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Make everyday Sparkle! Not just for special occasions, delicious sparkling wine can be enjoyed any time. Sparkling wines are extremely food friendly. Pair them with chicken, seafood, a light salad, dessert or drink sparkling wine on its own. Usually white or rosé, the fizzy wine can also be found as a red sparkling wine, like some Spanish Cava, Italian Brachetto, Bonarda and Lambrusco, Australian sparkling Shiraz and the Azerbaijani “Pearl of Azerbaijan” created from Madrasa grapes.
The sparkling effect on these wines is due to its carbon dioxide content. It can be obtained through natural fermentation in the bottle (traditional method), in a large tank (Charmat process) or with a simple injection of carbon dioxide.
Bubbles in wine have been noticed throughout history and have been documented by Ancient Roman and Greek writers, but their cause was a mystery. They have even been attributed to the phases of the moon and to good and evil spirits, being considered, at first, a wine fault. In the early 18th century, sparkling wine started to be deliberately produced, even though the fermentation and carbonic gas processes were pretty much unknown, causing bottles to spontaneously burst by excess of pressure. A chain reaction could happen in the cellar, commonly making a producer lose 20 to 90% of the production.
During the 18th century the British would buy wine from Champagne on wooden wine barrels and bottle them in England. The fermentation was dormant due to low temperatures in France. The British bottled the wine in much more durable glasses along with the rediscover of cork-stoppers. That solved the bottle burst problem and started the market for bubbly wine.
The word “Champagne”, sometimes mistakenly used as a synonym for sparkling wine, is reserved for the sparkling wines produced in the French region of Champagne. There is a worldwide production of bubbly wine, and each region has a local name for it: Cava in Catalonia, Cap Classique in South Africa, Espumante in Portugal and Brazil, Prosecco, Asti, Franciacorta and others in Italy.
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