Pop, fizz, clink! New Year’s Eve is approaching, and you’ll need a bottle or two of champagne to celebrate! But what wine should you buy? And when you are in the store staring at the array of wines on the shelves, what is the difference between the many types of sparkling wine? Here is your guide to the different types of sparkling wine to perfect your New Year’s Eve toast.

champagne, wine, toast
Lucy Carlisle

Italian Sparkling Wine

Asti

Asti is a sweet sparkling wine from the Piedmont region of Italy with flavors of stone fruits such as peach and apricot. Moscato d’Asti uses Moscato grapes to produce a sparkling white wine. Meanwhile, Brachetto d’Acqui is made from Brachetto grapes to produce a sparkling rosé

Rachael E. Worthington

Franciacorta

Franciacorta is a wine from the Lombardi region of Italy using the same method as in the Champagne region of France—the traditional method. The traditional method involves adding yeast and sugar to a base wine, fermenting this mixture in a bottle, rotating the bottle (known as riddling) to collect dead yeast in the bottle's neck, removing this dead yeast (known as disgorging), then finally adding a wine and sugar mixture (called a dosage) to create the final product of sparkling wine. Italy's Franciacorta sparkling wine uses white grapes chardonnay and pinot blanc as well as red grape pinot noir to make a high quality sparkling wine.

grape, wine, pasture, berry
Alexandra R

Prosecco

Prosecco is a sparkling wine originating in Italy’s Veneto region. Prosecco wine is produced from Prosecco (Glera) grapes in large tanks, which is an inexpensive method yielding high quantities. This wine is lightly bubbly, which may be noted by the Italian word “frizzante” (meaning "bubbly") on the bottle, and it is typically sweet with fruity and floral aromas.

French Sparkling Wines

Champagne

Champagne is world-renowned due to its excellent quality! The Champagne region holds winemakers and grape growers to high standards in order to ensure the wine's quality and preserve the region's esteemed reputation. Champagne is made using a traditional method with pinot noir, chardonnay, and pinot meunier grapes. Champagne wine derives from the Champagne region of France, and you can find both white and rosé champagnes.

Crémant

Crémant is another sparkling wine from France, deriving from French regions such as Loire, Burgundy, Jura, and Alsace. Each region incorporates different grapes into its crémant, but crémant is always made with a second bottle fermentation—just like Champagne! French wine laws demand that crémant grapes are manually harvested and crémant wine is aged for a certain time period, boosting this wine's quality by improving appearance and flavor!

Austrian and German Sparkling Wine

Sekt

Both Austria and Germany produce sparkling wine known as sekt, and each country does so using different regional grape varietals. Most sekt is produced using the tank method used for prosecco, but higher quality sekt wines are on the rise as well in each of these countries.

pasture, coffee, wine, tea, grass
Alexandra R

Spanish Sparkling Wine

Cava

Cava shares many similarities with Champagne but for a lesser price! Hailing from Northern Spain, Cava primarily comes from Macabeo, Parellada, and Xarello grapes, but Chardonnay and Pinot Noir, Trepat, Garnacha, and Monastrell are also used. Cava is produced through the traditional method that is also employed for Champagne.

Portuguese and Argentinian Sparkling Wine

Espumante

Argentina and Portugal each produce a sparkling wine known as Espumante, which means “bubbly” or “sparkling” in Portuguese and Spanish. Portugal produces espumante from the north to the south, and it is made in various methods—from injecting carbon dioxide for the cheapest options to the traditional method (used in Champagne) for the most expensive options.

American, Australian, and Chilean Sparkling Wines

Sparkling Wine in America

America, Australia, and Chile each produce sparkling wine, and each country uses their local varietals to make delicious sparkling drinks! America produces sparkling wine primarily in Oregon and California, while New York produces some quality sparkling wine too.

Sparkling Wine in Australia

Australia sparkling wine production uses Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, and Shiraz (Syrah) grapes. Sparkling Shiraz, a sparkling red wine, is a unique option for your toast! The beautiful, deep red color pops (no pun intended) with the effervescent bubbles. Excellent Australian sparkling wines come from the Tasmania, Macedon Ranges, Great Western/Grampians, Adelaide Hills, Hunter Valley, and Tumbarumba regions.

Sparkling Wine in Chile

Chilean sparkling wines depend on Chardonnay and Pinot Noir as the main grapes, but sometimes winemakers also incorporate Riesling, Sauvignon Blanc, and Syrah. There are two methods for Chilean sparkling wine production: the traditional method and the ancestral method. The ancestral method uses cold temperatures to halt fermentation mid-way. The wine is bottled, the fermentation finishes, and then the wine is riddled and disgorged (the yeast is removed). 

cocktail, wine, champagne, alcohol
Megan McKinstry

South African Sparkling Wine

Cap Classique

South Africa has its own sparkling wine known as cap classique drinks. These are wines produced in the Cape via the traditional method. The climate yields fresh, citrus, and fruity tasting notes.

Now you are officially prepared to face the wine aisle and confidently select the perfect bubbly to ring in the new year. Cheers!