Bubbly. Cava. Prosecco. Champagne.  What’s in a name?  When discussing sparkling wine- in particular, champagne- it’s important to remember that only sparkling wine from the Champagne appellation of France may be called such.  This is for a number of reasons, perhaps most importantly the strict rules and centuries of tradition that govern the wine’s production and quality.

Although a number of wineries all over the world produce quality sparkling wine, they cannot, legally be called champagne (despite the misleading title of “California Champagne” on certain mass produced bottles- a privilege which cost a pretty penny and has unfortunately confused countless consumers!)

The terroir in Champagne is completely unique and produces wines specific to the region.  Further, rules governing harvest, labeling and grape varieties are strictly adhered to in the region.  

So while your favorite bubbly might not be actual champagne, and there are quality sparklers produced in many regions, it is important to honor the traditions and quality that are associated with this distinct wine designation when using the term “champagne.”