What is the distinction between Prosecco, Champagne and Frizzante?
“Prosecco” is a wine region of protected origin and refers to sparkling wines produced from the white Glera grape variety. Only those sparkling wines that are produced from grapes grown in the designated region of northern Italy may be referred to as Prosecco. Sparkling wines produced from the same variety, but from outside this designated wine region, have since been renamed as “Glera”.
“Frizzante” is the Italian term for lightly or semi-sparkling wine (of up to 2.5 bar pressure). By contrast, a “Sekt” sparkling wine must have at least 3 bar of pressure by law, in order to bear the name “Sekt”, which with traditional bottle fermentation often have an average of 5-6 bar pressure. Frizzante may also be produced by the carbonation method, by the addition of carbon dioxide (CO2) to still wine.
“Champagne” is primarily an indication of origin. The name Champagne may only be used to describe the beverage which originates from the Champagne region in France. The grapes need to grow and be processed in Champagne.
Only the following grape varieties are permitted for the production of Champagne: Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier (the latter having a mere 5% of the total vineyard area in Champagne). A Champagne must be produced in strict adherence to the Méthode Traditionnelle and must legally mature on the lees for a minimum of 12 months for non-vintage blends.
What do the terms brut or secco mean?
The terms refer to the style categories in regard to the different levels of dosage, which in turn are governed by the wine law in Europe. (3g / l tolerance is permitted for the label).
|naturherb, brut nature||max 3g/l|
|extra herb, extra brut, extra bruto||between 0-6g/l|
|herb, brut, bruto||max 12g/l|
|extra trocken, extra dry, extra secco||between 12-17g/l|
|trocken, sec, secco, asciutto, dry, secco||between 17-32g/l|
|halbtrocken, demi sec, abboccato, medium dry, semi sec||between 32-50g/l|
|mild, doux, dolce, sweet, dulce||above 50g/l|
Is there an expiration or “best before” date for Sekt?
If the Schlumberger bottle is stored correctly, we guarantee a shelf life of 2 ½ to 3 years with optimal storage (cool, protected from light and stood upright). Larger format bottles, such as the 3 litre jeroboam, can keep for about 4 – 5 years with the same level of quality. The bottle Sekt undergoes a natural aging process in the bottle, as is the case with all sparkling wines and Champagne available on the market. (Bottle age naturally leads to a development in taste, cloudiness or discoloration, as well as to a reduction in the dissolved carbon dioxide). The resulting maturation is a natural aging process and is by no means harmful to health. This is why Sekt, as with wine, does not display a “best before” date.
It is generally said that sparkling wines are released onto the market at maturity; an extensive maturation process has already occurred in the winery. Therefore, it is unlikely that the sparkling wine will improve with bottle age.
The quality level of a sparkling wine is dependent upon its time of disgorgement. Please note that the indication of a vintage date on a bottle refers to the date from which the grapes were harvested, and not the date of disgorgement.
How should Sekt be stored correctly?
The correct storage of Sekt bottles is as follows: stood upright in a cool and dry place, protected from light. If the Sekt bottle is not protected from light, it might take on a slightly unpleasant tainted taste following excess exposure to light.
Unlike still wine, the bottle of Sekt/sparkling wine should ideally be stored upright. The upper part of the cork closure consists of agglomerated cork and the section of the cork in contact with the Sekt is made up of two layers of natural cork. This form of cork does not require moisture or humidity (as achieved by storing bottles horizontally) because this pressed form of cork closure is completely air-tight.
What is the best temperature to serve Sekt?
The ideal temperature to serve Sekt and champagne is 6 - 8° Celsius. If the Sekt is served correctly, then you will experience and appreciate its true taste.
If the Sekt is served too chilled, then the aromas are muted and closed; by contrast, if the Sekt is served too warm, the taste seems weighty, less lively and unrefreshing.
Ideally refrigerate the bottle for at least 12 hours prior to opening. Then place the chilled bottle into an ice bowl filled with ice cubes and water for about half an hour before serving. Avoid rapid chilling in a shock-chiller or freezer whenever possible.
Are the Schlumberger Sekts also free or low in histamines?
Traces of histamine are found in all Sekt sparkling wines. However, scientific studies and journals have confirmed that Schlumberger products are suitable for people who have a form of histamine intolerance in the category “Sekt and Champagne”. Following intensive research and investigation, we have succeeded in perfecting the traditional method production to minimalize the histamine in our products. The following criteria are essential elements:
- The exclusive use of selected grapes and excellent base wines for sparkling wine production
- The use of a specially developed strain yeast
- Ongoing strict quality control and highest hygiene standards throughout the production process
The reduced levels of histamine is of no detriment to the bouquet, the aroma or taste.
Some Schlumberger bottles bear a vintage, such as Sparkling 2012. What does this mean?
The vintage declared on these Schlumberger bottles represents the year in which the grapes for the base wine were harvested. This is a clear quality criteria. The wine blend matures on the lees for a period of two to three years following the harvest, depending on which Schlumberger variety, to allow the full taste to develop. The vintage should not be confused with the best before date.