Last updated: August 11, 2021

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Welcome to our big sparkling wine test 2021. Here we present all the sparkling wines we have tested in detail. We have compiled detailed background information and added a summary of customer reviews on the web.

We would like to make your purchase decision easier and help you find the best sparkling wine for you.

You will also find answers to frequently asked questions in our guide. If available, we also offer interesting test videos. Furthermore, you will also find some important information on this page that you should definitely pay attention to if you want to buy sparkling wine.




The most important Facts

  • Sparkling wine is a lively wine, i.e. a wine that is carbonated. A distinction is made between sparkling wine, prosecco and champagne.
  • Depending on which sparkling wine you want to drink, you have different flavours and aromas to choose from. The production and special characteristics vary between the individual sparkling wines
  • Basically, a distinction is also made between dry or tart sparkling wine and sweet or sweet sparkling wine.

The Best Sparkling Wine: Our Picks

Guide: Questions you should ask yourself before buying a Sparkling Wine

What is sparkling wine?

The term sparkling wine was first used in 1827 in the novel "The Man in the Moon" by Wilhelm Hauff, a German poet.

Champagne has been considered the drink of high society for centuries. Champagne is often drunk there at important parties. ( Image source: unsplash.com / imtilt )

Sparkling wine is the generic term for sparkling wines and thus includes the various wines that are carbonated. Sparkling wines are the simplest table wines.

Sparkling wine is the product of the first or second alcoholic fermentation of fresh grapes, grape must, (quality) wine or imported wine.

In the case of sparkling wine, there are certain requirements that must be met in Germany in order for a wine to be called a sparkling wine:

The excess pressure due to carbonic acid (dissolved carbon dioxide) must be at least 3 bar at 20ºC. The alcohol content should be at least 9.5%.

There are some requirements for a sparkling wine in Germany that guarantee and ensure the quality of a sparkling wine.

Which growing regions are there?

Sparkling wines are grown or produced in the well-known wine regions. In Germany, quality sparkling wine is marketed as Winzer-Sekt.

There are 13 wine-growing regions in Germany. The German wine-growing regions extend along the Rhine, the eastern part of the Elbe and the Main.

In Spain, a wide variety of wine-growing regions can be found throughout the country, even on the Canary Islands. One of the best-known regions is the Rioja region in the north of the country.

The strong Rioja red wine comes from this wine region, but also the well-known Spanish cave sparkling wine as a representative of the sparkling wines.

Grapes are grown for (sparkling) wine production in many parts of the world. Depending on the region, there are typical grapes and thus countless aromas. ( Image source: unsplash.com / tomonine )

Italian sparkling wine (Prosecco) is grown in almost every wine region in Italy, which stretch across the country.

Italy is known for its wine-growing regions, which have their own typical regional taste, depending on the climatic and geographical conditions.

How should you store sparkling wine?

Sparkling wines should be stored in a cool and dark place. Your fridge is the best place for this, as the temperature should not be more than 10ºC. The humidity should also not exceed 10ºC. The humidity should also not exceed 70%. Sparkling wines do not tolerate temperature fluctuations.

The environment should be as odourless as possible. Fuel oils or solvents will be reflected in the taste and can spoil the drink.

If your laundry room or the place where your washing machine is located is nice and cool, this place is also not suitable for your sparkling wine. Sparkling wine cannot withstand the vibrations of the washing machine, for example during the spin cycle.

It is important that you store sparkling wine upright. Otherwise, the characteristic tingling sensation can be lost.

Which glasses do I need for sparkling wine?

Sparkling wine is best enjoyed in special sparkling wine glasses, also called champagne glasses. There are different shapes of glasses: flutes, tulips, bowls and goblets.

The shape of a sparkling wine flute reminds you of a flute. The long, raised goblet of the glass ends in a thin stem that you can use to hold the glass.

Sparkling wine tulips, as the name suggests, resemble a tulip. Here, too, the glass is elongated (approx. 15cm). The goblet glass has a very short style, but at the same time is more elongated in drinking goblet.

Did you know that longer and narrower sparkling wine glasses enhance the aroma?

The taller the goblet of your sparkling wine glass, the longer the carbonic acid chains, i.e. the small bubbles, can become. The carbonic acid, which among other things leads to a pleasant tingling sensation, is a carrier of flavour.

If you want an intense taste experience and to experience your sparkling wine in its full bouquet, it is best to choose a sparkling wine tulip or sparkling wine flute.

How much does sparkling wine cost?

Depending on the sparkling wine, a bottle will cost different amounts. Most sparkling wines are already available in supermarkets and even discount stores.

Prices vary depending on the type of sparkling wine, grape varieties and growing region. Likewise, the storage of the grapes or the finished sparkling wine plays an important role in defining the price.

Type of sparkling wine Price range
Sparkling wine 5-300€
Prosecco 6-200€
Champagne 10-580€

What is the alternative to sparkling wine?

If you don't want to buy sparkling wine, you can also opt for a still wine or a sparkling wine.

A sparkling wine is a "semi-sparkling" wine with at least 7% alcohol by volume. Pearl wine contains less carbonic acid than sparkling wine, which is why it is often perceived as less acidic.

A still wine is a wine that contains little to no carbonic acid. The bar value is 0-1 bar. However, the term "still wine" is often misleading, because this wine is not intended for nursing mothers, nor does this wine contain any carbonic acid.

Alternative Description
Pearl wine Contains less carbonic acid and is therefore considered sour.
Still wine Contains hardly any carbonic acid.

If you don't want to drink a lively wine at all, you can also drink or serve a classic red wine or a white wine as an alternative.

What Sparkling Wines are there and which is the right one for you?

Since sparkling wine is just the collective term for all lively wines, i.e. wines with carbonic acid, you can make further distinctions here. The most common sparkling wines are:

  • Sparkling wine
  • Prosecco
  • Champagne

What distinguishes sparkling wine and what are its advantages and disadvantages?

Sparkling wine is a cheaper alternative to champagne and is classified as a sparkling wine because of the carbon dioxide added or produced during alcoholic fermentation.

Sparkling wine is available in white or rosé. Which colour you prefer depends on your personal taste. The type also depends on whether you prefer a tart or a sweet sparkling wine.

In Germany, the Riesling grape is used for sparkling wine production. This results in a white sparkling wine that you can buy in a wide range of qualities.

Since there are many different types of sparkling wine due to different grapes and flavours, such as tart or sweet, as well as different producers, it is difficult to say which sparkling wine is right for you.

Advantages
  • Inexpensive
  • Suitable for mixed drinks
  • Can be used in desserts
Disadvantages
  • Tart: high acidity
  • Sweet: taste change due to residual sugar

Since there are many types of sparkling wine due to different grapes and flavours, such as tart or sweet, as well as different producers, it is difficult to say which sparkling wine is the right one for you.

What distinguishes Prosecco and what are its advantages and disadvantages?

A Prosecco is a special sparkling wine from Italy. This sparkling wine may only be grown in certain regions in the north-east of the country. The winegrowers here are also only allowed to use certain grape varieties for the production of Prosecco.

Prosecco Cartizze is a special Prosecco that may only be grown and pressed under certain conditions in the Valdobbiadene region.

Due to the strict regulations, the quality of this sparkling wine increases. You can enjoy this sparkling wine with a light creamy dish.

Advantages
  • Contains no spirits
  • higher quality
Disadvantages
  • Partially high sugar content
  • outside Italy: only in dry

Prosecco is divided into Frizzante, Spumante and Tranquillo. Each of these sparkling wines has its own characteristics. Which Prosecco you choose depends on the quality and carbon dioxide content.

What distinguishes champagne and what are its advantages and disadvantages?

Champagne is one of the most expensive sparkling wines. It enjoys a reputation for exclusivity and is seen as the drink of high society. But nowadays you can also buy good champagne in the supermarket for little money.

Champagne has strict rules according to which the grapes must be grown in the Champagne region in France.

Champagne has three grape varieties: Pinot Noir, Pinot Meunier and Chardonnay. Although there are only three grape varieties, the different champagnes vary depending on the producer and also on the dosage.

Only you can decide which champagne is best for you. Here, too, your personal taste is important, as is the occasion on which you would like to enjoy this expensive sparkling wine.

Advantages
  • Exclusivity
  • High quality standards
Disadvantages
  • More expensive than other sparkling wines
  • Often acidic taste

Although there are only three grape varieties, countless champagnes are made from them, which speaks for the elaborate production and exclusivity of this drink.

Buying Criteria: You can compare and evaluate sparkling wines based on these Factors

An important factor in your purchase of a sparkling wine is, of course, the taste.

We would like to give you an overview of important criteria that will help you decide on a sparkling wine:

Aroma

The aroma of a sparkling wine depends on the grape or vine varieties used. This can be inspired by different fruits that grow together with the grapes.

As we have mentioned many times before, the decision is up to you. You should consider on which occasion you would like to drink a sparkling wine and which aroma appeals to you personally.

Taste

The taste can be divided into tart or sweet/sweet. Some people prefer a tart sparkling wine, while others like a sweeter sparkling wine. It all depends on your preferences.

The sparkling carbonic acid ensures an intense taste experience and allows you to discover the bouquet in its entirety. ( Image source: unsplash.com / deleece )

If you want to drink a tart sparkling wine, a dry sparkling wine is recommended. If you like sweeter drinks, drink a sweet sparkling wine.

Grape varieties

Since you can distinguish between three types of sparkling wine, sparkling wine, prosecco and champagne, you can imagine how many different grape varieties are used.

For a German sparkling wine, Riesling grapes are used. For Champagne, there are only three grape varieties, as we explained above.

The grape varieties differ depending on the growing region. This means that even within one country of origin, a wide variety of grapes can be grown for sparkling wine production.

Due to this diversity, the aromas as well as the taste of each sparkling wine vary, regardless of the classification as sparkling wine, prosecco or champagne.

Food

An appropriate occasion to drink a sparkling wine is a delicious (evening) meal. Depending on the food and dishes, a particular sparkling wine is recommended.

Sparkling wines are amazingly versatile and can be used with different dishes. Depending on the dish, you can drink either a tart or a sweet sparkling wine.

Food Recommended sparkling wine
Salty and spicy food Dry sparkling wine
Salads and spicy snacks Dry sparkling wine
Terrine and pâté Dry sparkling wine, often rosé
Sweet food and desserts Sweet, but to be chosen according to the sweetness of the food

Producers

It is difficult to say exactly how many wineries and wine presses there are, as there are also large groups that have several subsidiaries.

Spontaneously, you might only think of a few large wineries, but for champagne alone there are over 30 producers.

The winery where a sparkling wine is produced also has an influence on the quality and thus on the taste of your sparkling wine.

There are traditional wineries that have been brewing according to family traditions for decades or centuries, but also new start-up wineries that are creating new creations.

Facts worth knowing about Sparkling Wines

Who invented sparkling wine?

The origin of sparkling wine lies in France. In 1540, monks at Saint-Hilaire Abbey in Limoux bottled incompletely fermented wine and corked it with oak corks.

This allowed the wine to continue fermenting in the bottles and carbon dioxide, better known as carbonic acid, developed as a result of the alcoholic fermentation.

The sparkling wine became famous, so that later in the 18th century some German winegrowers visited Champagne to learn more about the handling of sparkling wine.

Are there legal regulations for sparkling wines?

There is an EU-wide regulation for sparkling wines in the EU Regulation on the common organisation of the market in wine of 17 May 1999.

This regulation regulates minimum alcohol content as well as quality characteristics. The official name of this EU regulation in Germany is: Sparkling Wine and Intermediate Products Tax.

There is also the tax on sparkling wine, which was introduced by Kaiser Wilhelm II in 1902. The current value of the tax is 1.02€ per 0.75l bottle.

Is there vegan sparkling wine or sparkling wine without sulphites?

Actually, there is also vegan sparkling wine nowadays. In the production process, animal substances such as gelatine are not used to bind turbidity.

Instead, 100% vegan clarifying agents such as bentonite or kaolin clay are used to clarify the sparkling wine. The taste remains the same.

However, production materials such as gelatine or their vegan representatives do not have to be labelled. This is why it is often difficult for vegans to "just" buy vegan sparkling wine in the supermarket.

However, there are now some wineries that specifically produce vegan sparkling wine. Here are a few examples:

  • Schloss Raggendorf Vive Sparkling Wine
  • Sparkling wine from the Königsrain Winery
  • Frizzante & Wines from Karner in Austria

Image source: 123rf.com / barmalini

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