Everyday is a good day to drink sparkling wine because hey, life is beautiful and worth celebrating! 

When I think about celebrating anything, bubbles are always involved (in my wine, of course). You may just go into the wine store and know to ask for Prosecco or Champagne, but there are more variations of sparkling wine than you may expect! Let’s talk about some sparkling wine basics that will make picking out your next celebratory wine a breeze. 

At Market Wines, we source quality wines from small family producers making them accessible and affordable, because we care about what you drink and where it comes from! We carry many amazing sparkling wine producers with good values and even better quality. We love our producers and love sharing their stories as far and wide as possible.

Celebrate your next event at Market Wines

Styles of Sparkling Wine

Sparkling wine laws can get a little complicated, but let’s start with some common sparkling wine styles to help you feel like a pro standing in front of the bubbles wall. 


Traditional method:

There are a few differences in the process of the traditional method and other winemaking when it comes to sparkling wine. During the traditional method, grapes are fermented into a dry white wine as if they were making a still wine. This wine then goes through secondary fermentation in order to produce the bubbles. Winemakers will kickstart secondary fermentation by adding sugar and yeast to the already fermented still wine. Instead of allowing the CO2 produced by this round of fermentation to escape, it is trapped in the bottle. This provides the wine time with the lees (dead yeasts produced during fermentation). This gives the resulting sparkling wine texture and additional flavours such as toast, brioche and nuttiness. The wine can age on the lees for anywhere between 9 months to several years. While the wine is fermenting, it goes through a process called riddling, which can be done by hand or using a machine. Through the riddling process, the dead yeast cells collect in the neck of the bottle. When the aging process is over, the collection of dead yeast cells is frozen and popped out of the bottle (this is called disgorgement)! Winemakers will then top off the bottle with extra wine, seal it and voila! It’s ready for you to saber at your next graduation or retirement party!

Sparkling wines that use this method famously are Champagne, Cremant, Cava, and Sekt.


Charmant (or tank) method: 

Not all sparkling wines are produced using the traditional method. Though there are many pros, some cons with the traditional method are that it is very time consuming, labour intensive, and let’s be honest here, can get expensive! The charmant (or tank) method is another way to make sparkling wine that gives us delicious and citrus forward bubbles that we can ball with on a budget. The process starts off the same, with a once fermented dry white wine. Instead of kickstarting the bubble-producing second fermentation in the bottle, winemakers do this process in a tank. Once bubbly, these wines typically don’t see any age, making their tasting notes fresh, fruity, clean and crisp.  Italy famously uses this method to produce its fun and affordable Prosecco.

These types of wines are perfect for large parties, or mixing for a Mimosa or an Aperol or Limoncello Spritz.


What grapes are allowed in sparkling wine?

Wine laws can get pretty intense, and the laws for sparkling wine are no exception. 

You may know that Champagne is actually the region where this famous wine is made, but did you know that Champagne is only allowed to be produced with certain grapes, or else it is not allowed to be called Champagne even if it is made there? Champagne is only allowed to be produced with one or multiple of 8 different grape varieties: Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Pinot Meunier, Arbane, Petit Meslier, Pinot Blanc and Pinot Gris. If you see Blanc de Blancs on your champagne label, this means that the wine was made only using the permitted white grapes. If you see Blanc de Noirs , it means the wine was made using red grapes! If it isn’t specified on the label, the wine was made with a blend of the permitted white and red grapes. Blanc de Noirs champagne typically shows a bit more texture and depth than Blanc de Blancs champagne and can stand up to more complex and heavier dishes. 

Champagne isn’t the only region that has laws only permitting certain grapes in their sparkling wine. Cava is a sparkling wine produced in Spain. To be called Cava, the wine must be produced using the traditional method, and using one or any blend of Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Macabeo, Xarel-lo, Parellada, Subirat Parent, Red Garnacha, Trepat, and Monastrell. Cava must be aged on the lees for at least 9 months to keep its designation. Cava is an incredibly underrated Champagne substitute, and can show intricate and deep flavour profiles. Ask your Market Wines staff to show you their favourite Cava and you won’t be disappointed. 

