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Champagne, Sparkling Wine, and Prosecco – Oh My!

While planning my menu for my birthday celebration last week I decided to make a cheese souffle and with that came some new knowledge (at least to me anyway) that I would like to share with you all.

You see, all of the resources that I looked up in order to see what I should serve along side of my cheese souffle said the same thing – serve with a nice green salad, crusty bread, and a nice champagne or sparkling wine.

With that knowledge I headed off to my local Total Wine and More store to procure that nice bottle of bubbly for my celebration. I told the nice man there what I was making and how it suggested either a nice bottle of champagne or a sparkling champagne to accompany it. He suggested a nice sparkling wine from France.

As he retrieved the bottle for me I had to ask the silly question that was floating around in my head – What’s the difference between Champagne and sparkling wine? I found the answer was simple and along the lines of what I expected.

In France their laws are very strict when it comes to wine making. No one can call their sparkling wine Champagne UNLESS it actually comes from Champagne, France.  If you’re even so much as a millimeter outside of Champagne, France you’ve created a sparkling wine! If you want to make a Champagne well then you better move your vines!

As Americans we are pretty much used to calling everything with bubbles Champagne because our laws couldn’t really care less where it’s made and we are just trained to call bubbly Champagne. However, if it doesn’t come from Champagne, France it technically isn’t Champagne….but it is really the same thing.

Italy has a similar law when it comes to their bubbly called Prosecco although technically to our American minds we’d probably call it Champagne too.

While researching this whole thing I found that apparently Prosecco is one of the most consumed bubbly in Italy. They even have a  lower end version that they sell to the masses that’s in pop top soda-like cans that is consumed regularly although the quality isn’t going to be like you find in the traditional bubbly-type bottles.

So that’s our little lesson for this week. I hope my learnings have sparked an interest in you to try some bubbly really soon be it Champagne, Sparkling Wine, or Prosecco. I’ve decided that we waste so many opportunities to enjoy a great bubbly because our society says it has to be a special occasion. I think we should all find reasons to celebrate and enjoy the finer things in life. That’s what it’s all about really, isn’t it?

I’ll share my review of the Sparkling Wine that was recommended to me by that nice man at the Total Wine store on Sunday. It just might be a great place for you to start too. 🙂