Shanyn Ward is a WSET (Wine and Spirit Education Trust) Diploma graduate and Okanagan sommelier. Image contributed

Wineology: Bubbles, Bubbles, Bubbles

Check out Okanagan sommelier Shanyn Ward’s new bi-weekly column

It seems that everyone these days is making sparkling wine.

There are wines from France, Spain, Italy, the USA, not to mention all the local wineries making them.

It can be quite confusing trying to figure out which is sweet or dry, fruity or yeasty …Ugh! What does yeasty even mean?!

I get it – the struggle to find a style of sparkling to suit yourself or your palate can be a real struggle indeed.

To clarify, yeasty means that a wine has rested on its lees (yeast particles) for an extended period of time creating a yeasty, bread-like flavour in the sparkling wine. There are many styles that do not rest on lees at all, making them fresher and more citrus or fruit forward.

So, in a two-part article I will try to clarify different styles of sparkling wine for you, so that when you find yourself looking through a wine shop for either a special occasion, or just for breakfast mimosas you’ll be better equipped to make a decision.

This week let’s talk about sweeter and more fruit-forward styles of sparkling wine.

While there are always going to be a lot choose from, I will give you some basic examples from which you can expand on. Two different styles come to mind right away – Moscato d`Asti and Prosecco. These are both produced in Northern Italy.

The first, Moscato d`Asti, is a sweet sparkling wine – made in a frizzante, or half-sparkling method. It is made by stopping the fermentation process at a lower alcohol and therefore creating a wine with more residual sugar. This wine has tropical fruit and orange blossom flavors. It is a great sparkling to have with dessert or as a dessert.

The market these days is dominated by Martini and Ruffino –both around $12 per bottle.

Prosecco is another style of sparkling made in the Veneto region of Northern Italy. For the most part, in Canada we see off dry styles, instead of dry ones. The wine is made from the Glera grape which is grapey and floral. This sparkling has more carbonation than the Asti style, but the bubbles are soft and frothy. This wine is a great celebratory sparkling if you want to keep your budget under $25. With a hint of sweetness, this sparkling is always a crowd pleaser.

What I am loving this week:

La Marca Prosecco – This Prosecco is one of the most well known in the province. It is off dry with flavors of cooked citrus, flower blossoms and white peach. Conveniently, it even takes the colours of a Tiffany’s jewelry box, but if jewelry isn’t your thing perhaps a bottle of wine as a substitution wouldn’t be terrible!

Part two of the bubbles column is coming June 15.

Cheers!

shanynward@gmail.com

To check out past Wineology columns, click here.

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