The History and Culture of Sparkling Wines



A wine seminar in Delafield on Thursday, February, 6 to 7:30 pm.

The creation of Sparkling Wine goes hand in hand with the folklore of Champagne. Legend would have us believe that sparkling Champagne was invented by Dom Perignon, a monk who became a cellar master at Hautvillers, France in 1668. But six years earlier, English coopers were adding sugar to still wines to make them sparkle. Consequently, in the mid-1660s, there was a strong demand in London for “brisk and sparkling wines.” Simultaneously, the French refugee Marquis de Saint Evermont made the still wines of Champagne popular at the English court. Fashion dictated that the two should come together, and it was only in London that the necessities for the sale of sparkling wine—heavy glass bottles and cork stoppers—were available. 

Almost any wine can be made to sparkle. (During the nineteenth century, you could find such products as Clos de Vougeot Mousseux and sparkling Sauternes.) Today there are three basic ways of producing bubbles in a wine: a secondary fermentation in a bottle; a second fermentation in a tank; and carbonation. 

At this tasting, we’ll cover a panoply of appellations and styles of sparkling wine. From the Charmat method which produces Prosecco, to the Ancestral method which produces Pétillant Naturel, to the Traditional method which produces Cava and the sparkling wines of the Loire Valley, Alsace, and Champagne. And we’ll discover a variety of sparkling wines of various dosages—from Brut Nature, Extra Brut, and Brut to Extra Dry, Dry, Semi-Dry, and Sweet. 

This is the perfect way to immerse yourself in the rich and glorious culture of Sparkling Wine.


2015 Colonia las Liebres Sparkling Bonarda Brut Nature, Argentina $20

Adami Garbèl Brut Prosecco, Italy $20

Drappier Champagne, France $50

2018 Red Tail Ridge Riesling Petillant Naturel, New York State $30

Joios Cava Methodo Tradicional, Spain $16

Hattingly Valley Classic Reserve, England $50

The Chook Sparking Shiraz, Australia $22

Longridge Cape Classic, South Africa $30

2014 Coessens Millesime Champagne, France $100

Bottex Vin de Bugey-Cerdon “La Cuieille”, Bugey, France $30


All wines will have a substantial discount this night only! And there will be a bonus wine for those who arrive before 6 pm.

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