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Pooch Pairings - Time to Sparkle!

Pooch Pairings - Time to Sparkle!
Pooch Pairings - Time to Sparkle!
Whether you’re making merry with family and friends, ringing in the New Year, or indulging in Sunday brunch, chances are that a bubbly-filled flute will be part of your pleasure. While your pup may have a sparkling personality, do you know the difference between Champagne and Cava? Here’s a simple guide to understanding this lively libation. We’ve even uncorked some paw-some pooch pairings. Cheers!

True Champagne must be produced in the Champagne region of France—all other bubbly is technically sparkling wine. Champagne, the most prestigious sparkling wine in the world, acquires its impressive bubbles by undergoing secondary fermentation that takes place in the bottle, a process called Methode Champenoise. While there are seven grapes permitted for use in making Champagne, most are made from a blend of Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier. This luxurious libation runs the gamut from bright and elegant, with delicate citrus flavors to rich and creamy with dough-like qualities. Champagne is ideal for celebrations and for toasting meaningful life events.

Pooch Pairing:
Afghan Hound: dignified, aristocratic, confident, brave
Standard Poodle: stylish, elegant, smart, eager
Whippet: regal, demonstrative, graceful, gentle

Champagne’s less familiar cousin, Cremant is made using the same production process as Champagne. However, it comes from areas outside of the renowned region and can be made from a myriad a indigenous grapes, most of which are relatively obscure. Produced in several French regions including Bordeaux, Alsace and Loire, this modestly priced sparkling wine is gaining popularity and is a great alternative to pricey Champagnes. Tasty, affordable and approachable, Cremant can exhibit scents and flavors of apple, citrus, pear, vanilla, almond and flowers. It is generally lighter than Champagne, but still dry and often possesses a creamy quality.

Pooch Pairing:
Boxer: bright, cheerful, friendly, dependable
Cavalier King Charles Spaniel: graceful, adaptable, sociable, pleasant
Irish Setter: playful, affectionate, refined, approachable

Made from the Glera grape, Prosecco is Italy’s version of sparkling wine that comes from the Northern region of Veneto. While other grapes can be blended into Prosecco, it must be made from a minimum of 85% Glera. While Champagne undergoes in-bottle secondary fermentation, Prosecco goes through its second fermentation in a tank, a less expensive and quicker process. This easy-drinking bubbly is typically light-bodied and crisp, with flavors of pear, melon, peach and honeysuckle. Some tend to lean toward the sweeter side, so if you are looking for dry (or brut), be sure to do your homework. This modest effervescent option is ideal for everyday sipping, large gatherings and making sparkling cocktails.

Pooch Pairing:
French Bulldog: easygoing, bright, fun-loving, charismatic
Pembroke Welsh Corgi: playful, friendly, bold, sturdy
Golden Retriever: reliable, confident, sweet, cheerful

Spain’s sparking wine comes from the Penedès region of Catalonia and, like Champagne, undergoes in-bottle secondary fermentation. Cava is typically made from the traditional Spanish grapes Macabeu, Parellada and Xarel-lo, but may also include Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Garnacha and Monastrell. Cava is usually dry with crisp, lively acidity and have characteristics of lemon, apple, quince and almond. Some can even impart flavors of brioche, minerals and dried figs. The affordability of Cava makes it a great choice for causal soirees and weekend quaffing.

Pooch Pairing:
Jack Russell Terrier: lively, amusing, happy-go-lucky, smart
Australian Shepherd: affectionate, good-natured, versatile, energetic
Dalmatian: outgoing, playful, dignified, spirited
Tagged in Pups Uncorked in our Winter 2021 issue