2017 is already off to an awesome start. Vacation is booked, my best friend is getting married, the sun is shining – what more could I ask for? I love to celebrate the little and big things in life with a glass of bubbly.
Once, when I was checking out at Publix with two bottles of champagne with my husband, the cashier asked “so what are we celebrating tonight?” I just responded with “Friday!”.
It’s true, I just love a crisp, cold glass of champagne. I even convinced Andy that we needed to go to the champagne bar on the Eiffel Tower regardless of how cold it was that night – (Do you really think I would miss that once in a lifetime opportunity)?!
Want to celebrate but don’t know where to start? Feeling a little confused by the labels. Here’s a quick breakdown for y’all!
Before I started buying champagne on the regular, I always felt pretty overwhelmed in the store. I never knew what the difference was between champagne and prosecco. Extra Dry and Brut were not in my vocabulary – I was lost and back then I just grabbed whatever was cheapest on the shelf. No worries, I got you! Use this helpful guide to learn a little more about what kind of bottle you are grabbing.
All these listed below are sparkling wines, but not all of them are champagne. Confusing right? Here’s a quick lesson: what makes the different is where they are produced, the different grapes used, and the terminology. The most important thing to remember is these are all bottles of bubbly so you can pop, fizz, clink, and cheers with all of them!
A sparkling wine that is considered a true Champagne meaning it comes from Champagne, France where it’s fermentation process was perfected. Basically the Beyoncé of all bubbly. That’s what makes a true Champagne so special and why it is so damn expensive.
Notice the lower case c? It comes from the same types of grapes as Chamapagne, however, it is not produced in the Champagne region of France. Sooo basically location is the major difference. A champagne can only be made with Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, and Pinot Meunier.
I love pairing champagnes with anything fried or greasy. Onion rings plus burgers with a glass of champagne – PERFECTION. Anything spicy, like buffalo wings, is also a perfect match – who knew?! This will up your Super Bowl party game. Another favorite of mine – Chinese takeout and champagne, yes please!
Italian sparkling wine that is tends to have hints of fruity notes. This is the most common sparkling wine in bellinis or mimosas. Prosecco is slightly sweeter as well compared to a traditional champagne. Plus, who doesn’t love large bubbles dancing in their glass?!
I love pairing prosecco with sushi. There is nothing tastier than sipping on some prosecco with a dragon roll. YUM. Anything that goes well with champagne is safe to pair with prosecco. However, and surprisingly, popcorn is also a great pairing food item! Popcorn, prosecco, and a movie? Sign me up!
Sparkling wine from Spain that has a taste profile very similar to champagne. I love pairing this with poultry, red meat, and seafood dishes. There is no better way to surprise your dinner guests than with a bottle of cava in hand. Cava is a versatile bubbly that works well almost anything – whether savory or sweet!
American Sparkling Wine
Made in the United State and typically made from the same type of grapes found in champagne. One of my favorite U.S bottles of bubbly is North Coast Brut from Trader Joe’s. Seriously, who doesn’t love a shopping trip to Trader’s Joes?!
Another favorite pairing of mine is American sparkling wine with BBQ with a side of homemade mac’n’cheese. What is more American than BBQ?! French fries and corn dogs are great pairings as well (I told y’all greasy foods pair the best).
There’s so much more to know but if you are grocery shopping and feeling overwhelmed, here’s a little help. To make it more confusing the terms brut and extra dry tend to confuse people? It’s all a level of sugar content.
Driest to Sweetest: percentages are based on sugar content
Extra Brut – less than 0.5%
Extra Dry 1.0-2.0%
Doux minimum 5.5%
Things are starting to make sense now, huh? If you haven’t noticed by now, I tend to drink brut most frequently. Want to know my favorite types of bottles for toasting? Check out my other post here . Happy celebrating and I will definitely be enjoying the little prosecco bottle I got in my bridesmaid box! Okay and maybe I’ll munch on some popcorn too! Cheers, the best is yet to come!