Is There a Difference Between Champagne and Sparkling Wine?

Just like not all that glitters is gold, not every sparkling wine can be called Champagne. But why is that? 

If this question ever tortured your mind, and you didn’t know the answers to it, we’ll help you. You’ll learn the story behind the battle of sparkling wine vs. Champagne if there are more types of Champagne, how to compare Prosecco vs. Champagne and everything else that you wanted to know.   

And the next time you crave a bubbly drink, you’ll be able to drink it like a pro, knowing everything you need to know about it.   

What Is a Sparkling Wine?   

The first thing you need to learn is what precisely a wine like this is. Sparkling wines are different from regular, still wines because they are saturated with carbon dioxide gas. This gas is responsible for the exciting bubbles we all like, just like in a soda.   

This type of wine is produced all over the world, it’s super interesting, tasty, great for parties and celebrations, and it’s loved by many. Sparkling wine can be produced from different grape varieties and using different methods.   

You’ve probably heard about many bubbly wines before, like Prosecco from Italy, Sekt from Germany, or Cava from Spain. And the main star of our story, Champagne from France. You can come across many comparisons of Prosecco vs. Champagne, and we’ll do one too so that you know which one to choose and how to tell the difference between Prosecco and Champagne.  

What Is Champagne?   

You probably know by now that Champagne is a sparkling wine, and if you didn’t know where it was from, now you also know that it comes from France.   

The Champagne Region   

And that’s the main difference that pops up when you compare sparkling wine vs. Champagne, the geographical origin. But you should also know that not every sparkling wine from France is Champagne. Only the wine produced from the grapes grown, fermented, and later bottled in Champagne in France can carry that name. 

This region is around an hour and a half away from Paris, and it’s one of the most famous wine regions in the world. The history of winemaking in this region is rich, and it dates to the 1700s.  

The Champagne’s Grapes   

The exclusivity of Champagne wine also lies in the grapes used for its production. Not all grapes are used or allowed to produce this wine, which provides a delicate and exclusive final product. 

The grapes that are allowed are Pinot Noir, Pinot Meunier, Chardonnay, Pinot Blanc, Pinot Gris, Petit Meslier, and Arbane. We could say that there are different types of Champagne due to the different combinations of the grapes used. The winemakers’ skills come to life every time a new batch is produced, and years of knowledge of combining carefully selected grapes.   

Most types use 1/3 of Chardonnay mixes and 2/3 red ones. It gives the wine its significant flavor, aroma, structure, and recognizable freshness.   

The Champagne Making Process   

No matter the different types of Champagne, the process used for making them is the same, and it’s called “The Classic Method,” or Methode Traditionnelle.   

The process is not easy, and not everyone can do it properly. It requires years of knowledge and special techniques. The famous sparkle in all types of Champagne is from the second fermentation that occurs in the bottle. It’s important to acknowledge that because it’s what makes this wine special and unique.   

The process starts by fermenting grapes into still wine. The yeast and sugars are added to it so that the second fermentation can happen when the wine is bottled. But, that’s not the end of the process. The wine has to age for at least 15 months, and an essential step during that time is rotating the bottle slowly. A lot more goes into producing this unique wine, and it’s a process of labor and love. 

Strict laws and standards control the whole process. Many rules have to be obeyed, and not everyone can do it. These rules don’t exist for the production of other sparkling wines. And that’s why Champagne is exclusive and where it gets the price it has. So, the next time someone talks about this topic, you’ll know how to explain who is the winner in the battle between sparkling wine vs. Champagne.  

Different Types of Champagne  

Even though the same traditional method is used when making this type of wine, there can be various types. The differences are in the mix of different grapes.  

Different types of Champagne are different in style. Most Champagnes are dry in style, called Brut, but the slightly sweet ones are also called the Doux.   

This will help you decide which bottle to choose when shopping for Champagne. If you want a bubbly but dry wine, always choose a Brut, but if you are a sweet wine aficionado, then the Doux is the right choice. This rule can also be used when choosing other bubbly wines.   

