It’s the perfect celebratory beverage. Bubbly, effervescent but is it sparkling or Champagne? Are they made the same? What makes them different and does that difference change how you pair them with food?
Here are 5 talking points for celebrating this holiday season with tiny bubbles in the wine… to make you feel happy… to make you feel fine.
1. How do they get those bubbles in there? A secondary fermentation which is induced when sugar and yeast are added to a still base wine.
2. What is Champagne and why is it different? First let’s note that it must be from the region of Champagne, France to be called Champagne. If it is not but still made the same way, it is called the Traditional Method.
3. What are the methods of making sparkling wine?
– Champagne or Traditional Method
– Charmat or Tank Method
– Transfer Method
– Continuous Method
– Ancestral Method – Carbonation
4. What method does Pelee Island Winery use? We use the Charmat Method.
During this process wine undergoes first or secondary fermentation in pressurized stainless-steel tanks vs bottles as in the Traditional Method.
The method is named after the French winemaker, Eugene Charmat, who patented the process in 1907.
5. Does the method change which foods pair well with the wine? Yes it does. Champagne or the Traditional method create a wine that is more complex and rich. The Charmat Method will produce a wine that is more crisp and has more fruit forward aromatics. This makes it perfect for pairing with salty dishes and oysters.
The complexity of wines made in the Traditional Method pair well with white meat dishes and heartier vegan fare.
Note: both pair well with soy sauce based dishes.
Pelee Island Winery wines made in the Charmat Method include Lola Rosé, Lola Vidal and the new Bella and Lola Secco.