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Sparkling wines are a low-alcohol drink that is consumed on anniversaries, parties, celebrations, and is particularly popular in the run-up to such events as the New Year or Christmas.

The term "champagne" refers to sparkling wines produced in the French region of Champagne. In accordance with the Madrid Agreement (1891), only sparkling wine produced in France, in the Champagne region has the right to wear a proprietary name - "Champagne". It is made from three grape varieties, Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier, which are grown on the territory of the above-mentioned region. Similar drinks made in other countries, including the Republic of Moldova are called sparkling wines. In the production process, this wine may undergo natural fermentation in the bottle, forming eventually the sparkling effect or carbon dioxide can be added artificially.

Types of Sparkling Wines

On the world market there are several types of sparkling wine: Blanc de Blancs - made out of Chardonnay, white grape that is grown in the Champagne region; Blanc de Noirs - white wine made from red grapes, particularly Pinot Noire: Brut - very dry sparkling wine without sugar residues; Cuvee - a simple mixture of wine, non-carbonated, balanced drink; Semidry - sweet sparkling wine, comprising from 3.3% to 5% residual sugar; Rose - a sparkling wine with a pink tinge, which is obtained by adding a small amount of red wine Cuvee or in contact with the grape skins.

Sparkling wine is a sweet, alcoholic carbonated beverage. Based on sugar content, they can be classified as: brut (up to 4 g /l sugar); dry (4.1-15 g/l sugar); semidry (15.1-40 g/l sugar); semisweet (40.1-80 g/l sugar) and sweet (80 g/l sugar).

The Sparkling Wines Compositiom

The main raw materials used in the production of this drink are the grapes from which the wine is usually done, which then passes the second fermentation and forms a sparkling wine or champagne. Sparkling wine contain a complex mix of components, many of them are taken from grapes (tartaric acid, malic acid, citric acid, carbohydrates, minerals), and other elements derived from alcoholic fermentation or other processes (alcohols, lactic acid, succinic acid), and some elements that occurs during maturation of wine as a result of the various reactions at this stage. Sparkling wine contains sugar, ethanol, glycerol, organic acids, polyphenols (catechin, epicatechin), tannins, esters, aldehydes, proteins, amino acids, vitamins, mineral salts (potassium, iron, calcium, sodium, phosphorus and magnesium).

Domestic Producers of Sparkling Wines

Given the fact that Moldova is a country with developed winery sector, sparkling wines represent an improtant part in the production of many companies and local wineries. Thus, one of the leading manufacturers in the country, Cricova Winery offers classical sparkling wines under the brands Moldova, Basarabia, Cristal or Lacrima Dulce in several categories, such as dry, semi-dry, semi-sweet, brut, white, pink or red sparkling wines. Cricova Winery is the only enterprise in Moldova, which produces sparkling wines using classical French technology "Methode Champenoise" - by secondary fermentation in the bottle and the subsequent delay in the horizontal position for at least 3 years. High-quality sparkling wines are made from selected grapes: Chardonnay and Pinot Noir.

 Maurt LTD is a company operating on the domestic market since 1996 and remained true to the traditions established by the original concept- that is, production and sale of low-cost but high-quality alcoholic beverages. Company Maurt produces sparkling wines, traditional wines, several kinds of vodka, liqueurs, brandy and balms. From the category of sparkling wines from Maurt there are worth mentioning several brands such as Bacio di Bolle Pink and White Moscato, Fragolino, Grand Cuvee Brut, Soviet Muscat, four types of Frutteto Moscato, Semi-Dry Maurt White and Red, etc.

The winery "Milestii Mici" is a state-owned enterprise specializing in the manufacturing, storage and sale of alcoholic beverages and offer consumers a large variety of table, collectible and sparkling wines. The company uses modern equipment for production of sparkling wines by the traditional technology. This plant produces more than 10 kinds of excellent sparkling wine under the brand Moldova de Lux, products which are valued on local and international markets.

Cascade Win is a domestic company, founded in 2004, that specializes in producing and bottling of wine, soft drinks, low-alcoholic and alcoholic beverages. From sparkling wines, the company offers brands Cascad Classic Alb and Muscat, Cascad Spumos Alb and Muscat, Cascad Spumos Rose, Soviet Muscat and two types of Delta Vin: Isabella and Muscat.

There are several other producers of sparkling wine in Moldova, such as winery Chi from Cimislia which produces Vintage Spumant Clasic Brut, a winery from Hincesti, which offers a semi-sweet white sparkling wine under the brand name Victoria, the company Boiar Grup, which offers a variety of semi-dry and semi-sweet sparkling wine, Acorex Wine company, as well as several smaller producers from the regions of Moldova. For those who want to find out more on this subject, MadeinMD organizes on December 17 a blind tasting of local products, dedicated to the Moldovan brands of sparkling wines.

Advices On Sparkling Wine Consumption

Due to the content of sugar, amino acids and salts, sparkling wines provide nutritious and mineralized effect, while organic acids,and phenolic compounds present in wine stimulate the digestion. Champagne and sparkling wine contains useful ingredients which lower blood pressure and reduce the risk of blood clots. Sparkling wine promotes nitric oxide production and thus expands the blood vessels and improves circulation.

A good quality sparkling wine can be served with almost any type of food, but when it is used as an aperitif, it is preferred that the wine was dry. Sparkling wine can be consumed with eggs, mushroom dishes, cheeses (parmesan, gouda, brie, cheddar), seafood, eggs, oysters, vegetables, chicken, lamb, as well as Chinese food or sushi. Semi-dry or sweet sparkling wine is compatible with most desserts (fruit, candy, cakes). Typically, this product is drunk slowly, so that the consumer could feel a whole bunch of flavors and aromas.