Ok, lets get into it. To make great sparkling wine you gotta harvest those grapes early, that way you get low sugar, which means low alcohol and higher acidity (read crispness). It is going to ferment twice (once makes wine, twice makes bubbles) which also means a double dose of alcohol creation. A great sparkling sits down in the 12% alcohol range so outside of the right grapes (read climate, soil) the right timing is crucial.
Then you press the juice. Ferment. Then a secondary fermentation, add triage (sugar and yeast), the yeast eats the sugar and you get… bubbles! Be sure to mind the temp, keep it cool, get great bubbles. Bottle. Add a little sweetness (Dosage) and boom! Sparkling!
Now Champagne is from Champagne region of France and is made via the Champenoise method. That’s Pinot Noir and Chardonnay grapes and the secondary fermentation is done in the bottle individually. Each bottle then must be cared for so this means riddling, or turning, each bottle slightly, daily, to prevent sediment build up. Dosage and bottle and enjoy… If you like yeasty, breadcrumby sparkling then this is your best bet.
And always keep some long neck bottled Hi-Life, the champagne of beers, on deck for your friends who don’t drink sparkling. They’re probably hipsters and/or fantasy football players who refer to their home team as “we” as if they are on the roster and simply on the couch this week with you this week due to injury.
Worry not, they all come around to the sparkling gods eventually, but in the meantime serve ‘em beer and keep that Sapere for yourself!