C4 Deli Resident Bartender, Wine Purchaser and Texas native James Wall is the person you want on your best buddy list. Look out for his ‘red and white’ insight every Wednesday on ourWino Wednesday: Ask A Wino Q&A.
Q: What are some good sparkling wines that can act as alternatives to champagne?
A: Technically the only beverage that can truly be labeled champagne has to come from a certain region in France called Champagne. This is a little known and very particular (slightly snobby) fact about the beloved drink of so many. Apparently the reasoning behind this comes from the specific secondary fermentation process in which the champagne is made. A fairly costly but most certainly perfected process of the Champagne region. The grapes that are used for Champagne must be of a certain strand as well. They include Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, and Pinot Meunier.
If you don’t have the time to travel to France or the budget to purchase the real deal don’t stress. There are alternative sparkling wines to Champagne. Cava, Moscato and Prosecco are my top three recommendations for you to get your bubbly fix on.
Cava is derived from the Catalonia region in Spain. It uses a similar fermentation process as Champagne only with different grapes that result in delicious bottles at half the price of it’s relative, Champagne. Moscato is particularly fruity, floral, and sweet. Generally it makes for a pleasant and easy wine to enjoy. Lastly, Prosecco is derived from Italy and uses an alternative fermentation process which again makes it much cheaper (and just as delicious) as champagne.
Next time someone tells you they have a bottle of Champagne you now have the knowledge to determine whether or not it is indeed true champagne, or one of its just as tasty alternatives.