What’s The Difference Between Sparkling Wine And Champagne?

Is Champagne a sparkling wine? What’s the difference between the two? Ideal Wine Company investigates.

Types of sparkling wine

The term ‘sparkling wine’ refers to all products which are made via secondary fermentation – the process by which wines are carbonised. But wine-makers worldwide have developed various methods for producing sparkling wine, with some regions becoming famous for these signature products.

Gradually, bodies in various sparkling wine regions established rules to govern how their signature products can be made. Therefore, Champagne is a type of sparkling wine, which is made via specific rules. Other popular types of sparkling wine include Prosecco, Cava and Cremant. Below we explain the key characteristics which define these types of sparkling wine.


Produced in the French region of the same name, Champagne is perhaps the most famous of all sparkling wines. Champagnes can only be made from three different types of grapes: Chardonnay, Pinot Meunier and Pinot Noir. Furthermore, these sparkling wines get their bubbles via the traditional secondary fermentation process, where the carbonisation takes place inside the bottle.


France’s other famous sparkling wine is called Cremant. It is produced in a wider range of regions than Champagne: Loire, Limoux, Jura, Bourgogne, Bordeaux and Alsace. It’s also made from a broader variety of grapes including Riesling, Pinot Noir, Pinot Gris, Auxerrois, and Pinot Blanc, but it does utilise the same method of secondary fermentation, even though the final product isn’t as effervescent.


In contrast Prosecco is the signature sparkling wine produced in the Veneto area of Northern Italy. These drinks can be made from a wider range from Champagne, but typically they are produced from Prosecco and Glera grapes. One of the key differences between Champagne and Prosecco is the secondary fermentation process, which for the latter product takes place in a steel tank.


Cava is made in the Catalonia region of Spain. It can only be made from several types of grape which are native to the Iberian nation: Macabeo, Parellada and Xarel-Lo. Cava is also made via the ‘Champenoise’ traditional method i.e. in the bottle, used to aid carbonisation in Champagne.

Buy Champagne online

Sparkling wine refers to all wine which is carbonised and Champagne is a type of sparkling wine. For a number of reasons, Champagne is often seen as the most luxurious product, so it is typically the most expensive of all sparkling wines. However if you buy Champagne from an online retailer such as Ideal Wine Company, you can find quality bottles for very decent prices!


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