There’s nothing like a good bubbly to lift your spirits and make a celebration special. But what’s the difference between Champagne and sparkling wine? Are they the same? How are they produced? What are good foods to pair with sparkling wines?
What is Champagne?
When Champagne became famous around the world, the name became generic for all white wines with bubbles. However, those who made genuine Champagne objected to the use of the name and wanted exclusive ownership.
These days, Champagne refers to wine that is made with grapes grown in the Champagne region of France. Production must adhere to strict guidelines, including grape growing techniques, yield and méthode champenoise (see below), which involves a second fermentation in the bottle.
More information on méthode champenoise can be found here.
What is sparkling wine?
Unlike Champagne, sparkling wines are made all over the world using a variety of grapes and winemaking methods.
Many countries have their own versions of sparkling wines. Here are some of the more well-known, often made in specific regions of the countries:
- Champagne (France)
- Crémant (France)
- Cava (Spain)
- Espumante (Portugal)
- Sekt (Germany)
- Franciacorta (Italy)
- Prosecco (Italy)
- Lambrusco (Italy)
- MCC - Méthode Cap Classique (South Africa)
Other areas and countries where great sparkling wines originate include England, Argentina, Chile, California and of course Australia.
There are several ways sparkling wine can be produced. Here is a brief description of three of the more common methods.
Traditional method (méthode traditionnelle)
Méthode traditionnelle is another name for méthode champenoise mentioned above and is the method by which French Champagne and many sparkling wines are made.
Yeast and sugar are added to the blended wine, and then the bottle is capped and stored for its second fermentation – an important step that makes this method unique. The carbon dioxide trapped in the bottle creates the bubbles.
The next stage is known as ‘riddling’, which involves tipping and turning the bottle so that all the yeast remaining from the second fermentation slowly falls into the neck. This is followed by a step called ‘disgorging’. In this part of the process, the liquid is frozen at the neck of the bottle and the lees are removed.
Wine and sugar are added giving the sparkling wine its own unique flavour.
This method is similar to the traditional method. After the second fermentation and time on lees, the wine is removed from the bottle and transferred to a tank. It then undergoes filtration to remove the yeast before being bottled. Many Australian sparkling wines are produced using this method.
The method used at Edenvale is quite simple and has been adapted to suit wines made using the alcohol-removal process. To produce the sparkling wine, we first produce the premium wine, then remove the alcohol, using the same spinning cone method that we use with all our alcohol-removed wines.
Then we carbonate the alcohol-removed wine, producing refreshing, pure, sparkling wines that are table-ready.
Evolution of sparkling wine in Australia
There is no question that the quality of Australian sparkling wines has improved over the years. Australian sparkling wines now stand up among the best in the world.
How has this evolution occurred? You can read about it here, but here’s a brief rundown.
According to Wine Australia, the history of sparkling wine production in Australia dates back as far as the late nineteenth century, with winemakers experimented with their own varieties, including sparkling reds.
Sparkling wines however didn’t become popular in Australia until the 1950s. Winemakers around the country refined their techniques and as varieties and flavours improved, more winemakers jumped onboard to make their own versions.
With winemakers competing for market share, further developments in winegrowing and winemaking techniques were made which enhanced the quality of sparkling wines. This led to sparkling wines earning the respect of the world’s more discerning wine drinkers.
Today, Australian sparkling wines are quality wines that are ideal for summer entertaining and moments to celebrate. That includes alcohol-free varieties such as the range of Edenvale sparkling wines.
Award-winning sparkling wines
When it comes to alcohol-removed sparkling wines, you can’t go past Edenvale’s award-winning selection, all of them award winners. Edenvale wines are made by expert winemakers using grapes sourced from Australia’s finest vineyards.
The Edenvale range of sparkling wines includes:
- Sparkling Cuvee
- Sparkling Rosé
- Premium Reserve Blanc de Blanc
- Premium Reserve Sparkling Shiraz
- The Expedition Series Sparkling Cuvee
You can also enjoy Edenvale sparkling wines in convenient 250ml cans. Perfect for celebrating outdoors, Edenvale’s slim-line cans are easy to carry and easy to drink, packed with the refreshing taste of sparkling, flavour-filled bubbles but minus the alcohol. The Edenvale slim-line range includes:
Food matching for sparkling wines
Sparkling wines are ideal for summer celebrations, so they pair well with summer foods such as:
- Freshly cooked fish
- Hot or cold shellfish
- Smoked salmon
- Antipasto, including salami and stuffed mushrooms
- Shortbread biscuits
- Peanuts, chips and other salty snacks
Order sparkling wines today
Quality sparkling wines are made throughout the world and are ideal for summer celebrations. Fortunately for those wanting to enjoy sparkling wine but would prefer a version without alcohol, Edenvale has a high-quality range of alcohol-removed sparkling wines. You can order Edenvale wines for your summer celebrations via our online shop.