What is sparkling wine? | A journey through the sparkling world from champagne to sparkling wine


Sparkling wines: A journey through the sparkling world from champagne to sparkling wine

Sparkling wines are one of the most fascinating and festive variations of the noble grape juice . In Germany , one of the largest sparkling wine markets in the world, no celebration would be complete without them. But the world of sparkling wines is much more than champagne and sparkling wine .

In this detailed article, we will take you on an enjoyable journey through the sparkling world of sparkling wines and provide you with a comprehensive overview of different varieties that you may have never heard of.

History of sparkling wine production

The origins of sparkling wine are shrouded in legends and myths . One of the most famous stories tells of a monk named Dom Perignon , who produced white wine in Champagne in the 17th century . One cold year, he decided to bottle the wine earlier than usual, believing that fermentation was already complete.

But nature played a trick : the yeast had not yet completely converted the sugar into alcohol. When the bottles became warmer in the spring , fermentation started again and carbonated the wine - champagne was born .

Whether or not the Dom Perignon story happened exactly like that, it illustrates the process of secondary fermentation that is characteristic of sparkling wines. This secondary fermentation, also known as bottle fermentation , produces the natural carbon dioxide that gives sparkling wines their finely effervescent quality.

This complex and traditional production process , known as Méthode Champenoise or Méthode Traditionnelle , makes sparkling wines one of the most expensive types of wine in the world.

A world full of diversity

Champagne is undoubtedly the most famous region for sparkling wines, and only wines from this region can call themselves " Champagne ". However, there are other high-quality sparkling wines from France, such as Crémant from Alsace and the Loire. Germany prides itself on its Sekt , and Italy is known for its Prosecco . Spain produces Cava , and Portugal offers Vinho Espumante .


The epitome of luxury and elegance , champagne is distinguished by its unique production method and exceptional taste . Often enjoyed on special occasions, it offers a wide range of aromas , from dry and mineral to fruity and floral .


Crémants from France are a cheaper alternative to champagne. They are produced in various regions, including Crémant d'Alsace, Crémant de Loire and Crémant de Bourgogne. These sparkling wines offer an amazing variety and are known for their fresh and elegant character.

sparkling wine

In Germany, sparkling wine is the epitome of festivity. Made from a variety of grape varieties , including Riesling and Pinot Noir , the variety of German sparkling wines ranges from dry to sweet. They are an excellent choice for festive occasions and are often served at weddings and anniversaries .


This Italian sparkling wine has taken the world by storm. Made from the Glera grape , it is known for its fresh and fruity taste. Prosecco comes in a variety of styles, from dry to sweet, and is often enjoyed as an aperitif .


Spain is known for its delicious Cavas , produced in the Penedès region near Barcelona . Made from the Parellada , Xarel -lo and Macabeo grape varieties, Cava offers great value for money . It ranges from dry to sweet and is an excellent choice for celebrations and social gatherings.

Espumante Wine

In Portugal, sparkling wines are called Vinho Espumante. Although they are less well known abroad , there are some outstanding examples, such as the Raposeira brand from Lamego. Vinho Espumante can range from dry to sweet and is worth discovering.

    The art of sparkling wine production

    The production of sparkling wine is an artful craft that involves various methods and steps . The traditional process of bottle fermentation, already developed by Dom Perignon, remains the most prestigious method.

    • Classic bottle fermentation: This method, also known as Méthode Champenoise or Méthode Traditionnelle, is the most laborious and expensive way of producing sparkling wine. The wine is first vinified into dry white wine and then bottled for a second fermentation . After a long aging on the lees, the lees are removed , the wine is topped up with a dosage , and the final sparkling wine is created.

    • Tank fermentation: This method, also known as Méthode Charmat or Metodo Italiano, differs from the classic bottle fermentation. Here, the second fermentation does not take place in bottles, but in large tanks . This results in fresher and fruitier sparkling wines that are generally consumed more quickly.

    • Transvasing method: Similar to classic bottle fermentation, but without the riddling and disgorging . The bottles are emptied into a tank, filtered and refilled into bottles . This method is often used for large format bottles .

    • Carbonation: This method, also known as impregnation , is often used for simple sparkling wines. Here, carbon dioxide is added to the still wine under pressure to create the desired perlage.

    Dry or sweet: the variety of flavours

    Sparkling wines come in a wide range of flavors , from bone dry to sweet . Most labels use French terms to indicate the residual sugar content :

    • Brut Nature or Naturherb: (0 to 3 g residual sugar per litre) This sparkling wine does not contain any dosage, i.e. the addition of sugar and wine, and is the driest variant.

    • Extra Brut or Extraherb: (0 to 6 g residual sugar per liter) This sparkling wine also has a very low dosage and is extremely dry.

    • Brut or Herb: (0 to 12 g residual sugar per liter) The most popular category, which is still dry but may have a hint of sweetness.

    • Extra Dry or Extradry: (12 to 17 g residual sugar per liter) This sparkling wine is still dry, but with a stronger impression of sweetness.

    • Dry: (17 to 32 g residual sugar per liter) Here the sugar is clearly noticeable and can be slightly misleading.

    • Medium-dry or semi-dry: (32 to 50 g residual sugar per liter) These sparkling wines already have a noticeable sweetness and are often served with desserts.

    • Doux or Sweet: (over 50 g residual sugar per litre) Sparkling wines in this category are already dessert wines.

    CALOW: The modern alternative to traditional sparkling wines

    While traditional sparkling wines undoubtedly have their place in the world of enjoyment, there are also modern alternatives that deserve your attention. CALOW is an up-and-coming drinks company that offers canned wine spritzers in a variety of flavors .

    CALOW is characterized by its low alcohol content of only 4% and its lower sugar content . This makes Calow an excellent choice for those looking for a lighter and less sweet sparkling wine. Calow is also more calorie-conscious and offers a modern alternative for people who want to consciously control their enjoyment.

    FAQ - Frequently asked questions about sparkling wines

    What is the best way to store sparkling wine?

    Sparkling wine should be stored lying down in a cool , dark place. The ideal storage temperature is between 10 and 15 degrees Celsius. Avoid strong temperature fluctuations and shocks that can affect the wine.

    How do you properly open a bottle of sparkling wine?

    To open a bottle of sparkling wine, carefully remove the foil and detach the wire basket . Hold the bottle at a 45 degree angle and slowly and carefully twist the cork out , holding the cork lightly against the pressure of the carbon dioxide.

    Which glasses are best for sparkling wine?

    Flutes or tulip glasses are generally recommended for sparkling wines. These shapes help to promote bubble formation and concentrate the aromas.

    How long does opened sparkling wine last?

    Opened sparkling wine should be drunk within 1-3 days to preserve the best flavor and bubbles , but you can use special stoppers to maintain pressure and keep the wine longer.

    Conclusion: The world of sparkling wines is rich and diverse

    Sparkling wines are a delight for the senses and offer a variety of flavours and styles to suit every occasion. From Champagne to modern alternatives such as Calow, there is a sparkling wine to suit every taste and preference.

    Whether you want to treat yourself to something special for a special occasion or are simply looking for a refreshing drink for everyday life, the world of sparkling wines has something to offer everyone. Immerse yourself in the sparkling world of sparkling wines and let yourself be enchanted by their variety and elegance.

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