Champagne and Sparkling Wines - Are They the Same?

By: Stephen John

To a lot of people, sparkling wine and Champagne refer to one and the same wine but in actuality, they are a bit different from each other in a lot of ways. Champagne is a type of sparkling wine that originates from Champagne, one of the most popular wine regions of France. Many countries in the world produce sparkling wines. In fact a lot of them place "Champagne" on the labels of their sparkler bottles. But there is just one Champagne wine; it's the one that come from France.

Sparkling wines are easily identifiable because of their bubbly characteristic. Although there are wines that produce bubbles, some countries do not classify these as "sparkling" if the bubbles are not produced through the natural fermentation process.

The alluring properties of Champagne prompted a lot of wine makers of different countries to produce their own sparkling wine. Bubblies are now produced in Italy, Spain, United States Australia, South Africa, and New Zealand. The sparklers produced in these countries are interesting, but they have not equaled the popularity of Champagne.

Here are some of the properties that made bubblies very popular:


The smell of sparkling wines suggests the presence of spiced apple, applesauce. It also signifies the aroma of freshly baked bread. This is triggered by the yeast that's used in the second fermentation process.


The most notable taste of sparklers show hints of strawberry, citrus, vanilla, and apple. The presence of yeast is most notable in the taste of genuine sparklers.

The Fermentation Process

Real sparkling wines are fermented in two steps. During the first fermentation process, the grape juice is turned into still or base wine. Bubbles are not produced at this stage. After this, the wine maker adds yeast and sugar to the base wine and transfers it into a closed container for the second fermentation. The added ingredients eventually convert into carbon dioxide. Being trapped in a closed wine vessel, the CO2 produces bubbles.

The fermentation of sparklers takes time from a few months to 10 years. The longer the fermentation time, the more expensive a bubbly becomes. The price of sparkling wines can range between $4 and over $100.

Classification of the Sparkling Wines

Sparkling wines including Champagne are classified into four types. These are:

Demi-Sec - It is a sweet sparkler that is best paired with dessert and a lot of fruits.

Extra dry - This bubbly has a taste that's somewhat crisp on the palate. It has high alcohol content and tannins and less sugar.

Brut - This type of sparkler is crisper than extra dry.

Extra brut - This is a super dry sparkler. It has the highest alcohol and the least sugar content of all sparkling wines.

Sparkling Wine Food Pairings

Sparkling wine and Champagne are flexible when food pairing is concerned. Some of the foods that go best with bubblies include fried mushrooms, barbecue chicken sandwich, fish tacos, pistachio-crusted scallops, rabbit ragu, duck with raspberries, and smoked salmon.

These are some of the most important facts you deserve to know about sparkling wine. Remember, you can call Champagne sparkling wine, but you can't consider all sparkling wines Champagne.

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Stephen John is a food and wine enthusiast. He loves to travel and try exotic cuisines of different countries. Stephen recommends that you get details here if you want to buy rose wine and other spirits.

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