Sparkling Wine FAQs
What’s the difference between sparkling wine and champagne?
All that sparkles is not champagne. You may hear people use the term "champagne" generically, but used correctly, champagne refers only to sparkling wine produced in the Champagne region of France. There are hundreds of excellent bubblies made throughout the world; those not made in Champagne region are called sparkling wines.
Brut, Extra Dry, Semi Dry, Spumante what do they mean?
Brut is a crisp, clean, very dry wine; it contains almost no sugar. Extra Dry, despite its name, is not as dry as brut; it has a hint of sweetness. Semi Dry is a fruity, sweeter wine; it is a somewhat drier alternative to Spumante. Spumante is a very fruity sparkler that can be five times sweeter than a brut.
At what temperature should I serve sparkling wine?
Sparkling wines are best served chilled. Bottles will reach proper temperature after 30 minutes in a bucket of ice and water, or three to five hours in the refrigerator. Opened bottles that still hold some wine should be returned to an ice bucket.
Should sparkling wine be aged?
Freixenet sparkling wines are ready to drink when you buy them. If you buy in quantity, keep the wines stored on their side in a dimly lit, relatively quiet, cool spot (ideally, with a temperature of about 59°F), such as a seldom used closet or the basement.
How are Freixenet sparkling wines made?
All Freixenet wines are made in the méthode champenoise - the traditional, time-honored process of fermenting sparkling wine naturally in the bottle.
We start making wine in the early autumn, when the grapes reach a precise balance of natural sugar and acid content. We hand pick our grapes and rush them to the winery, where they are gently pressed. Yeast is then added (just as in the making of table wine) and the juice goes through its first fermentation.
Next, the winemaker fashions a cuvée, or blend, from the once fermented wines. This cuvée is bottled with small amounts of sugar and yeast for a second fermentation. The bottles are placed in cool, dark limestone caves for this fermentation to occur naturally – generally from 12 months to five years.
After a long second fermentation, the bottles are placed at an angle in A-framed riddling racks which direct sediment to the neck of the bottle. Each bottle is then "riddled" (tilted and turned) daily until the yeast sediment is coaxed into the neck and removed.
All in all, the process from grape to sparkler can take several years. But it is the only way we know to make the finest sparkling wines.
What if we don’t drink the entire bottle?
If you have leftover wine simply close the bottle with our Freixenet Bubble Saver or a sparkling wine stopper and put it in the refrigerator. The Bubble Saver will keep the wine fresh for up to 3-4 days.
How much should I purchase?
Freixenet sparkling wines are available in 1/4-sized bottles, sometimes called "splits," (187ml; 6.5oz); standard bottles (750ml; 26oz); and magnums (1.5 liter; 52oz). You can count on six 4-ounce glasses of sparkling wine from a standard bottle; a magnum pours twelve 4-ounce glasses. On average, plan on 2 or 3 glasses of wine per person during the course of a 2 to 3 hour brunch.
Clear glasses show off the color and sparkle of bubblies. Tall, slender flutes or tulip-shaped glasses hold in the bubbles and are elegant servers, but standard wine glasses can be substituted. When setting the table, place flutes to the right of water glasses; any other glasses should be placed tallest to shortest from left to right.