Recently we saw a study on how drinking champagne may help prevent Alzheimers (for all you brainy ladies, heres a link to info on the study) . Personally we have always felt that the health benefits of Champagne are understated, but now that we have proof our consumption may or may not have dramatically increased... A glass of Champagne a day keeps the doctor away, right?
But what is Champagne, exactly? Or Prosseco, or Cava, or sparkling wine. And how can you tell the difference?
Well first things first, on a very basic level:
All Champagne is sparkling wine; but not all sparkling wine is Champagne.
A bottle of bubbles can only be called Champagne if it is made in the Champagne region of France. This region is located north of Paris and is simply breathtaking (Champagne Supply Co. summit anyone?!). There are very strict regulations in France for all wine making (they refer to these regulations as appellations) and Champagne production is no different. The method for making Champagne is referred to as méthode Champenoise. It involves the use of specific grapes and the slow laborious process of a double fermentation within the bottle. The end result provides a delicious effervescent glass of tiny stars that keep you floating for hours.
(Pro-tip: Drinking Champagne out of a thin tall flute allows the bubbles and crisp cool temperature to last longer. The greater the surface area of the glass, the more quickly bubbles dissipate and temperatures rise. Take it from us, there is no sadder taste than a warm glass of Champagne).
Cava is Spain’s answer to a bottle of bubbles. Cava adheres to similarly strict standards which have always made France’s Champagne so renowned. While the overall taste of Cava tends to be more earthy than Champagne, the method for making Cava is the same as that of méthode Champegnoise. In Spain, however, this method is called Traditionelle and the grapes used are local to Spain.
(Pro-tip: Cava, in our opinion is best drunk on a wooden sailboat with a tall dark and handsome date... if you're short on dream guys and sailboats though, Cava also pairs well with salty snacks (like tapas!)).
While France has Champagne, and Spain has Cava, Italy has Prosecco. The regulations for how Prosecco is made, unlike Champagne and Cava, are far less rigorous. The process of manufacturing Prosecco (known as Charmat) is a much faster and less costly route to making sparkling wine. Generally speaking, Prosecco tends to be sweeter than it’s french and Spanish counterparts and is typically a safe bet for first time bubble drinkers who want something fun and easy to taste.
(Pro-tip: The best way to make an adult ice cream float is with sherbet ice cream and your favorite bottle of Prosecco).
So, to summarize: Champagne is good for your health, Cava is an earthier Spanish version of Champagne, and Prosecco is a sweet Italian sparkling wine that goes great with sorbets. Anyone else feel like they deserve a drink after that lesson? Doctor's orders!
Cheers to you, and cheers to your health!
Ana and Gabrielle