Sparkling wine vs. Champagne  

Excellent sparkling wine can be made using the same method as the Champagne making method, the same grape mix, but if it isn’t made in the Champagne region, it’s just wine with bubbles.  

However, that doesn’t mean that every sparkling wine is low-quality. Many bubbly wines across the world are outstanding and high-quality. Some use the same method as Champagne, others use the Tank method where the second fermentation occurs in the tank, and some use the Ancestral method where ice-cold temperatures are used to slow fermentation before bottling the wine.  

Different Types of Sparkling Wine   

There are many fun and exciting wines out there that have bubbles, and these are the most known ones.   

  • Prosecco – The most famous sparkling wine outside the Champagne region is Prosecco. The difference between Prosecco and Champagne can be seen in the production process, the grapes that are used, and of course, in the final product. The main difference between Prosecco and Champagne that even an untrained eye can catch is the size of the bubbles. The French wine has fine and delicate bubbles, and the Italian one has large bubbles. There are many high-quality Prosecco wines, and when you compare Prosecco vs. Champagne, your preferences will dictate which one is better.  
  • Sekt – German bubbly wine can be sweet or dry, and it has less percentage of alcohol than its French relative. Before the Treaty of Versailles, the German sparkling juice of the Gods was called Champagne, but after, it had to be renamed. And from then, it’s known as Sekt.  
  • Cava – A delicate wine made from Macabeu grapes is very similar to the exclusive French wine and a great option if you are on a budget.   
  • French sparkling wines – French also produces many other wines with bubbles outside of the Champagne region, and they are called Crémant. They can be sweet or dry, and there are even rose types.   
  • American sparkling wines – Many great wines originate from the U.S.; some even use Champagne grapes and techniques. But there are also some unique recipes and production methods.

The Best Wine Selection in Miami

We are very proud of our exquisite wine selection at Public Square restaurant, so don’t hesitate to call us and book a reservation if you want to experience the best wine paired with delicious American cuisine.

10 Interesting Facts about Wine

Are you looking for great Miami food and wine? Dine with us and make your selection from our 94 Points or Higher Wine Selection. Our lunch, brunch, and dinner menu is filled with options that pair well with our wide wine variety. Wine connoisseurs and beginners alike will discover something new from our selection. If you’re wondering what to know about wines, we have a few wine fun facts that you’ll find interesting. 

Fun Facts About Wine

Both veterans and newbies can learn a few wine facts that they may not have known. Since wine has been popular for centuries, there have been a number of improvements, developments, and innovations that have created the wine we all love and enjoy today. Most people are aware that wine is produced in a number of regions and countries around the world. Certain countries are more popular than others for wine production and many are pioneers for many of the most affluent wineries. Here are a few wine fun facts to impress your friends and family at the next gathering: 

