How Does Sparkling Red Wine Taste Different Than White?

The vibe is set. You're at home, music is playing, you're with the best company, and then drinks are brought up. You know you have a few different bottles of wine in the fridge, but which one do you choose? It's important that you look like you know what you're talking about because the people sharing your company this evening are special. Instead of reaching for your smartphone in your pocket and pulling up Google to help you decide, here are some tips for helping you choose the right wine.

There are so many ways to classify wine that it can often be overwhelming. Wine can be red, white, sparkling, not sparkling — you get the idea. One thing they almost all have in common is that they're made from fruit, such as strawberries, peaches, pineapple, cherries, and even rhubarb. If you're feeling extra adventurous, it's highly recommended to try out jalapeño wine or macadamia nut wine. However, if you want something with a little oomph, sparkling wine is a great option, and it comes in red and white varieties. Here's the breakdown of the difference between the two types and why they may or may not taste as different as you'd think.

Check the alcohol content for an idea of the sweetness level

A few popular red sparkling wines include Lambrusco, Sparkling Shiraz, and Brachetto D'Acqui, while some favored white sparkling wines are Champagne, Prosecco, and Asti Spumante. The biggest difference between the different wine types is the alcohol content, which will give you a good indication as to how sweet or unsweet the wine actually is. The sugar content of the wine is converted to alcohol as it ferments. The higher the alcohol content, the drier the wine will be, and the less alcohol content, the sweeter the wine will be (via SevenFiftyDaily). A few landmark numbers to look out for when shopping include 6% alcohol, which gives a very sweet flavor; 8% alcohol is a good blend of sweet and dry; and 11% alcohol content will be a much more dry and tannic-tasting wine (via Food52).

It's no secret that wine is great to pair with dinner. When coordinating sparkling wine with food choices, pair the sweeter wines with dessert, such as creme brulee or cheesecake. Pair the sparkling rosé with your appetizers, such as a charcuterie board with cured meats, cheeses, and nuts. Wine is also great to enjoy with takeout food such as Chinese or other Asian cuisines, which you'll want to pair with floral and fruity sparkling wines.