Fizzy wines with bubbles in them get included in many celebrations from Christmas through Valentine’s Day each year. For many people, these wines are all lumped into what they call Champagne. But, there are many different types of fizzy wines and are sold under different names. Naming is sometimes a legal distinction and other times it is a reflection of where or how the wine is made.
Champagne is a fizzy wine that can be labeled “Champagne” only if it is made in the Champagne Region of France in accordance with European Union law. Some American wineries have been making sparkling wine for a long time calling their wines Champagne. Korbel from California has been making sparkling wine since the 19th Century and they claim “grandfather rights” to use the term Champagne in connection with their fizzy wines.
Champagne is made from three grape varieties: Pinot Noir, Pinot Meunier, and Chardonnay. A still wine is made and the wine is placed in a bottle where a small amount of yeast is added for a second fermentation in the bottle. At the end of the second fermentation, the dead yeast cells are removed and the bottle is closed with a cork. The bubbles are a product of the secondary fermentation.
If the fizzy wine is made in France, but not in Champagne, it is called a Crément.
In Italy, one sparkling wine made using exactly the same techniques as those used in Champagne is called a Franciacorte. Prosecco is made using a bulk wine process in stainless steel tanks. A Prosecco is noticeably different than Champagne, but it still can be used for celebratory toasts and to accompany food.
In Spain, Cava is made with grapes different from those used in Champagne and so it goes around the world. Most wine producing regions have their own version of Champagne.
At Tassel Ridge, we make a still wine and then carbonate it with CO2. We get a lightly fizzy wine that can be used for celebratory toasts, with appetizers, and even as the main dinner wine. Our Oskyfizzante® White is the driest of our fizzy wines and the Oskyfizzante® Pink is the sweetest. We also offer an Oskyfizzante® Red and an Oskyfizzante® Cranberry (seasonal only). With Tassel Ridge fizzy wines, it is easy to tailor the wine to your preference for sweetness.