Did you know bubbles in sparkling wine are carbon dioxide, a natural byproduct of the fermentation process? At Ruth’s Chris, our wine experts know the ins and outs of all things sparkling wine.
While Champagne is the most popular sparkling wine from France, there are many other delicious sparkles out there. Discover the bubbly world of sparkling wines with this easy guide, where we pop the cork on sparkling wine facts, sweetness levels, and grapes.
Levels of Sparkling Sweetness
If you look carefully at the label, you will find these key words indicating the sparkling wine’s level of sweetness.
- Extra-Brut – the driest of all sparkling wines with complete absence of sugar and bright acidity.
- Brut – usually labeled as champagne, this is the most popular sparkling wine that is dry but slightly sweet.
- Extra Dry – despite the name, this sparkling wine is sweeter than Brut. Prosecco is a popular sparkling wine most associated as extra dry.
- Demi-Sec – very sweet sparkling wine that is most enjoyed alongside dessert.
- Doux – extremely sweet that is considered a dessert wine
Popular Types of Sparkling Wine
- Prosecco – the most cherished brut Italian sparkling wine from Northeast Italy. It’s light and fruity with floral notes. Enjoy this inexpensive wine with a variety of our appetizers, like crab stuffed mushrooms or calamari.
- American – using Champagne as an inspiration, new world sparkling wine is produced in vineyards across America. These bubbles are known for being well-rounded with refreshing fruit flavors on a Chardonnay and Pinot Noir background.
- Cava – the sparkling wine of Spain! It’s the most affordable of the sparkling group, but also still very tasty and versatile. It goes well with nearly all dishes, highlighting bright citrus and almond flavors. Dry, crisp, and light – this wine is great for any occasion.
- Champagne – the king of bubbly, this wine is only true Champagne if made in France and created in the traditional champagne method. Made from three grapes, Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, and Pinot Meunier, Champagne has more acidity and dryer notes than other sparkling wines. When purchasing these tried and true bottles, expect a higher price tag.
Grasping the Grapes in Sparkling Wine
- These French terms indicate what type of grape the sparkling wine originated from as well as its overall flavor:
- Blanc de blancs – meaning “white of whites,” this wine is made of strictly Chardonnay grapes. These grapes are much lighter and cleaner in flavor with crisp, delicate notes.
- Blanc de Noirs – unlike its counterpart, this translates to “white of blacks.” It’s made entirely from red Pinot Noir, Pinot Meunier, or a mix of the two grapes. It has a rich, full-bodied presence with hints of berry and vanilla flavors.
- Rosé – these blushed pink wines are fuller-bodied and can range from dry to sweet. To be a Rosé, it must contain some percentage of red grape, which is where the pink color comes from.
Sip Sensational Sparkling Wines at Ruth’s Chris