All that sparkles isn’t champagne

Aug. 23, 2016

Whether it’s New Year’s Eve, a big promotion, or an anniversary, Champagne has long been viewed as the celebratory drink of choice. But now that there are some reputable cheaper options on the market, it seems the king of sparkling wine will need to fight to defend its crown.

Demand for sparkling wines has been on an upward trend, growing more than 40% in the past decade. And according to Nielsen, sparkling wine sales in the U.S. grew 10% in the first 52 weeks of 2015 alone.

So where do cava and prosecco play into all of this? Last year, prosecco sales in the U.S. grew 36%, whereas Champagne sales grew just 8%. And according to the Cava Regulatory Board, cava sales grew 0.76% globally in 2015, with an 8.6% growth in the U.S. market.

First and foremost, the sparklers vary based on the region in which they’re produced and the production method used. Prosecco comes from the Veneto region of Italy, Cava from the Catalonia region of Spain and Champagne, from the Champagne region of France, of course.

While Champagne and cava are made by the same method – méthode champenoise – only sparkling wines from the Champagne region are legally allowed to be called Champagne. The other similarity cava has with Champagne is that the Spanish sparkler has seven variations that differ by sweetness: Brut Nature, Extra Brut, Brut, Extra-Seco, Seco, Semi-Seco and Dolce. Prosecco is distinguished by its dryness, with only three variations: Brut, Extra-Dry and Dry. 

Another differentiating factor: the grapes. Cava comes primarily from three grapes: macabeu, parellada or xarello. Prosecco comes from glera grapes, and Champagne comes from pinot noir, pinot meunier and chardonnay. Cava and Champagne both tend to have fine bubbles, whereas prosecco is lighter and frothier.

And while all three fall into the category of most popular sparkling wines, it’s the price point that gives cava and prosecco that extra advantage. The average bottle of champagne is four times more expensive than the average bottle of prosecco, and is more than three times more expensive than the average bottle of cava.

While cava and prosecco aren’t breaking the bank, they can be used to break the mold. Instead of bringing out the bubbly only on special occasions, try using cava or prosecco as a component in cocktails or punches that you can enjoy anytime.

Cava and prosecco drink recipes:

Sangria is always a crowd pleaser. Using cava in place of red wine gives this classic a slight twist and lightens the drink up to make it even more refreshing.

4 cups diced assorted fresh fruit (i.e. strawberries, grapes, peaches)
2 small oranges, thinly sliced, seeded
½ cup brandy
½ cup peach liqueur
½ cup white grape juice
4 small fresh mint sprigs
2 750-ml bottles chilled cava

Combine diced fruit, sliced oranges, brandy, liqueur, grape juice, and mint in large pitcher. Cover and chill at least one hour, up to three. Pour wine over fruit mixture. Stir to blend. Ladle sangria into glasses.
Source: Bon Appetit

A light and citrusy drink with just the right hint of bubbles. Try using gin or vodka, depending on your preferences.

1½ oz. prosecco
1½ oz. gin or vodka
¾ oz. lemon juice
¾ oz. honey syrup
Peeled cucumber slices

Muddle the cucumber slices and shake all ingredients except La Marca. Strain into a champagne flute while simultaneously pouring in your Prosecco. Garnish with a twist of cucumber peel.
Source: La Marca

Talk to your sales consultant today to learn more about Breakthru's cava and prosecco portfolio. 


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