Champagne, Prosecco, Cava, Sparkling Wine, take your pick. I love a glass of chilled bubbly on a warm summer’s day. Actually, any time of year I’m up for a bit of the bubbly.

Your assignment this week, should you choose to accept it, is to treat yourself to a bit of the bubbly. You don’t have to open a whole bottle (although it’s highly recommended). You can buy a half bottle or a split. A split is 187ML or a quarter of a bottle. It will give you a glass, maybe a glass and a half.

Champagne, Prosecco and Cava – What’s the Difference?
Sparkling wine is the broad term for bubbly. Champagne is the queen of all sparkling wines. It is only made in Champagne, France. Any sparkling wine made outside of Champagne is called sparkling wine. Prosecco is a sparkling wine from Italy, made in the Veneto region. It is similar to champagne but made in a quicker method that allows it to be less expensive. Prosecco is fermented before being put into the bottle. Cava is a sparkling wine from Spain named for the caves where it is fermented. Cava is made in the traditional méthode champenoise. Its second fermentation takes place in the bottle like traditional champagne. Cava is the least expensive of the three bubbly.

My Recommendations
My favorite champagne is Pol Roger. I was introduced to it at a champagne tasting. If you like the flavor of Veuve Clicquot, Pol Roger has a similar minerality. Pol Roger has taken over as my favorite. It goes very well with oysters or it’s fabulous on its own. The Reserve Brut ranges in price from $39-$49. However, it is not always easy to find.

My first choice in Prosecco is La Marca. Prosecco has exploded in popularity over the past few years. You’ll see many brands on the shelf, but look for the elegant blue label of La Marca. Prosecco tastes lighter and fruitier than champagne. It makes a very refreshing treat in warm weather. It also makes an excellent pre-dinner drink, and is a good mixer for all kinds of champagne cocktails. A bottle of La Marca costs about $14-17 depending on where you get it. The La Marca Minis (splits) range from $4-5.

The easiest cava to find is Freixenet. You can find it in any supermarket that sells wine. You may have seen its chic black bottle on the shelves. Freixenet has a bright fruity flavor and is very refreshing on its own or as a cocktail mixer. A bottle of Freixenet Brut is usually around $11. You can often find the splits for $1.99. Don’t mistake its low price for a cheap flavor. It’s very good.

Of course there are many sparkling wines to choose from. What is your favorite? Take a picture of your bubbly and post it to my Facebook page. I can’t wait to see what you have chosen.