  • Oldest winery in the world – Did you know that the oldest winery in the world can be found in the caves of Armenia? Estimated to be 6,100 years old, this centuries old winery was discovered between 2007 and 2010. It contained a cup, fermentation jars, press and bowl, and was likely used to produce gallons for funerals. The oldest active winery and one of the oldest companies in the world is located in Germany!
  • Oldest wine bottle – You’ll find the oldest wine bottle in Germany with liquid still in it! It is known as the Speyer bottle and is said to be made by Roman settlers between 325 AD and 350 AD. When discovered in a tomb in the 19th century, it was nestled amongst other bottles that had not been opened. As one of the only bottles that had been opened, it can be found in the Historical Museum of Palatinate in Speyer. Although wine is consistently linked to the Greeks and Romans, the Phoenicians have been credited with spreading the wine love across the Mediterranean!
  • Largest consumer of wine – Can you guess who the largest consumer of wine is in the world. The Vatican has been identified as the largest wine consumer per capita which is almost double the Italians and French. With less than 1,000 residents, 74 liters a year are consumed by the Vatican population which consists mostly of elderly and highly educated constituents. Wine is often a fixture of religious ceremonies. 
  • Red wine health benefits – Drinking red wine is good for you. One of the best and most useful fun wine facts is that red wine is great for your health. It is known for being very high in antioxidants and a great addition to a home remedy for the common cold. You may have already heard that drinking red wine keeps the heart healthy and lowers bad cholesterol. It is popular for regulating blood sugar and keeping the memory sharp. As the saying goes, all things in moderation.
  • Fear of wine – One of the least known fun facts about wine includes a phobia. There are individuals around the world who have a condition known as oenophobia, which is a fear of wine. The term is derived from the Greek word oenos, which means wine. A common reason for individuals who fear wine is that it contains alcohol. The potential effects of intoxication can cause an irrational and paralyzing fear. The idea of losing self control or possibly vomiting is too much for some people. 
  • Storing wine – Did you know that the appropriate way to store wine is laying it down? You may be familiar with seeing wine cellars with racks of wine laid on its side. When wine bottles are stored upright, the cork can get dried out and possibly erode into the wine. When dry corks shrivel up, they allow air into the wine causing it to prematurely age. Many people believe that most wines are meant to be aged but this is not so. According to wine experts, only about 10% of wines are meant to be aged and others are meant to be consumed within 5 years. 
  • Oldest wine cellar – Can you guess where the oldest wine cellar is located? It can be found on the Titanic. When divers explored the ship wreckage, they discovered wine bottles that were still intact. 
  • Pairing of wine – There is a general and easy rule to use when pairing wine. The heavier the dish, the richer the wine should be. You’ll find red wines served with red meat and white, or lighter wines served with chicken, fish, and pork. Sweeter wines like moscato or sparkling wine are often served with desserts. 
  • Women forbidden to drink wine – According to early Roman law, women who drank wine were considered to be committing a crime. Women were considered to be weak and wine could expose them to danger. If women were caught, they could be sentenced to death. It was so extreme that at Roman parties, the closest individuals were permitted to kiss the women on the lips to detect alcohol. Husbands were permitted to kill their wives if they were caught with alcohol. Yikes! 
  • The most expensive bottle of wine – For many wine connoisseurs, it is considered a valuable investment. One lucky wine estate owner bought a bottle of wine for over $550,000. It was an ultra rare vintage selection from Burgundy that was purchased for 17 times more than the auctioneer’s estimate. This wine was so coveted that a few minutes later, another bottle was purchased for almost $500,000. Burgundy wines are considered valuable collectables and the most sought after wine in the world. The 1945 vintage is infamous since only 600 bottles were made and the grapevines were pulled for two years to be replanted. 

We Have the Best Miami Food and Wine

Some other wine fun facts include women being identified as superior wine tasters! Both American and Brazilian researchers have confirmed that women have more cells in their brains than men, giving them an advantage as wine tasters. Also, recent research on wine facts have shown that women have better judgement for specific characteristics of wine! Now, you can impress people at dinner parties with what to know about wines. 

When you’re looking for the best Miami food and wine combination, you’ll find it here! With so many promotions, you have a number of options for exploring new wines! Consider what to know about wines when making your selection. When you visit on Mondays after a long day of work, you’ll appreciate our half priced bottles of wine. Make plans Monday through Friday for our Happy Hour specials featuring half priced wine, cocktails and beer, and $10 sushi rolls. Our Live Jazz Thursdays are never complete with a good bottle of wine. 

Using our fun facts about wine, we have an exquisite selection of wines waiting to be explored. From the prestigious Napa Valley wineries to the famed Tuscany brand, you’ll find wine steeped in rich history and fruity aromas from our 94 Points or Higher Selection. When you’re looking for something more casual, you can find exceptional choices in rose, white, red, and sparkling on tap.  

Give us a call today to reserve your table for the best in wine and American cuisine!