Champagne and classic sparkling wines are usually made using Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier grapes, in Italy with its wealth of Frizzante and Spumante it is the Moscato, Spain uses grapes such as Macabeo to produce Cava, in Germany it’s Sekts created mainly from the Riesling grape and don’t forget about some great sparkling reds which are produced in all parts of the world.
The characteristics of the sparkling wines are as numerous as the multitude of different grapes used in their production. The more noble grapes such as Chardonnay and Pinot Noir tend to provide more restrained aromas and flavours and deliver structure to their wines, whereas the more aromatic grapes like Moscato and Riesling produce much fruitier wines.
Why they match
Sparkling wines are not only for celebrations – cold meat platters are fantastic with sparkling reds, a fruity Sekt and dessert are made for each other, and try a dry Sekt as partner with cheese.
The success of sparkling wines lies in their versatility, so don’t be afraid to try a few different food and fizz pairings – there’s no rule book to follow.