Sparkling Wine

Definition - What does Sparkling Wine mean?

Sparkling wine is a wine style characterized by effervescence in the wine due to high levels of carbon dioxide. The carbon dioxide in the wine can come from secondary fermentation in the bottle, in a pressurized tank or from carbon dioxide injection. Each method of making sparkling wine determines the size and amount of the bubbles and the taste of the wine.

Sparkling wine is typically white or rosé in color and can range in sweetness, from very dry to sweet. Sparkling wine refers to the effervescence of a wine and should not be confused with wines such as Champagne, Proseco or Cava, which are specific types of sparkling wine and are regulated by the grapes, region and methods used to make the wine.

WineFrog explains Sparkling Wine

As sparkling wine refers to effervescent wine, you can expect a sparkling wine to be bubbly or fizzy. Effervescence in wine, comes from carbon dioxide, which is released naturally as part of the fermentation process, and grapes made into sparkling wine are pressed and fermented to make still wine and then undergo a secondary fermentation to create and hold the carbon dioxide in the wine.

During the secondary fermentation, additional yeast and sugar can be added to the wine when it is bottled, which is the well-known Champagne Method (Methode Champenoise). When additional yeast and sugar are added to wine in pressurized tanks, it is called the Charmat Method. When carbon dioxide is injected into still wine, no secondary fermentation is necessary. The method used to make the wine, determines the sweetness and how bubbly the wine will be, when sparkling wine is made with the addition of yeast and sugar in a secondary fermentation, the wine is sweeter with smaller, fizzier bubbles that last longer than sparkling wines made through carbon dioxide injection.

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