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Posted on December 9, 2019

Sparkling Wine Vs. Champagne: What’s The Difference?

It’s that time of year again. Good friends, great memories and celebrations. And what’s a good holiday party without a champagne toast? 

Before you start popping champagne, take a look at the differences between the classic holiday bubbly and a sparkling wine. 


According to Wine Country, true champagne comes from Champagne, France. Under European Law, the only labels that are able to have a “champagne” name are bottled within 100 miles of the region. The vineyards of the region span 76,000 acres and is comprised of 319 villages

The region is located in the northeastern portion of France. If you were to visit Paris, you could drive to the city within an hour and a half.  

Sugar, sugar

Location is key, but so is sugar. Champagne is just wine with a specific sugar content. This sugar content is quantified by the “brut” descriptor. Take a look at the image below from Wine Folly to see just how sweet your drink is. 


As the sugar content increases, the flavor will go from crisp apple and melon to fruiter flavors. Many individuals will pair those sweeter champagnes with desserts.  Maybe try our Tarte Tatin a la Mode to taste the flavor combination yourself. 

It’s important to note that all champagne is sparkling wine, but not all sparkling wine is champagne. Champagne can only be made using Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, and Pinot Meunier.

Production Differences in Sparkling Wine

The process known as Méthode Champenoise,translates to “fermented in a bottle.” In a two-step process, grape juice is fermented and then bottled to trap the gas which forms the iconic bubbles in champagne or sparkling wine. 

To make high quality sparkling wine, sugar, yeast, and yeast nutrients are added to allow for carbonation. The dead yeast cells are removed and yield champagne as the final result.


Boston Magazine reports that most sparkling wine is non-vintage, which means that the juice is blended from several years to create the product. However, if the label “vintage sparkling wine” is on the bottle, it means that the yield that year was particularly good and of the highest quality for that vineyard. 

This alters the price quite a bit. Non-vintage champagne will typically cost $50. A bottle of vintage champagne from the same winery may cost $100 to $150.

Grab a plate and a drink (like Sparkling Wine) at Le Manhattan Bistro

Let Le Manhattan Bistro do the work for you this holiday season. Chef Jonathan Minor prides himself on preparing all dishes from scratch which creates the delightful, homemade culinary experience you can only get here. Take a look at our full dinner menu and don’t forget to raise a glass to your new champagne knowledge. Prefer a cocktail? No problem! Our extensive drink menu will make your dining experience merry and bright. 

Happy Holidays from Le Manhattan Bistro!

If you’re looking for a great place to hold your holiday party, why don’t you give Le Manhattan Bistro a ring? We’re here to help! Our gift cards also make great presents for anyone on your shopping list.

We look forward to serving you at all of our fine establishments:                                        

The Beaumont Inn;

The River Street Jazz Cafe;



Cork Bar & Restaurant;

Le Manhattan Bistro;

Fire and Ice