Sparkling wine New Years Eve?

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Sparkling wines are a fun way to celebrate a special occasion or just relax on an ordinary day.  They are typically white wines, although some delightful rose sparkling wines are available.  Recently, there have even been some red sparkling wines popping up on wine merchant shelves. 

 Types of Sparkling Wines

Some people aren't sure of the difference between sparkling wine and champagne, using the terms interchangeably.  In fact, there is a difference between the two terms. All sparkling wine is made by adding carbon dioxide to wine, causing the formation of bubbles similar to those in carbonated soft drinks.  The carbon dioxide is either naturally occurring due to special fermentation methods or injected artificially. Champagne is produced only in the Champagne region of France.  It is typically made with a blend of three types of grapes: chardonnay, pinot meunier, and pinot noir.  The method of creating carbon dioxide in champagne is distinctive to this type of sparkling wine.  Though we may refer to other types of sparkling wine as champagne, only sparkling wine from Champagne may legally bear that name.

There are many varieties of sparkling wines, and many names for those varieties.  The basic distinctions between them all are the production method and the level of carbon dioxide.  Higher-quality sparkling wines use the traditional French method of carbon dioxide production, while the less expensive varieties typically use artificial injection.

Ready to Drink

Sparkling wines should not be aged after purchase.  They should be consumed within one year of purchase because they do not improve with age.  Sparkling wines are usually bought with a special occasion in mind, so they don't have the chance to age in most circumstances anyway!

Serve sparkling wines in flute glasses (colloquially referred to as "champagne flutes").  The unique shape of these glasses serves to reduce the surface area of the wine and prevents the loss of carbonation. 

When holding your flute glass, always hold it by the stem.  The warmth of your hand may destroy the delicate taste of the sparkling wine within.

As sparkling wine is usually reserved for special occasions, most of us associate it with party food, such as cheese and crackers.  However, sparkling wine is also delicious when paired with seafood, poultry, and Japanese sushi.  One of the most decadent ways to enjoy a good glass of sparkling wine is with a bowl of perfectly ripe strawberries.

Sparkling wines have certainly been gaining popularity in recent years as an everyday drink, and why not?  If you enjoy the tingly bubbles and delicate taste of sparkling winesArticle Search, there's no reason not to enjoy them every chance you get.

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