The Ultimate Guide to Picking the Best Bottle of Sparkling Wine

19th November 2021


A majority of wine lovers do not pay much attention to sparkling wine until there is a special occasion and the questions start. Is there any variance in sparkling wine and champagne? How do I pick the best bottle of sparkling wine? How much should I spend? Is there any middle ground? The questions never end. However, you should not worry much because this article has rounded up some tips to save your day. Read on to find out how you can pick the bubbly.

How to shop for sparkling wine
First, you should know that all sparkling wines have a rounded flavour. This means that you should be in a position to taste beyond the bubbliness in every bottle. The quality and richness in flavour depending on the price of the bottle you buy. Therefore, you should be cautious whenever you want to buy a bottle of sparkling wine, not to compromise flavour for the price. You can get a bottle that goes for less than $10 with great taste. All you need to know is how to pick the best. Here are some tips.

Know the difference
Can you differentiate between Champagne, Cava, Prosecco, and other sparkling wine? By knowing the difference, you can choose what you want based on quality and price. Here is an overview.

Champagne is made in France using traditional Champagne grapes. Additionally, a bottle of Champagne is made following the traditional winemaking technique that involves fermenting the liquid in the bottle and not in a tank. Champagne is always pricey because of the higher price of grapes used in making it. Champagne is the least sweet compared to Cava and Prosecco, but it has the finest bubbles.

Cava is a sparkling bottle of wine made in Spain. The wine is fermented within the bottle like Champagne. However, Cava is made using less expensive grapes, making it more affordable than Champagne. Cava is sweeter than Champagne and also has finer bubbles than Prosecco.

Prosecco is made in Italy using the Charmat technique. This technique means that the wine is fermented in a tank first before being bottled. Prosecco is the sweetest of the three and also has the coarsest bubbles.

Sparkling wine
Sparkling wine is a comprehensive term used to describe all types of fizzy vinos that are not made using the traditional techniques of making wine. Additionally, sparkling wine can come from any country.

How much should you spend?
Sparkling wine comes in a wide range of prices. There are expensive bottles like Champagne while others are less expensive. Therefore, you need to determine the price point that suits your budget. Any bottle between 11 and 15 pounds should be a good starting point if you are a first-timer. However, you can always save money when buying wine if you keep an eye on discounts and festive offers. Sites like offer insightful resources you can use to find the best deals and other information on how to pick the best sparkling wine without breaking the bank.

Consider the size
The size of the bottle is a decision you make depending on your plans. However, you should always consider the size of the bubbles before you buy a bottle of sparkling wine. Bubble size is a measure of quality. In this case, the finer, the better. Look out for tiny, wispy bubbles with light and frothy textures. Therefore, the next time you buy a bottle of Champagne and notice large bubbles, know it might not be really Champagne.

Choose green bottles
Excessive light can compromise the quality of the wine. That is why you will notice most sparkling wine packaged in dark bottles. You do not want to buy “cooked” wine. Therefore, always go green with your bottle. The darker, the better.

Consider the dryness level
A bottle of sparkling wine is often labelled with words like ‘dry’ or ‘brut’ that indicate the level of dryness. These terminologies indicate the wine’s dryness level, which is determined by the amount of residual sugar. Since residual sugar in wine is measured in grams per litre, the terminologies used can be a bit confusing for first-timers. Here is an overview of the four dryness levels you are more likely to encounter when buying a bottle of sparkling wine.

Extra Brut
This is the driest form of sparkling wine you can get in the market. The amount of residual sugar in brut extra should be less than six grams in every litre. This aspect means that yeast used during the fermentation process has eaten most of the residual sugar. Cava is an excellent example of sparkling wine that comes in the form of brut extra.

Brut is the most popular form of sparkling wine you will get in the market. Brut is dry with a hint of sweetness that comes with less than 12 grams of residual sugar per litre. Champagne is the most popular sparkling wine in the brut range.

Extra Dry
The extra dry range is dry, but not like the first two categories. It comes with a slight hint of sweetness due to leftover residual sugar from fermentation. Prosecco is an excellent example of wine in this category.

Demi-Sec is the sweetest wine category and is often used with a dessert. The taste of this wine range comes with an obvious amount of sweetness. Demi-Sec can have as much as 50 grams of residual sugar per litre. Champagne is rarely made in this range, though you can find some bottles made in the category.

The bottom line
Whether you are going for a family gathering or holidaying with the love of your life, sparkling wine is good for your health. Additionally, this is a drink for all occasions. Sparkling wine is made from all over the world and comes with noticeable bubbles.

Just in time for your holidays, this guide has rounded up some tips to help you choose the best bottle of sparkling wine. Just a reminder, any Champagne is sparkling wine, but not all sparkling wine can be Champagne.

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