There are many types of sparkling wine, the main difference between them being how they’re actually made. One way, is to allow the wine to go through its’ second fermentation inside the bottle. The second way (a much easier and convenient option) is to add carbon dioxide to a tank of wine and voila, you have yourself an awful lot of bubbly wine.
These 2 techniques, as you can imagine result in 2 very different styles. Allowing the wine to ferment inside the bottle is the traditional way of making sparkling wine, and this is how Champagne is made. However, other sparkling wines are made in the exact same fashion, and aren’t called Champagne.
Champagne isn’t so much a style of wine as it is a geographical place. Champagne is a small region in France, and the French have strict rules in place to ensure only sparkling wines made in this region, receive the privilege of being called “Champagne”.
So then, what do you call wine made this way found elsewhere? Look for words like “Methodé Classique” or “Méthode Traditionelle” on the label. Yet, these aren’t the only indicators and plenty of countries have their own version of Champagne:
France (outside Champagne) – Crèmant
Spain – Cava
Protugal – Espumante
Italy – Franciacorta
German – Sekt
Hungry – Pezsgö
So how can you find cheaper “Champagne”? Choose something made outside of Champagne! (Cava is my favourite). The quality will be there, but the price tag won’t. You’ll save a few bucks, and perhaps try something new…sounds like a perfect excuse to pop a bottle and celebrate.