Prosecco, Cava and Cremant
What's the difference between Prosecco, Cava and Cremant?
They all sparkle, but that's where the similarities end.
Prosecco comes from the Veneto region of northeastern Italy, where it's made from a grape variety now known as Glera (it used to be called Prosecco). Unlike Champagne or Cava, Prosecco’s secondary fermentation occurs in tanks rather than individual bottles. This process, known as Charmat, is cheaper and faster than the méthode Champenoise.
Prosecco tends to be sweeter than the average Champagne or Cava, and its flavours are usually simpler and fruitier. That's not to say its charms are insignificant: Prosecco now outsells Champagne worldwide.
Cava is Spain’s most popular sparkling wine and it undergoes the same production process as Champagne. However, the Spanish process is known as traditionelle, instead of méthode Champenoise, as only winemakers in Champagne may legally label their products méthode Champenoise.
Upward of 95% of Cava is produced in Catalonia in northeastern Spain, and the most common grapes are Macabeu, Parellada and Xarello. However, some Cava's may also include Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Garnacha and Monastrell. More frequently than is the case with Champagne, Cava's flavours can veer toward earthy.
Crémant is two things. Originally, it referred to a certain style of sparkling wine produced in Champagne, with the “methode champenoise” second fermentation. Except that unlike classic Champagnes, Crémants were slightly less effervescent—around 1 bar of atmospheric pressure less, give or take. If you don’t enjoy your sparkling in terms of atmospheric pressure, think of it this way: Crémant means creamy, and that’s what the bubbles were. Less of a bracing caviar-pop and more of a soft velvety sparkle.
The meaning of Crémant evolved, however, to refer to any wine made with the secondary fermentation method of Champagne that wasn’t actually made in the Champagne region. Crémants can be made in seven regions in France: Crémant de Bordeaux, Crémant de Die, Crémant du Jura, Crémant de Limoux, Crémant d’Alsace, Crémant de Loire, and Crémant de Bourgogne. Crémant d’Alsace is by far the most prolific region, producing more than 50 percent of all French Crémant.