Pop! The sound of a cork emerging from a bottle of sparkling wine brings a smile to everyone's face.
The first sparkling wine was probably made by accident, as a wine refermented in its container, acquiring bubbles along the way. Since that day, the process and the wines have been refined, and sparkling wines have become the drink of choice for celebrations worldwide.
Simple summer drinks, elegant aperitifs, rich, complex food-friendly wines … There are so many facets to sparkling wine, and there are several choices for all palates and pockets.
Champagne from northern France is the world's best and best-known fizz. It's made by refermenting a still wine in a bottle, followed by aging the wine in that bottle on the lees (residue from fermentation), which adds a toasty, biscuity note.
Many around the world have copied the style, sometimes using the same grapes (Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Pinot Meunier), sometimes not - Cava from Spain is often made from the obscure trio Parellada, Xarel-lo and Macabeo. Italy has the fresh, sweet, grapey Asti and its more sophisticated and less fizzy relative, Moscato d'Asti. While most fizz is white, red versions exist - Aussies traditionally enjoy sparkling Shiraz with their Christmas dinner.