There’s a lot to know about your favourite fizz. It’s easy to pick a Prosecco or a Crémant, but how can you tell what it will taste like? Have no fear – with a bit of expert guidance, we’ve put together a handy fact sheet to help you know exactly what kind of fizz you’re popping in your shopping trolley.
Federica Zanghirella is a fully-qualified sommelier and the Vice President of the UK Sommelier Association. She teaches various wine courses on topics such as food and wine pairings and wine tasting. She is also the creator of Wine It, a food and wine pairing app!
What does my wine actually taste like?
There are a lot of special words used to describe wine. Here Federica breaks down some of the most common sparkling wine tasting terms and what they mean:
“A lot of aromas of bread and biscuit, in which yeastiness is very present and fresh. With a Prosecco [it won’t be] so much yeastiness, but definitely fruitiness and refreshing sensations of fruit.”
“[This] comes from the balance. When a wine is well balanced, all the aromas and sensations and smells are nice and easy to recognise and easy to guess.” Federica says this term most often refers to wines that are more complex (and usually more expensive).
This describes the body of a wine. “This is what you have if you imagine you took away the water (the main ingredient) [in wine]. You have all the other substances you get,” says Federica. In sparkling wine, this is mostly found in wines that were aged and had stayed on lees a long time. “This is what creates the complexity and creates a lot of aromas.”
“Creaminess comes from a very nice balance between acidity and all of the sensations [in a wine]”; this tends to make them less acidic and smoother on the finish, according to Federica. These are also wines usually aged longer. In a Prosecco, creaminess can be connected to the bit of sugar in the wine, which is “not really creaminess but softness,” Federica adds.
Federica’s Golden Rule
What’s the one thing any discerning fizz drinker needs to keep in mind? “Price!” Federica exclaims, ‘’When the wine is very cheap you’re actually paying more taxes than wine – so there’s something wrong with the quality; and with sparkling wine, taxes are even higher.” With this in mind, if a deal sounds too good to be true – it probably is. But if you’re looking for better quality sparklers at a decent price point, skip the Champagne and opt for a quality sparkler of a different variety (like any of the fizz at our Bubble Shop!). When it comes to good sparkling wine, less is really more.