Sparkling wines (spumanti in Italian) are synonymous with celebration and good times. A bottle of fizz makes the perfect gift for all occasions, including when we simply want to treat ourselves to a touch of luxury. Here at Tannico we have over 1000 bottles for you to choose from: from famed varieties such as Champagne, Prosecco and Cava, to equally delicious but lesser-known sparkling white wines from Austria, Slovenia and South Africa, to name but a few, and of course our sparkling rosés. We have organic sparkling wines, vegan sparkling wines, and many offerings from relatively newer vineyards. And with the full range of styles, from Extra Brut right through to Doux (extra dry and sweet respectively), we are confident in saying that we feature a sparkling wine for every palate.

So, what distinguishes Champagne from other sparkling wines? Champagne must come from the region of the same name, in the north-east of France, otherwise quite simply, it’s not Champagne. Strict rules govern this sparkling wine’s production, and rightly so, given the centuries-old traditions and growing practices associated with this historic tipple. You are probably already familiar with several of the bigger Champagne houses: names such as Dom Pérignon, Cristal and Laurent Perrier are famous worldwide.

Champagne is primarily made from Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier, although up to seven different grapes are officially permitted. A distinctive feature of Champagne’s production method is the second fermentation which takes place inside the sealed bottle - a double-fermentation process which is referred to as the méthode champenoise, or traditional method. In terms of flavour, what really sets Champagne apart is its immensely well-balanced flavour and mouthfeel. Notes of lemon, apple and bread or biscuits are common, but of course different wineries bring their own particular interpretation, and, in longer-aged vintage varieties in particular, a great depth and richness of flavour is to be expected.

Where is Prosecco produced? In order to be labelled Prosecco and receive the accompanying DOC seal of quality, this sparkling wine must hail from Italy’s Veneto region in the North, or the neighbouring Friuli-Venezia. The more prestigious DOCG label is reserved for Prosecco produced exclusively in and around Asolo and Conegliano-Valdobbiadene, to the north of Venice, however.

What are Prosecco’s defining characteristics? A true Prosecco be made with at least 85% Glera (a.k.a. Prosecco) grapes. Indeed, many are produced exclusively from this grape variety, with others choosing to make up the difference with Pinot Nero. Crisp and lightly aromatic as a general rule of thumb, Prosecco offers a dazzling array of tasting notes, from pear and yellow apple, through to white stone fruit and even honeysuckle or hazelnut.

If you came here seeking something a little different however, you won’t go away empty-handed. From France, instead of Champagne why not try a Crémant d’Alsace, a Saumur Brut, or a Vouvray? Or from Italy, a sparkling Franciacorta, Moscato or Pinot Nero wine? Special mention must also go to our outstanding selection of Cavas from Spain, whilst – venturing further afield – how about our mouth-watering sparkling rosé from the Slavcek vineyard in Slovenia, made according to the traditional method?

Time to start popping those corks.

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