Learn About the 5 Categories of Sparkling Wine

As a full-service liquor store in Downtown Vancouver, St. Regis Fine Wines & Spirits stocks Champagne, sparkling wine, and wine from all over the world. Here, we break down the different categories of bubbly.

Official Champagne

Only sparkling wines produced within the Champagne region of France may bear the name Champagne. Regulations, finite inventory, and production techniques tend to make Champagne the most expensive choice. You can expect liquor stores in Vancouver to offer authentic Champagne.

Sparkling Wines

As you shop for wine in Vancouver, you’ll find sparkling wine from California, Spain, Italy, Germany, Portugal, South Africa, Argentina, and the non-Champagne regions of France. Cava and Espumoso come from Spain. Sekt describes sparkling wine from Germany or Austria. South African vineyards make Cap Classique, and both Portugal and Argentina bottle sparkling wines called Espumante.

Fermentation Method

The fermentation method listed on a bottle’s label will provide you with clues about the flavour.

The Méthode Champenoise describes the traditional French process. The first fermentation takes place in tank, and then a second fermentation occurs after the wine is bottled. The bottles trap the carbon dioxide bubbles released during fermentation. The beverage must age within the bottle for at least 15 months. Many sparkling wine producers also employ the Méthode Champenoise. This traditional approach is associated with dry and less fruity flavours.

The Charmat-Martinotti method describes an alternative approach that uses pressurized tanks instead of individual bottles. This technique results in wines with fruitier qualities.


Just as aging can affect the quality of liquor in Vancouver, the resting period after the second fermentation contributes to the quality of sparkling wines. Aging of 15 months to two years deepens the flavours. The sparkling wines of the highest quality age for three to eight years.

Sweetness Levels

Extra-Brut refers to an absolutely dry sparkling wine that has no sugar left after fermentation. Brut means that a bit of sweetness remains. Extra Dry is another step toward sweet. The final sweetness level known as Demi-Sec represents a fully sweet sparkling wine best served with dessert.

This quick guide to sparkling wines should help you pick out the perfect bottle when you visit St. Regis Fine Wines & Spirits. You can also rely on us as a beer store in Vancouver.