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.
- 1 Weekly newsletter with the best personal finance tips
- 2 The most important facts
- 3 The best champagne: Our choices
- 4 Guide: Questions you should ask yourself before buying champagne
- 5 Decision: What types of sparkling wine are there and which is the right one for you?
- 6 Buying criteria: Use these factors to compare and evaluate sparkling wines
- 7 Facts worth knowing about sparkling wine
The most important facts
- Sparkling wine is the cheap alternative to champagne. This is because it differs significantly in production.
- The production of sparkling wine is less strictly regulated than that of champagne. It often ferments in fermentation tanks and for a much shorter time than champagne.
- The regulations for making sparkling wine do not specify particular grapes. In principle, any grape can be used.
The best champagne: Our choices
Guide: Questions you should ask yourself before buying champagne
What types of sparkling wine are there?
What grape varieties are used for sparkling wine?
Light to medium-heavy soils are best suited for Riesling. Heavy, wet and cold soils are not suitable.
The grape has some advantages and disadvantages, as you can see here:
How should sparkling wine be stored?
- Store upright
- Cellar rooms or wine refrigerators are most suitable
- Temperature fluctuations and frequent cooling down are harmful
- Do not expose the sparkling wine to much light, as this accelerates its ageing process
- Do not store on stone shelves, as this can damage the bottle
If you follow these points, you can store sparkling wine for longer than just a few days. Sparkling wine with natural corks can even be stored for up to two years.
What is the average price of sparkling wine?
Decision: What types of sparkling wine are there and which is the right one for you?
Generally speaking, you can distinguish between two different types of sparkling wine:
- Tart sparkling wine
- Sweet sparkling wine
In addition to the colours white and rosé, which depends on the type of grape, sparkling wine differs mainly in taste, which is created by the residual sugar content. Since everyone's personal preferences are somewhat different and not all sparkling wine tastes the same, there are different advantages and disadvantages with each type of sparkling wine and flavour. In order to give you a better overview of which types there are and which are best suited to your taste, the different types of sparkling wine are presented in more detail below and the respective advantages and disadvantages are listed.
Sparkling wine production is based on the further processing of the mainly used white wine. Riesling wines are particularly suitable for this purpose. The mixture of wine, sugar and special yeasts creates the sparkling wine through fermentation processes, which is refined in taste by the dosage. It is typical for German sparkling wine to have an alcohol content of at least ten per cent and a pressure of at least 3.5 bar. The ripeness of the grapes and the dosage ultimately determine the taste of the sparkling wine. Among other things, the dosage determines the amount of sugar that leads to the different flavours. The range of flavours can thus extend from naturally tart with a sugar content of up to three grams per litre to mild sparkling wines with a sugar content of over 50 grams per litre.
What is a tart sparkling wine and what are its advantages and disadvantages?
A sparkling wine that meets the criteria as a tart sparkling wine has a residual sugar content of zero to 12 grams per litre. This means that the sparkling wine is drier and tastier due to the low sugar content. Wine lovers who like the natural taste in particular do without any added sugar and prefer brut nature.
Those who like dry wine should therefore stick to brut nature (less than three grams per litre), extra brut (zero to six grams per litre) or brut (six to 12 grams per litre) when buying sparkling wine.
What is a sweet sparkling wine and what are its advantages and disadvantages?
Sweet sparkling wines already include the dry varieties. Dry sparkling wine is therefore not to be compared with dry wines, as it has more sweetness in the taste. The taste range varies from extra dry to mild. With a sugar content of 12 to 20 grams per litre, extra dry sparkling wine is still on the borderline of sweet sparkling wines and comes very close to Brut in taste. It is often used with Prosecci. The dry sparkling wine with 17 to 35 grams per litre already allows the sweetness to be tasted, whereas semi-dry sparkling wines with 33 to 50 grams per litre already have a very distinct sweet taste. Mild sparkling wine with a residual sugar content of over 50 grams per litre tastes particularly sweet. This can therefore be compared to dessert wines.
In general, the higher sugar content of sweet sparkling wine as well as the carbonic acid cause the alcohol to enter the bloodstream more quickly. It is therefore recommended to drink in moderation to avoid alcohol intoxication.
Buying criteria: Use these factors to compare and evaluate sparkling wines
When you are deciding which sparkling wine to buy, there are some criteria you can use to find out which one you should choose. In the following, we want to show you what you can look for in order to make the right decision for you:
- grapes used
- suitable food
Grape varieties used
In general, sparkling wine offers a wide variety of grapes. Since there are no strict regulations as with champagne, all grapes are allowed in principle. Basically, the grape Riesling is most commonly used for the production of sparkling wine. However, any other variety can also be used. This is because there are no regulations prescribing the use of certain grape varieties in sparkling wine.
There are also many different aromas used in sparkling wine. Basically, the aroma depends on the grapes used. The aroma of sparkling wine is mainly influenced by the grapes used, but also by the production method. The aroma can range from fruity to tart. So it depends on which aroma you prefer and on which occasion you want to drink the sparkling wine.
There are different types of sparkling wine. But two types in particular are the most common. If you like tart sparkling wine, then perhaps a dry sparkling wine would be just right for you. But if you prefer a sweet sparkling wine, then a semi-dry or sweet sparkling wine is best for you.
A particularly important purchase criterion is the occasion on which you would like to enjoy the sparkling wine. With a particular meal or just as a refreshment and toast? Some types of sparkling wine are particularly suitable for certain dishes, but others are ideal as a refreshment between meals. So it would be a good idea to find out which sparkling wine is best suited to which occasion.
The winery also plays a major role in the selection process. There are traditional and widespread producers as well as new and trendy ones. There is a very large variety of sparkling wine producers. Some end up being particularly cheap to buy, but others are also more highly priced. Many companies are very traditional and have been on the market for a long time and therefore have high quality standards that they set themselves.
Facts worth knowing about sparkling wine
How is sparkling wine made?
There are three different production methods for sparkling wine:
- Bottle fermentation
This type of production is also used for champagne. Here, the sparkling wine ferments in the original bottle. Yeast and sugar are added to each bottle to drive the fermentation forward. After maturing for at least nine months, the bottle is kept in a cold bath. This freezes the yeast and it shoots out when the bottle is opened. The resulting loss of liquid is replenished by the dosage. This is a sugar solution or sweet wine. The dosage can vary in composition. This creates individual flavours.
- Transvasation process
This is a way to preserve the advantages of bottle fermentation, but to make the process simpler. The de-fermentation, i.e. the removal of the yeast, is done by emptying the bottle and then filtering it (separation process). Then the sparkling wine is put into a second, new bottle and continues to ferment there. Since here, too, fermentation basically takes place in the bottle, this sparkling wine may also be called bottle-fermented sparkling wine.
- Tank fermentation
This is the most common method of producing sparkling wine. It is the simplest variant, which is the cheapest. Here, the second fermentation does not take place in the bottle, but in large fermentation tanks. Bottling takes place at a later stage before the sparkling wine is delivered.
What is the difference between sparkling wine and champagne?
The difference between sparkling wine and champagne is not necessarily the production process. Bottled fermentation can be considered for both. However, champagne has even stricter specifications than sparkling wine. In principle, all grapes can be used for sparkling wine, whereas only three can be used for champagne. Also, champagne must come from the province of Champagne in France, while sparkling wine may be produced anywhere. A significant difference is also the storage time. For sparkling wine, a minimum storage period of six months is prescribed, whereas for champagne, storage must be much longer.
Image source: unsplash.com / Alex Holyoake