Champagne, Prosecco, Cava- what’s the difference?

During the holiday season nothing beats a glass of bubbly.  However, not all bubbly is created equal; some make an excellent choice for mimosa’s, some are perfect for meals while others should be enjoyed on their own.  Below are 3 different styles of bubbly and some recommended options.  All recommended wines are available in the shop!

Champagne

Champagne can only be called Champagne if the grapes are grown and the wine is made in Champagne, France.  These wines fetch high prices and all vineyards and wineries must follow strict laws.  The wine undergoes a process called secondary fermentation in the bottle (also known as the “Traditional Method”) which gives the wine it’s biscuity or brioche flavors.  The chalky, limestone soil also contributes to the wines famous minerality that can’t be duplicated anywhere else in the world.  Champagne is usually comprised of Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, and Pinot Meunier.  A Blanc de Blanc is a Champagne made of only white grapes (Chardonnay and Pinot Blanc) and a Blanc de Noirs is a Champagne made of black grapes (Pinot Noir or Pinot Meunier.)  Since you’ll pay for quality Champagne, I suggest enjoying it on it’s own or with someone special.

Recommended Champagnes: NV Lallier Reserve Grand Cru $58.98, NV Charles Ellner Carte Blanche $42.98, NV Pierre Gerbais Grains de Celles $50.98 img_3717

Prosecco

Prosecco is a sparkling wine from Italy and the grape used is called Glera.  It undergoes fermentation in tank rather than in a bottle like Champagne.  This lets the wines fruity characteristics shine through and also helps keep the cost down.  Prosecco makes an excellent choice for brunch since the fruitier flavors merry well with dishes like eggs or bacon.  It’s also a great option for Mimosa’s since the juice and the wine pair nicely.  You can find high quality Prosecco for less than $30 in our shop.

Recommended Proseccos: NV Adami Prosecco Dry Col Credas 1.5 liter $50.98, NV Corte delle Calli Prosecco $13.98, NV De Faveri Valdobiadenne $19.98img_3712

Cava

The famous Sparkler from Spain, Cava translates to “cave” or “cellar” in Spanish.  Cava undergoes secondary fermentation in bottle but is a less expensive option than Champagne.  In Spain it’s an “everyman’s drink” and poured like water.   Cava is the only DO in Spain where the region is in multiple locations however, most of it comes from Cataluyna.  The wine is made with Macabeu, Xarel-lo and Parellada grapes and is usually dry in style with lemon, earth, and sometimes mushroom characteristics.  Rosé’s are made too in less amounts primarily of Garnacha and Pinot Noir.  Cava is an excellent choice to be served at dinner parties or other celebrations.  The price is right and you can’t beat the flavor!

Recommended Cava: NV Cune Cava Brut $12.98,  NV Mestres Cava 1312 Reserva Brut $16.98, NV Vega Medien Cava Brut $8.98img_3719