How is Sparkling White Wine Different from Champagne?
Many people, and even many experienced wine drinkers, will not realize that there is a difference between sparkling white wine and champagne. You can only call a wine Champagne if it has come from the specific region in France. Only then can a sparkling wine have the name Champagne on its label. There are also many guidelines that producers of sparkling white wine will not have to follow compared to those that are required for producers of Champagne.
Champagne, unlike sparkling white wine is required to be processed through a second fermentation while it is in the bottles. This is how the bubbles of the champagne are created. Sparkling white wine gets its bubbles from CO2 that is added to the wine. The same process is used for making sodas and sparkling water.
Some people claim that they cannot taste the difference between sparkling white wine and Champagne, but an expert wine taster will be able to tell the difference. A sparkling white wine will but somewhat heavier than Champagne, and you will also be able to taste the characteristics of the region it is grown in on the flavor of the wine. Many people prefer the taste and flavor of genuine Champagne over that of sparkling white wine.
Sparkling white wine is often used as a less expensive alternative to Champagne. You can find many good quality sparkling wines in stores as there are many more brands and types of it available than the limited number of Champagnes. Many people will substitute sparkling white wine for champagne in Mimosa cocktails and punches for parties because it is generally lower in price.
You may find that sparkling white wine has a slightly sweeter and less dry taste than Champagne, and you may prefer its taste. You can use sparkling white wine as a substitute to make many of the same sparkling cocktails that you find delicious such as a Kir Royale, or a Black Velvet, which uses half Guinness Stout and half sparkling wine.