Champagne or Sparkling Wine: Which One to Choose, When to Drink?

20.7.2021.

Let’s raise our glasses and make a toast with champagne!

Sparkling wine is the drink of choice on every festive occasion, at weddings and other celebrations, on New Year’s Eve; we will celebrate our special moments with it… And yes, most people still largely call it champagne. We have always known about Bakarska vodica, since 1930, when we titled it as champagne, although it was a regular carbonated table wine. 

However, almost a hundred years later, the traditional Bakarska vodica is no longer champagne, and the phrase sparkling wine has become a part of our vocabulary. What’s the difference?

Champagnes and (or) Sparkling Wines?

There are several of them, and the main one refers to the place of production. Although Russian President Vladimir Putin thinks otherwise and believes that only Russians can use the name champagne for their sparkling wine, the name alone indicates its origin. It originated in the French region of Champagne in the northeastern part of France, which is now included on the UNESCO World Heritage List. This has been the case since the 1970s, when the French wine industry managed to fight for its brand. 

The name, of course, makes the brand, but the quality is formed by the climate, the soil, and the grape variety. The Champagne region has a moderately mild and humid oceanic and continental climate, and the soil is rich in minerals and limestone that preserves the grapevines throughout the year. 

The Magnificent Seven

Only seven grape varieties can be used to produce champagne, and these are: Pinot Noir, Pinot Meunier, Chardonnay (more commonly) and Pinot Blanc, Pinot Gris, Petit Meslier, and Arbane. 

Sparkling wines are – everything else, although they are also branded, thus the Spanish sparkling wine is known as Cava, and the Italian sparkling wine as Prosecco, which not on your sweet life should you confuse with our Prošek!

Champagne has some other particularities – for example, the term ‘blanc de noirs’, by which it is pointed out that champagne is made from Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier. It is not a question of magic; it is just a process whereby the black skin of the grapes is removed before fermentation. Even radish soup is not red but green!

Every day is New Year’s Day!

In the Laganini tavern you can start your dinner – and finish it! – with some of the sparkling wines and champagnes from our wine list: Millenium Tomac, Rosé Tomac, Ruinart Blanc de Blancs, Ruinart Brut, Ruinart Rosé, and probably the most famous of all champagnes, Dom Perignon. Choose a light sparkling wine or champagne that stimulates appetite as an aperitif, a darker champagne for a more pleasant end to the evening without digestion troubles – the choice is yours, and it is impossible to make a mistake. Cheers!

Scientists have calculated that when shaking the bottle vigorously, the cork will fly off at a speed of about 40 kilometers per hour. In the Laganini tavern, you will have no worries because our waiters open the bottles professionally and unobtrusively!

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