There’s nothing like sipping on a glass of champagne to celebrate or commemorate a special occasion. Perfect for birthdays, weddings or anniversaries, popping open a bottle of bubbly is usually saved for major events. The sound of the cork popping is also quite gratifying!
However, those that can’t wait for their next fix of champers or fancy something different are turning to other sparkling wines. Even though champagne is the most famous sparkling wine variety — coming from a region in France that shares the same name — there are plenty of alternatives out there.
So whether you’re celebrating or not, here are some of the best sparkling wines available. Is champagne still number one, or do rivals from Spain and Italy come too close for the top dog’s comfort?
Hearing or mentioning the word “champagne” evokes sensations of glamour, elegance and style. However, even if champagne is synonymous with an extravagant lifestyle to you, you don’t have to break the bank to find a good quality bottle.
Champagne and other sparkling wines are made from a blend of grapes such as chardonnay, Pinot Noir or Pinot Meunier. However, behind every bottle stands a traditional production method that makes the drink so singular.
Known as “méthode champenoise,” only bottles produced in the Champagne region of France can use this term. If you want the very best, look for this on the label.
The Italian Job— Prosecco
Hot on champagne’s heels is Prosecco, which hails from northern Italy. Unlike champagne, Prosecco is more of an everyday wine that is drunk and paired with food.
When it comes to taste, Prosecco is a touch sweeter than champagne. It contains less alcohol, has a lower acidity, and the average bottle will cost you less too.
Some would argue that when it comes to taste and status, champagne wins hands down. That said, Prosecco is becoming an increasingly popular alternative. Champagne might have to watch out!
Another popular type of sparkling wine that has enjoyed heightened exposure and success in is cava. It’s predominantly produced in Catalonia using the same traditional method as champagne.
Made using a blend of native Spanish grapes, a lot of consumers and connoisseurs look down on cava because of its lower price. Little do they know it, but the standard of cava is improving all of the time and critics are feeling the need to retract previous negative press. Potentially as floral and as flavorsome as the best champagnes, there’s certainly room in the market for Cava.
Champagne may be holding on to its crown as the most prestigious and delectable sparkling wine that you can buy, but both Prosecco and cava are doing their utmost to knock the king from its throne. Will they succeed? Only time will tell.