According to the laws of the European Union, only sparkling wines produced in the Champagne region of France can be called champagne. The production method is traditional, with a second fermentation in bottles. Depending on the grape varieties used, champagnes are divided into several varieties:
- classic assemblages (in the varietal composition of Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier);
- Blanc de Blancs (100% Chardonnay);
- Blanc de Noirs (only red grape varieties — Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier).
Moreover, champagne Cyprus from https://puninwine.com/catalog/champagne-and-sparkling is distinguished by color, degree of sweetness, vintages, and other characteristics.
In addition to champagne, some other sparkling wines are produced by the traditional method: French Cremants, Italian Franciacorta, and Spanish Cava. However, most sparkling wines in the world are made by the faster and more economical Charmat method, with a second fermentation in large vats. In this way, for example, the popular Italian sparkling prosecco is made.
To Real Champagne
Regular non-vintage brut is especially good paired with cheeses and some Chinese dishes. From desserts, panna cotta is perfect for them. Sweeter champagnes are excellent as an apéritif.
Blanc de Blancs will also successfully cope with the role of an apéritif, and will also perfectly complement sushi, sashimi, smoked salmon, and, of course, seafood (oysters, shellfish, crayfish, and crabs). More solid and fruity Blanc de Noirs go well with poultry and pork dishes. Also, vintage champagne will be in harmony with white meat.
Red meat needs an even more powerful companion, like a vintage rosé. Besides, fresh and fruity rosé champagnes will be a luxurious apéritif and a perfect match for mushroom risotto, strawberry dessert, and many other dishes.
But what about caviar?
According to wine experts, the popular festive duet “champagne and caviar” is not the most successful gastronomic combination. It is rather a myth created by the French in the 19th century. In practice, Italian Franciacorta is much more suitable for both black and red caviar than expensive champagne: to black caviar — white Franciacorta, to red — rosé.
If you really want to serve champagne with caviar, choose the classic basic brut for red caviar, non-vintage cuvees for black sturgeon or starred sturgeon caviar, and Millesime champagnes or even refined Blanc de Blancs — for beluga caviar.
To Sparkling Wines from Spain and Italy
The general rules of compatibility are also true for other sparkling wines produced by the traditional method, but each type of drink has its own nuances. So, Spanish Cava, due to its greater acidity, is good friends with salads with complex dressing, pasta, paella, as well as fish and seafood.
Italian Franciacorta, which has a higher density, can masterfully accompany roast beef salad and other powerful dishes. In the homeland of Franciacorta — in Lombardy — it is sometimes served with beef and vegetables.
Lighter and more elegant, prosecco is the perfect accompaniment to cold dishes and airy desserts, such as fruit sorbet, light mousse, and Pavlova’s meringue cake. Dessert sparkling wines from Italy — sparkling Asti and effervescent Moscato d’Asti — are also suitable for sweet delicacies.