Sparkling wine is a fantastic drink. Most people have enjoyed it at one time or the other on different special occasions. It is produced in many wine-producing counties worldwide and is usually referred to by the region name produced. The most popular sparkling wine known is champagne. However, champagne stands out on its own as it is only made in France champagne region using the traditional method called Champagne method (Méthode Champenoise) while other sparkling wines are made outside France champagne region. Sparkling wine is a bubbly wine due to carbonation making it fizzy. The fizziness causes sparkle in the sparkling wine, making it a unique category of wine. The sparker is a result of carbon dioxide held tight in the bottle, and once the wine is uncorked, it moves out.
Generally, most sparkling wine is either white or rose. However, there are lovely red sparkling wines such as the Italian Lambrusco sparkling wine made from the Lambrusco grapes and sparkling Shiraz from Australia. Depending on the amount of sugar, different styles of sparkling wine have different levels of sweetness. Sparkling wine types range from extra dry-Brut, Dry-Sec, Semi-Secco, Demi-sec, to Sweet/Doux. The high acidity level in most sparkling wines and the bubbly sensation makes most of these wines less sweet.
The carbon dioxide content in the sparkling wine influences its quality. The carbon dioxide in these wines is either produced;
In the bottle in a process polar know as traditional method/champagne method
Transfer method (charmat process) where the wine is transferred to a large tank or vat designed to withstand pressure
Carbonation method a process where carbon dioxide is injected in the wine.
Champagne method (traditional method): this process is usually associated with Dom Perignon, who discovered that second fermentation in the bottle could produce bubbles associated with the sparkling wines. The wine is transferred to the bottle with some sugar and yeast at cold temperatures. The cold temperature makes yeast inactive, and when warm temperature set in, the yeast wakes up consuming the remaining sugar. As the yeast consumes the remaining sugar, carbon dioxide is produced, and it has no way to escape the bottle, so it mixes with the wine, thereby carbonating it, which makes it sparkle.
Transfer method (charmat process): in this process, the wine is transferred into a large tank or vat, then yeast and sugar are added to produce bubbles. The yeast consumes the sugar creating carbon dioxide to the wine. Once the wine is carbonated and ready, it is transferred into the bottle and corked. This method is cost-effective and straightforward; however, the bubbles tend to be larger than one produced using the champagne method. Bubbles in sparkling wine are a significant indicator of the wine’s quality, and the smaller bubbles, the more the resultant wine tends to be soft and elegant. This method is best employed for fruitier styles of sparkling wines.
Carbonation method: this is the cheapest method, and it is the most economical and used in the cheap sparkling wines. The carbon dioxide is simply injected into the wine. This style of sparkling wines usually have no yeast flavor, and the bubbles are coarse.