Navigating Bubbles on NYE

Sparkling wine can be more confusing than anyone wants to admit, so with New Year’s Eve just a few days away, I’ve decided to compile a list of terms you may see on a label, to help you find the perfect bottle for you…

Blanc de Blancs:  produced entirely from white grapes, usually Chardonnay

Blanc de Noirs:  produced entirely from red grapes, usually Pinot Noir & Pinot Meunier 

Brut: Indicates a mostly, and sometimes all the way dry wine

Brut Nature: Drier than Brut, Brut Nature generally has no final addition of sugar

Cava:  Sparkling wine made from anywhere in Spain, as long as it’s produced in the Traditional Method

Champagne:  The Term “Champagne” can only be used to indicated sparkling wines of quality from within Champagne, France.  Some California producers have used the term Champagne on their labels since before the trademark laws went into effect, and continue to bastardize the term to this day

Cremant:  Champagne-style wines made in France but outside the region, a great value for the Champagne drinker 

Extra-Brut:  A term barely used, this would indicate a slightly drier example than what is usually produced by the same winemaker

Extra-Dry: Confusingly enough, not as dry as Brut

Grand Cru:  Champagne made within the absolute best villages within Champagne

Grower Champagne:  Champagne made from farmers who grow the grapes, bottle, age and sell the wine ex: Paul Bara, Vilmart, Beréche, Pierre Peters

House Champagne:  Giant Champagne conglomerates that produces mass quantaties of wines with a particular style unique to them ex: Moet & Chandon, Veuve Clicquot, Mumm, Tattinger 

Pet-Nat:  A sparkling wine made by bottling juice as it is fermenting, allowing it to finish in the bottle

Premier Cru:  Champagne made in premium villages within the region

Prosecco:  A lightly sparkling, and usually dry wine produced in the Veneto region of Northern Italy, usually of low quality but of great value

Rosé: Wine made with some level of skin contact to produce a slightly rose colored wine

Traditional Method: the style in which true Champagne is made, including a secondary fermentation in the bottle

Cheers and Happy New Year!


Ross Jackson

The Kansas City Wino 





Andy Doohan