Sparkling Wine

Appears in

Oxford Companion to Wine

Oxford Companion to Wine

By Jancis Robinson

Published 2006

  • About

sparkling wine, wine which bubbles when poured into a glass, an important and growing category of wine. The bubbles form because a certain amount of carbon dioxide has been held under pressure dissolved in the wine until the bottle is unstoppered (see fizziness).

Sparkling wine may vary in as many respects as still wine: it can be any wine colour (it is usually white or pink but sparkling reds such as Australian sparkling Shiraz enjoy a certain following); it can be any degree of sweetness (although a high proportion tastes bone dry and may be labelled brut, while Italians specialize in medium-sweet spumante and a wave of sweetish fizzy moscato washed the US in the early 2010s); it can vary in alcoholic strength (although in practice most dry sparkling wines are about 12%, while the sweeter, lighter Spumante are between 5.5 and 8%); and it can come from anywhere in the world where wine is produced.