Sparkling Wine vs Champagne

What’s the difference, and what’s better - plus sparkling wines and Champagnes to try!
Is sparkling wine champagne?

Is sparkling wine champagne?

There’s a lot of confusion between sparkling wine vs champagne. YES, Champagne is sparkling wine. Champagne is sparkling wine from Champagne, France. Sparkling wine is sparkling wine from every place else. Let’s make it simple: the wine itself is exactly the same if made by the champagne method, methode champenoise.

Champagne is a region in France, therefore wine produced from the region carries its name. Sparkling wine is made from three types of grapes: Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, and Pinot Meunier, and produced in a lengthy process to give it the bubbles called methode champenoise. Prosecco is mainly made in Italy with Prosecco/Glera grapes. (If you’re curious, here’s how sparkling wine is made and here’s the difference between Champagne and Prosecco.)

That’s why saying “french Champagne” is redundant. All Champagne is French.  All Sparkling is delicious. Make it a resolution to not wait for New Year’s Eve to enjoy the bubbly!

Sparkling Wines Brands to try

In general, sparkling wines from other regions are far more affordable than champagne. Personally? We love California Sparkling – Chandon Etoile Rose (fancy!) and Gloria Ferrer (we love the wine club!) are two of our top picks. We toured several places in Sonoma and Napa, and actually got to see the bottling process at J Vineyards. GH Mumm and Veuve Cliquot are popular champagnes you can find in the grocery store that are excellent.

Here are a few of our favorites, which you can find at Total Wine, Walmart, Target, or your local grocery store:

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