Prosecco also follows strict wine laws in order to keep its name. It is only allowed to be made from grapes in the Prosecco DOC designated areas of north-eastern Italy, and can only be produced using Glera and very small amounts of other Italian grapes. Prosecco can be made with varying sweetness levels, so keep an eye out on your Prosecco bottle for the words Brut (least sweet), Extra-Dry and Dry (sweeter).


What to pair with sparkling wine:

You want to pair your sparkles with more than just good pals and something to celebrate? Sparkling wine is always fun enough to drink on its own in a circle of loved ones, but it also has some exciting pairings. Drinking sparkling wine always has an effect that makes your pinky go up and straighten your suit jacket, and if you’re looking for an equally as boujee pairing for your bubbles, oysters and caviar are unmatched. If you’re looking to make champagne a touch less snobby, try pairing it with fried chicken or buttered popcorn, I promise. Cava makes an awesome accompaniment for sushi and potato chips and depending on the sweetness level, Prosecco makes a great match with cheesecake or creme brulee. A drier Prosecco would be welcomed to any table for a big pancake breakfast on a Sunday.



There are a couple of vessels that you can choose to sip your sparkles out of. The most common glassware is the flute. This glass is narrow all the way up to the rim in order to preserve your bubbles for as long as possible. A common complaint for this glass is that it’s harder to get the aromas to your nose when trying to smell it. Another glass you can choose to drink out of is the coupe. The coupe was designed in the late 17th century, and its shape is rumored to have a sultry back story that involved Marie Antoinette. I’ll let you look that one up. The coupe is great for showcasing the beautiful aromas accompanied by sparkling wine, but you better be planning to drink it fast. The wide opening on the coupe will sadly let your bubbles dissipate pretty quickly and you may not get the full experience. You can also opt to use a regular white wine class to sip your bubbles out of. The glass is wide enough to display the aromas but will still preserve your bubbles for a reasonable amount of time. The glass you choose to drink out of is up to your preferences and priorities and hey, if you want to drink your champagne out of a red solo cup, go for it!


Budget to baller:

You’ll find a variety of wines at the bubbles wall at your nearest Market Wines location. If you are shopping based on your price-point, here is a guide to some bubbles that will suit your situation:


Can Petit Cava  $18.85

This Cava has good structure and is well balanced with just a touch of sweetness, which works well with the acidity and has a long, clean finish. Abundant notes of citrus, green apple, pear and brioche.


Val D’Oca Treviso Brut  $24.85

The Treviso Brut has frothy bubbles that carry a wave of citrus, honeydew and pear on the palate followed by white flowers. Enjoy as an apertif or at this price add it to your cocktails!


Val D’Oca Prosecco  $29.85

This dry Prosecco is bursting with notes of ripe pears, pineapple, white flowers and marzipan. A great pairing for shellfish.


Lambert Cremant de Loire  $34.85

Vivacious and fresh, these bubbles froth across the palate carrying notes of green apple, minerality and a persistent toasty note to a long finish. If seafood is on the menu, you need to be drinking this!


Colligny Brut  $49.85

This bright champagne is one of our favourite wines to open up when celebrating and wanting to stay under a budget. Expect notes of apricot, yellow apples, lemon zest, melon, and wet stone.


Laherte Les Longues Voyes $124.85

 “Les Longues Voyes” translates to “The Long Way”, a reference to the fact that these Pinot Noir vines are 30 km from the estate, in Montagne de Reims. And because these grapes always take their time to reach optimal ripeness! 18 months in barrels on lees brings richness and complexity. 4 g/L dosage.


Celebrate your next event at Market Wines:

We love celebrating at Market Wines! We often host sparkling wine tastings and festivals where you can get some hands-on practice to go along with your knowledge, or book a private tasting with us and your loved ones to celebrate (or just for fun)! Visit our wine tasting events page for the schedule. Cheers!