wines are made with alternative technology.
Wines can become sparkling via an injection of carbon dioxide as the wine is bottled. The injection method tends to create a wine with more fizz and pop than Champagne. It can shoot its stopper further, too.
The grapes are not grown in Champagne, France which creates a different production method. This often shades other sparkling wines to have an slightly metallic aftertaste and thinner texture than their more traditional counterparts.
The resulting taste is usually palpably lighter with less sugar content making it perfect for novice drinker’s who want something light yet still crisp enough on the palate without being watering down tasting fizzy soda pop.
Whites, Reds and Rose – The Varied Shades of Sparkling Wines
Both Champagne and sparkling wines begin life as, for the most part, white wines, although one can find bubbly reds and, more frequently, sparkling rose wines, too. Sparkling wines are distinguished from their flat ancestors by the altered fermentation process.
Most connoisseurs prefer Champagne to other sparkling wines, but many champagne-like sparkling wines can rival the genuine article in blind tests, and even good sparkling wine is highly affordable.
Our hope is that this has helped you better understand the difference between Champagne and Sparkling Wine.
Whether it be for a celebratory toast or to pair with your favorite dessert, we want our readers to have all of the information they need in order to make their own informed decision about which wine suits them best.
If there’s anything else you’re curious about, please feel free to reach out!