Annually, wine enthusiasts and revellers from all corners of the world come together to celebrate two special days dedicated to the wine world's bubbly wonders: International Sparkling Day on October 21 and Global Champagne Day, commemorated on the 4th Friday of the month, which this year falls on October 27. There's something about the effervescent dance of bubbles in a glass of sparkling wine or Champagne that instantly elevates any occasion. These delightful beverages have a unique way of encapsulating celebrations, romance, and the spirit of festivity. Every year, Thursday Food takes you on this engaging and informative journey through the effervescent world of sparkling wines and Champagnes, exploring the history, culture, and reasons behind these delightful celebrations.
The allure of sparkling wines, whether it be fizzy Prosecco, sumptuous Espumantes or the luxurious Champagne, lies in those magical bubbles that evoke a feeling of bliss once entry is made into the mouth. These effervescent wonders are created through a secondary fermentation process, where sugar and yeast interact within a sealed bottle, producing carbon dioxide. This carbonation results in a delightful array of bubbles that effervesce upon opening, creating a sensory experience like no other. International Sparkling Day pays tribute to all types of sparkling wines, Champagne from France, Prosecco from Italy, Cava from Spain and the Espumantes of Argentina, among others, all of which have a rich history that dates back to the early 17th century, when the méthode champenoise was accidentally discovered in the Champagne region of France.
Global Champagne Day is the ultimate ode to the "king of wines": Champagne, synonymous with luxury and celebration worldwide, whose history is filled with tales of royal endorsements and historic moments, making it the quintessential celebratory drink. Champagne's production is a complex, highly regulated process, that is trusted to only a select few vineyards in the Champagne region who are authorised to produce this exclusive beverage. The winemakers, or "vignerons", adhere to strict guidelines regarding grape varieties, pressing methods, and ageing in cellars undertaking meticulous craftsmanship to produce this wine. The result is a beverage with its own unique characteristics that boasts fine bubbles, a distinctive taste profile, as well as a history rich with stories of royal patronage and global popularity.
Both International Sparkling Day and Global Champagne Day offer vinophiles the world over an excellent opportunity to explore the world of sparkling wines and champagnes, this week, Thursday Food introduces a few of-the-moment Argentine bubblies for 2023:
Pumalek Brut Rosado is a pink sparkling wine made using the Charmat method that exhibits a topaz-pink colour with an onion-skin tone on the rim. It is made from 100 per cent Lambrusco Grasparrossa grapes by Bodega Pumalek from vineyards at Finca Carmina. On the nose, it is lively and floral while in the mouth, it is acidic, sweet as well as creamy with fine bubbles. The Lambrusco Grasparossa grape originated in the Emilia-Romagna, area of Northern Italy, where it dates back to the 10th century.
Macanudo Rosso Di Rosse is a sparkling red wine, made with the Champenoise method, from 100 per cent Lambrusco Grasparossa by Bodega Pumalek. It is characterised by its intense aromatic notes of strawberry and ripe fruit, with a certain jam, even though it is a sparkling wine with zero sugar dosage. It has a ruby red colour, is spicy in the mouth, slightly astringent, slightly tannic, offering a flavour that is clean, bright, fresh and very elegant.
Lopez Brut is a sparkling wine by Bodegas Lopex that has been made with Chardonnay, Semillón and Chenin Blanc grapes, from their vineyards on La Marthita and Canelli estates. The wine has a subtle aroma as well as a pleasant palate that is balanced and fresh with persistent, fine bubbles.
Federico Lopez Brut Nature comprises 70 per cent Pinot Noir and 30 per cent Chardonnay that come from vineyards located in the Tupungato and Maipú areas of Mendoz province. Made by Bodegas Lopez, the wine expresses delicate aromas with notes of butter, toasted bread and yeast. In the mouth, it has a pleasant foam and persistent, very fine bubbles, making it stand out for its structure and complexity.
International Sparkling Day and Global Champagne Day are celebrations that transcend borders and cultures, bringing people together to celebrate life, to enjoy the sensory symphony of bubbles, and to savour the rich history and culture of these beverages. Whether you're a connoisseur or a curious novice, these days provide an excellent opportunity to raise a glass, indulge in the finest bubbles, and commemorate the beauty of life's moments. Salud!