Sparkling wines are often mistakenly called Champagne, which is the name reserved for sparkling wines produced in the Champagne region of France. Sparkling wine is a wine with dissolved carbon dioxide which produces an effervescence when opened and poured into the glass.
There are three basic methods of producing Sparkling wines: traditional methode champenoise of fermenting in the original bottle, transfer process of moving it to a new container, and charmat process where the wine is artificially carbonated. California Sparkling wines are made from a number of grapes and use one of these three processes. Styles range from bone dry to sweet dessert styles wines. Flavors: Citrus, peach, strawberry, apple, butter, toast, and minerality.
Common Sparkling Wine Types:
Blanc de Blancs – A sparkling white wine made from white grapes, normally Chardonnay grapes. Great with fresh oysters, shellfish, and ceviche.
Blanc de Noirs – A sparking white wine make from red grapes (Pinot Noir & Pinot Meunier) by fermenting the must without the presence of skins. Pairs with soft, nutty cheeses, pork with light herbal sauces, and nut-crusted fish.
Sparkling Rose – A California term for sparkling wine made from red grapes (Pinot Noir). Goes with smoked salmon, shrimp, and duck.