There are some great Italian
sparkling wines like Prosecco and Asti Spumanti, but this is the the one
time when the French champagnes are actually best: Moet, Louis
Roederer, Nicholas Leuitte ($50 price range); if $50 is too much, try the
Korbel, I happen to like it, and that comes from a person that has had the
1990 Vintage of Dom Perignon, not only did I not care for the taste, its
obviously $100 more even if it did taste slightly better... try teh Louis
Roederer, it scores a 91 rating from Wine Spectator Magazine, and you can
get it for $35-40. Just some trivia for you, there are an estimated
45 million bubbles in a single bottle of
How to open the bottle? No, you dont
pop the cork so it goes flying across the room, those corks can travel more
than 60 MPH, so not the best idea if you are in a crowded room. You
simply take a towel or your hand and slowly twist the cork from the bottle
left to right, upward till you hear a "pop", its a bit more classy and elgant
rather than the cork going flying across the room, breaking something, getting
lost and/or injuring someone.
Asti/Asti Spumante: A sparkling
white wine made from the Moscato grape produced in and around Asti in the
Piedmont region of northern Italy. It is sometimes referred to as the "Champagne
Bottle: Glass bottles are the best
way to store wine for long periods of time because it does not affect the
taste of the wine in any way. I doubt you will ever see wine come in
plastic bottles, and those that come in "boxes" that actually have plastic
liners are to be avoided, even for use in sangria.
Brut: The driest type of champagne
or other sparkling wine.
Carbonated Wine: Wine that is
artificially injected with carbon dioxide to make it sparkling, obviously
this happens in lower qualit wines and should be avoided.
Champagne: Only 75 miles northeast
of Paris, the region has over 300 villages and produces the best-known sparkling
wines in the world. Only wines produced here can legally be called
Charmat Process: The process of
producing sparkling wine in a tank rather than a bottle, it is used to
mass-produce inexpensive sparkling wines.
Clean: A wine with no offensive
odors or tastes.
Cork: The protector or guardian
of a bottle of wine, it is a hard sponge-like insertion which is actually
from the bark of the cork tree. Today, you will see synthetic corks
whic some prefer because they are easier to remove and re-insert to a bottle
of unfinished wine. Many are purists and feel that only natural cork
should be put in bottles, but there is now a cork shortage. Additionally,
sometimes there is a fungus on the cork which can ruin a bottle of wine (some
refer to this as the wine being "corked or corky" as in bad, and/or a person
who has had too much wine to drink and is drunk). While it is very
rare corks go bad, (perhaps 1/1000), I personally have never encountered
Crackling: Used to indicate a wine
that is mildly sparkling.
Crisp: Often refers to a white
wine with good acid balance that is fresh and lively.
Demi-Sac: Champagne or other sparkling
wines that are semi-sweet.
Filtering: Elimination of the deposits
formed in a sparkling wine during its second fermentation in the
Fizzante: An Italian word meaning
House: A term used for producers
Lambrusco: A fizzy, usually red,
dry to sweet wine from northern Italy, made from grape of the same
Non-Vintage Champagne: A Champagne
containing the juice for grapes of different years.
Prosecco: The Italian version of
Sparkling Wine: Wines containing
bubbles of carbon dioxide gas (a byproduct of fermentation).
Spumante: Italian term for sparkling
Vintage Champagne: Champagne made
from grapes from a single harvest rather than a blend (Cuvee) from several