Sparkling wines are wonderfully diverse, always cracked open for joyous occasions. Yet they can be enjoyed all the time and for everything in life, including a successful day at work, when you are depressed, or feel good about a deed, or even after purchasing something you always wanted, but afforded after a very long time.
Of all sparkling wines champagne is the most famous. In fact it is so famous that many countries erroneously call their sparkling wines champagne in an effort to market it faster and less expensively.
In reality, champagne comes from a region approximately 140 kms. north and east of Paris called Champagne.
Dom Perignon, a Benedictine monk is credited with the invention of champagne production.
There are now many other countries and regions that produce sparkling wines using the same technology, but are not allowed to use the words champagne. Some of these wines taste great, and a lot barely acceptable but only cost a fraction of champagne.
Ontario wineries are now starting to make sparkling wines of high quality.
Ontario’s cool climate sets the stage for producing mouth-watering sparkling wines.
The region’s winemakers craft surprisingly wide range of sparkling wine styles. Sweetness levels range from brut (very dry) to luxuriously sweet sparkling icewine.
There are several to sparkling wine production techniques – mehtode classique (classical Champagne method); cuve close, pumped-in carbon dioxide and resting, pumped in carbon dioxide during or shortly before bottling much like soda water.
The most elaborate, time consuming, and expensive method is methode classique. These cost a lot more than those produced by other techniques.
Generally, chardonnay, pinot noir and pinot meunier grapes are used for sparkling wine, but many others can also be and are employed in other regions like Spain’s Catalonia, France’s Loire Valley, Germany, Australia, the U S A, and now more and more the United Kingdom.
In Ontario the most common technique is cuve close (aka Charmat method) , where the wine undergoes the second fermentation, in a huge stainless steel tank and decanting occurs shortly before or during bottling, thereby reducing cost significantly.
Cuve close method bubbly is usually light, delicate, fruity and off dry. It should be consumes shortly after purchase, but never on the day of purchase. Let the bottle rest for at least a few days before opening.
Try secco produced by Pelee Island Winery. The traditional method requires using a technique that requires the second fermentation to occur in the bottle and removal of the sediment.
Chateau des Charmes Brut is a perfect example of such a wine.
The carbon dioxide and resting method of production is reserved for inexpensive brands.
They contain larger and fewer bubbles than others mentioned above, and tend to be relatively sweet.
Sparking rose wines are becoming more popular with younger people.
Sparkling icewine is the sweetest of all abs ends to be very expensive, but well worth the expense for a special treat.