Guide to Champagne and Sparkling Wine
|Champagne, Sparkling Wine|
|The other day a friend and me were talking about New Year’s Eve. She said, “Should I serve Champagne or sparkling wine”? My immediate response was, “Champagne is a form of sparkling wine. It all depends upon what you like.” She gave me a puzzled look, and said “oh ok.” Thinking about my response I should have provided a better explanation. I realized she did not know Champagne is among the sparkling wine family. She thought Champagne is different from sparkling wine. Champagne has become the brand name for requesting sparkling wine. It is like when you ask someone to hand you a Kleenex®. You are really asking for a tissue and not the brand Kleenex®. The brand name has been ingrained in everyday vernacular.
Champagne has very distinctive characteristics, fermentation methods, and regional restrictions. Here is the Reader’s Digest® version about Champagne. Champagne is made from Pinot Noir, Pinot Meunier, and Chardonnay. There is a double fermentation method known as Methode Champenoise. Lastly,and most importantly to the French and legally, only sparkling wine produced in the La Champagne region can be called Champagne (except for a few California vineyards. That is another blog).
Now you know, what do you serve? You have a variety of sparkling wines to select. In addition to Champagne, there are other sparkling wines styles like Cava and Prosecco. Cava is from Spain. Prosecco is from Italy. Each of these regions have unique grapes that make up the composition of these wines.
Regardless of the country, there are common descriptions you will see on the label. Here are the most common:
Your sparkling wine does not have to be international. When you are in your local wine store ask for Maryland sparkling wine. It is not too late for the wine shop to order it from the vineyard.
2016 Maryland Passport Experience Guided Tour FAQs
- What comes with your Passport ticket? Ticket holders will be privy to a free wine tasting and behind-the-scene experience at each winery, a commemorative wine glass and 10% off all bottles that are just too good to leave without. It also gets you discounts and promotions to several local attractions, hotels, restaurants and shopping centers so you may fully immerse yourself in all that each region has to offer.
- How often can I use the Passport ticket? You can use the Passport on all four days.
- How much is Passport ticket? $25.00 per person. You buy your Passport ticket directly from the Maryland Wine Passport Experience. The ticket grants you access to all participating vineyards and wineries over both weekends.
- Will I have to buy a Passport ticket and Vino 301 ticket? Yes.
- What is the difference between the Passport ticket and Vino 301 ticket? Passport ticket is your tasting pass. The ticket grants you access to all participating vineyards and wineries over both weekends. Vino 301 is your transportation and guided tour pass.
- What do I get with the Vino 301 ticket?
- Transportation to ALL 6 wine trails
- Knowledgeable and fun Tour Ambassador & driver
- Light snacks & beverages
- Does Vino 301 have weekend passes? Yes. You can buy a single day or weekend pass.
- Can you mix trail passes when you purchase a Vino 301 weekend pass? Yes. For example, you can go along the Patuxent Wine Trail on Saturday and Chesapeake Wine Trail on Sunday.
- How long is the Vino 301 wine tour? 12 noon – 6 pm
- Will Vino 301 go to all 6 Wine Trails? Yes
- Where are the pick up locations?
- Big Cork Vineyard (Antietam Highlands Wine Trail)
- Linganore Wine Cellars (Carroll Wine Trail)
- Clovelly Vineyard (Chesapeake Wine Trail – Saturday)
- Casinelli Vineyard (Chesapeake Wine Trail – Sunday)
- The Winery at Olney (Frederick Wine Trail)
- Port of Leonardtown (Patuxent Wine Trail – Saturday)
- Fridays Creek Winery (Patuxent Wine Trail – Sunday)
- Boordy Vineyard (Piedmont Wine Trail – Saturday)
- Fiore Vineyard (Piedmont Wine Trail- Sunday)
- What time should I arrive at the pick up location? We recommend arriving at the pick location between 11:00 am and 11:30 am. You can begin your tasting at the first location before we depart to the other vineyards. We will be departing at 12:00 noon.
- What wineries and vineyards are participating?
Antietam Highlands Wine Trail (Washington County)
- Big Cork Vineyards
- Distillery Lane Ciderworks
- Orchid Cellar
- Winery Knob Hall Winery
- Red Heifer Winery
Carroll Wine Trail (Carroll County)
- Cygnus Wine Cellars
- Serpent Ridge Vineyard & Winery
Chesapeake Wine Trail (Kent, Cecil, Queen Anne, and Talbot Counties)
- Cassinelli Winery
- Clovelly Vineyard
- Crow Farm
- Layton’s Chance Vineyard
- St. Michael’s Winery
- Triple Creek Winery
- Turkey Point Vineyard
Frederick Wine Trail (Montgomery and Frederick Counties)
- Great Shoals Winery
- Linganore Wine Cellars
- Rockland Farm Winery
- The Winery at Olney
Patuxent Wine Trail (Prince George’s, Calvert, St. Mary’s Counties)
- Cove Point Winery
- Fridays Creek Vineyard & Winery
- Perigeaux Vineyard & Winey
- Port of Leonardtown
- Romano Vineyard & Winery
- Running Hare Vineyard
- Slack Vineyard
- Solomons Island Winery
Piedmont Wine Trail (Baltimore and Harford Counties)
- Boordy Vineyards
- Dejon Vineyard
- Fiore Winery
- Harford Vineyard & Winery
- Millstone Cellars
- Royal Rabbit Vineyards
- Woodhall Wine Cellars
Still have questions not answered here. Do not hesitate to post them on our blog, or email us at info@vino301. We will respond timely. You can also Tweet your questions to #ASKMDWine.
Hopefully, we will see you along one of MD’s wine trails. Cheers!
This summer I fell in love. I didn’t think it was possible, but I did. I fell in love with most amazing wine gadget. In this industry you come across a lot of wine gadgets.. some good, mostly bad. You become enamored, but not in love.
At the 2015 Wine Bloggers Conference, I witnessed an impossible feat. Well, what I thought was impossible. Pour a glass of wine without removing the cork. Yes, you read it correctly. The wine bottle opener permits you to pour wine with the cork remaining in the bottle. What wine bottle opener allows you to perform this action? It is a Coravin Wine System. Witness how the Coravin works.
I know this sounds like an infomercial, but it is the ultimate tool for a wine lover. Wine typically last 3 to 5 days once you remove the cork. The Coravin allows you to enjoy the wine longer. The wine is not exposed and your consumption time is lengthen. I fell in love when I learned this fact. I could enjoy a bottle of wine without worrying about it expiring. You had me at Coravin.
The Coravin can only be used on natural corks and not synthetic corks or screw tops. Also, avoid using the opener on sparkling wines. The Coravin retails at $299.00. It is an investment and cannot be compared to your typical wine bottle opener. The wine bottle opener is worth the investment for those who invest in their wine.
Treat the wine lover in your life, which may be you. You are worth it.
Win a wine tour to Maryland’s wine country. Upload a your favorite vineyard picture on Twitter or Instagram from December 2 – January 1, 2016. Add #ilovevino301 @vino301 to your post. Share everywhere – the most likes win. Winners selected weekly.