If you hear the word bubbles you probably think of Champagne. Their impecable recognition was earned thanks to hundreds of years of history, tradition and prestige. But not all these sensual bubbles come from Champagne. Read this so it doesn't bite you:
Champagne is a region of France, protected by very strict laws to guarantee the quality of the wine they produce. There are several styles, but to make it simple: Brut is the most popular, usually made with grapes Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Petit Mernier and a Blanc de Blancs, a very sublime style made with 100% Chardonnay grapes. They are characterized by their method of elaboration known as Classic Method or Champenoise Method that consist of a second bottle fermentation in bottle. When they are vintaged, they can age.
The French Cremant and the Sparkling Wines from California, France, Spain, Argentina and the rest of the world, are bubbles that are not made in Champagne, but follow a similar style. Usually the bottle indicates if it is or not Classic Method, the style of sparkling and the grapes used. Because they are not from Champagne, they will be loved by your pocket.
Cava is a particular Sparkling Wine from Spain in the Penedés area of Catalonia. It is a protected region like Champagne and it is made with the Classic Method, but they use other grapes: Macabeo, Xarello and Parellada. That is why their aroma and flavor is totally different. It’s quality levels are measured by Cava, Reserva and Gran Reserva, depending on their aging. It goes well even with tacos and guacamole and they are always a great value for money.
Prosecco is light, aromatic and refreshing. Protected in northern Italy in Veneto and Friulli. Its production is different, known as Charmat Method or Tank Method, and the only grape used is called Glera. Perfect with cured meats, fruits, Asian dishes and light Italian meals. Its level of quality goes like this: Prosecco, Prosecco Superiore and Prosecco di Conegliano e Valdobbiadene, being the last one, the best one. They don't age in bottle, drink them within the next few weeks or months.
I love Franciacorta, it is the real Italian Champagne; another protected region but in Lombardia, in the north of Italy. Although it is produced very similar to Champagne, they are extremely silky. On this side of the world they are not too famous, but these bubbles are the most popular among Italians and the Latina behind this article.
A good Lambrusco can steal your heart. It is made like the Prosecco, but with more than 13 red grapes varietals, typical from northern Italy (Emilia Romagna and Lombardia). The best ones are recognized by its protected area seal DOC (Denominazione di Origine Controllata) and they pair amazingly with a bolognese pasta or lasagna. Try a good one, they are very affordable.
Vinho Verde is the protected son of Portugal; comes from a rainy and green zone called Minho. It is young, light and refreshing, but they've been produced for over 2,000 years. It is made with Albarinho, Loureiro, Arinto, and other typical grapes. It is not considered sparkling, it is just a bit effervescent. The spritz is very light, you are going to love it. Unlike other sparkling wines that fluctuate between 12-14% alcohol, Vinho Verde is between 8.5-11.5% and, as a cocktail, with cod, shrimps or by itself on a beach day, they are simply irresistible.
To maximize the experience, enjoy chilled, on a wine glass (better that flute); and keep in mind that they don't age in your refrigerator. Bubbles can be pair with almost everything you taste on the plate, raise your glass and live them all!