Ever wondered what goes into making quality sparkling wine? The answer — aside from lots of grapes, of course — is a lot of labor. Méthode Champenoise (or méthode traditionnelle when referring to sparkling wines made outside of Champagne, France), is the traditional French method of producing sparkling wines, and while at Mumm Winery in Napa, CA, during harvest, we snapped up photos of the step-by-step process. Take a look; the involved méthode may inspire you to savor your next glass of bubbly more slowly.
The next time you're hosting an outdoor party, keep things simple by letting St-Germain — an elegant, aromatic elderflower liqueur — do the heavy lifting in the drinks you serve. Expert mixologist Lynnette Marrero swung by POPSUGAR Live! in NYC to share an easy-to-make cocktail starring the liqueur that will have your friends asking for a refill — and an invite back! Watch the segment, then get the recipe.
Packing for a picnic is simple: little more is needed than a trusty blanket, an assortment of snacks, and — perhaps most important of all —a bottle of crisp, refreshing wine. Quaffable, approachably priced (all three bottles are less than $20), and food-friendly, these options are practically tailor-made for sipping in the park or on a mountaintop. Watch the video to find your perfect alfresco tipple, and then gear up for a relaxing afternoon spent outdoors.
Spring festivities like bridal showers, luncheons, and picnics call for a hummingbird cocktail. This light, bubbly cocktail features sparkling wine and St-Germain, an elderflower liqueur. Topped with club soda and a lemon twist, the drink will have you humming happily in no time.
Can you guess what's in this drink? Don't let the orange hue fool you; these mimosas aren't made with oranges — instead, they're made fruity with the help of mango purée and grapefruit juice. Mango thickens and sweetens the mimosa, while the grapefruit provides a crispness that complements the sparkling wine.
Nothing beats fresh, so if you have time, then whirl up ripe mango chunks in a food processor to make homemade mango purée and squeeze some grapefruits in a citrus juicer. Keep reading for the recipe.
Toast to the show's winners and nominees with one of these four Hollywood-inspired sparkling cocktails when you read more.
Happy Valentine's Day! Regardless of what you have planned, you're sure to spread the love if you whip up this gorgeous lemon raspberry fizz cocktail. We promise the marriage of limoncello, berries, and sparkling wine is not only beautiful, but also delicious — and the festive drink can be easily multiplied if you're hosting for a crowd. Watch the video to learn how to make the cocktail.
Just as Champagne wineries in the Champagne region of France have struggled to control their authentic designation of origin, so too have Prosecco wineries in Italy. Up until 2009, Italian winemakers called both the sparkling wine and the grape it is made from Prosecco. However, after years of other winemakers capitalizing on the Prosecco name, the Italians decided to fight for DOCG status (a quality assurance label put on every bottle guaranteeing the product is authentic and from a particular growing region in Italy). During the complicated process, officials formally changed the name of the Prosecco grape to an old synonym, Glera, to help further authenticate and demarcate true Prosecco wines from Italy. Here are some other reasons why you should care about the Glera grape:
- The Glera grape originates from Prosecco, Italy, a Northern Italian village about a half hour from Venice. While some claim the grape has been cultivated since Roman times, the first written account of the Glera grape dates back to 1772.
- Each bottle of DOCG-certified Prosecco must contain at least 85 percent Glera grapes.
- Golden Glera grapes have been cultivated to ferment into a crisp, clean, and slightly fruity sparkling wine, unlike Champagne, which tends to have some yeasty flavor and body. This difference in flavor occurs because the second fermentation process differs from Champagne. Glera grapes undergo a second fermentation in large steel tanks (rather than in the individual Champagne bottles).
- To find the highest-quality Prosecco, look for the Prosecco Superiore DOCG-labeled wines. These are grown in the same historical area called the Veneto, a hilly cluster of towns between Conegliano and Valdobbiadene. We recently tried Sorelle Bronca Extra Dry ($18), a Prosecco Superiore DOCG, made from 100 percent Glera grapes (most from organic farmers). It pleased our palates with its fine bubbles and refreshingly light flavor.
There's no better sound at a party than the "pop" of a sparkling wine bottle. But that doesn't mean opening a bottle of bubbly isn't intimidating: if you're opening a shaken Champagne bottle, the speed of its cork can be anywhere between 28 and 50 miles per hour! Thankfully, we've got plenty of tips for keeping your bubbly cold and your party safe. If you're one of the many who fear the task, then watch our video — and never be afraid to open sparkling wine again. On Brandi: Givenchy from FORWARD by elyse walker