Champagne vs Sparkling Wine: Battle of the Bubbles

From birthday celebrations to the much-anticipated countdown on New Year’s eve, a cold flute of bubbly is one of the best ways to make any occasion all the more festive. 

These days, there are an overwhelming number of options when it comes to choosing the perfect bottle of bubbles. An important question to ask when deciding is whether to go for champagne or sparkling wine.

Both contain the all-important bubbles and both are versatile. So how do you choose?

Champagne vs Sparkling Wine: What is the Difference? 

Any glass of champagne can technically be called sparkling wine but not all sparkling wine is champagne.

It all depends on location, grapes and creation method.


Sparkling wine can only be classified as champagne if it is produced in the Champagne region of France (a short trip from Paris). Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier grapes are the only type used in the creation of champagne. The bottles containing light, crisp bubbles are then produced using the Méthode Traditionelle – a process involving secondary fermentation taking place in the bottle which the champagne will eventually be served from.

The price of champagne is another difference between the two, with champagne costing more in general thanks to the exclusivity of being produced in only one region of the world.

Sparkling Wine:

In comparison, sparkling wine can be created in any wine producing region across the globe. Some well-known sparkling wine options are Prosecco, Cava and South Africa’s Method Cap Classique (MCC).

The most common way to create sparkling wine is to add carbon dioxide to the wine before bottling it. MCC experiences a slightly grander process following champagne’s Méthode Traditionelle.

Whether you are enjoying the chilled fizz of French Champagne while indulging at brunch or are savouring the crisp refreshing taste of MCC on a balmy evening, sparkling wine rarely disappoints. So pop the cork on your favourite bottle of bubbles today!

- Alexandra Edwards: