Sparkling white wine and glass

 A Complete Guide to Sparkling Wine

Here’s our guide to help you understand the different types of sparkling wines you can pop at your next celebration.

If you’ve ever found yourself in the aisle of your favourite local bottle shop, agonising over which bubbly liquid gold is the perfect pop for your impending celebration, then listen up! We’re here to break down the different types of sparkling wines, the right way to drink them, what foods to pair them with and the faux pas to avoid.


What is sparkling wine?

To put it quite simply, sparkling wine is wine with bubbles. But if you want a more technical answer, sparkling wine is the overarching term for carbonated wine, that is, wine with a generous hit of carbon dioxide (bubbles!).

The difference between types of sparkling wines comes down to where it was produced, the variety of grapes used, and the fermentation method.


How is sparkling wine made?

All sparkling wines start as regular fermented wine, which then undergoes one of several secondary fermentation procedures to add carbon dioxide.

Champagne, for example, uses Méthode Traditionnelle - ‘the classic method’ (formerly known as Méthode Champenoise), where the second fermentation happens in the bottle before it is aged for a minimum of 15 months. This is quite a technical, lengthy and arduous process, but it is widely considered the superior way of making sparkling wine. On the other hand, Prosecco uses the Charmat method - ‘the tank method’ for its secondary fermentation, where the wine is carbonated in tanks before bottling. Charmat sparkling wines are not aged and are released soon after bottling.

Types of sparkling wines


Undoubtedly the most famous of all the sparkling sisters, Champagne is renowned for being the quintessential sparkling wine synonymous with celebrating.

It’s made exclusively in the Champagne region in France and uses a blend of Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier grapes that give this effervescent drop its delicious, fruity undertones that are crisp and refreshing on the palate. The additional work involved in Champagne’s production, the ageing process, and importation costs help to explain its higher price tag.

From weddings to graduations, birthdays to bridal showers, a new job or a new house, whatever the occasion, Champagne is the ultimate celebration starter.


Blanc de Blancs

Literally translating to ‘white of whites’, Blanc de Blancs is a term traditionally used to describe Champagne that is produced using solely white grapes, most commonly Chardonnay but sometimes Pinot Blanc and Arbane.

Dry and sharp, fresh and creamy with citrusy aromas, it is widely considered the most desirable Champagne among the upper echelons of the bottle-popping elite.

Its rising popularity has led to Blanc de Blancs being increasingly adopted to describe sparkling wine outside Champagne, including here in Australia. For example, 2022 Tempus Two Varietal Blanc de Blancs Sparkling uses Chardonnay grapes picked from premium vineyards in the Limestone Coast and Coonawarra regions to make a fantastic, elegant expression of this refined sparkling wine.



Ever wondered what the word ‘Cuvée’ means on a bottle of sparkling? It commonly means 'blend,' i.e. a mix of different vineyards, vintages or varieties. It also denotes the contents of any tank or other container of wine in a winery. The French word for a tank is cuve; its contents are cuvée.

So the word Cuvée on the label can be used to indicate a special blend unique to a producer or made from a selection of higher quality tanks of wine.

Tempus Two Copper Prestige Cuvée uses a blend of grapes sourced from premium vineyards in South Eastern Australia that produces a zesty, vibrant and fruit-driven sparkling wine.



Moscato is the Italian name for Muscat Blanc, one of the oldest, sweetest grapes in the world with origins as far back as ancient Egypt.

Today, Muscat grapes are grown in wine regions all over the world, thriving in Italy, France, Spain, and right here in Australia. Fun fact: it’s one of the only grapes whose aroma on the vine matches that in the glass.

Moscato is s the perfect partner for a long brunch, pre or post-dinner drinks, or any springtime or summer soirée. It is approachable, easy to drink and generally lower in alcohol than other wines making it perfect for new wine lovers.

There are several types of Moscato that we’ve detailed in this complete guide to this light, sweet, fizzy and fruity wine.



If Champagne is the sexy, sophisticated, extravagant French model, then Prosecco is her fun, flirtatious, seductive Italian cousin.

Named after a small village near Trieste in Northern Italy, where it was first invented, Prosecco wine must contain at least 85% glera grapes to be classified as such. Prosecco is known for its zingy fruity flavours, subtle floral notes, and good acidity that is accentuated by the bubbles. It typically offers a lighter drinking experience than other sparkling white wines like Champagne.

Prosecco comes in different styles and tastes, so we’ve developed this handy guide to help you choose the perfect bottle for your next friendly gathering.


Sparkling Rosé

Pretty and pink, fun and fruity, Sparkling Rosé is perfect for that bottomless brunch or to sip poolside on a hot summer’s day.

Like other bubbly varieties, Sparkling Rosé is made using either Méthod Traditionelle or the Charmat Method. But the main difference between white sparkling wines and Rosé Sparkling wines is that red grape skins are left to macerate in the juice for a short period to give it its trademark blushing pink hue and delicate fruity flavour.


Alcohol content and calories in sparkling wine

Typically, there are around 95-120 calories per glass of sparkling wine (depending on the type) and up to 12% alcohol content.

These days, however, there are several lighter and even alcohol-free options available. Try 2020 Tempus Two Lighten Up Prosecco for a full-flavoured wine with lower alcohol and reduced calories. Or give 2020 Tempus Two Lighten Up Prosecco or Tempus Two Zero Spritz Rosé a go if it’s a guilt-free party vibe you’re looking for.


How to drink and serve sparkling wine

Sparkling wine is best served chilled. Three to four hours in the fridge before opening should be sufficient. Once opened, keep the bottle chilled on ice.

Traditionally served in a flute, it is recommended to only fill the glass only two-thirds of the way and to pour the wine slowly and intermittently to avoid the dreaded foaming overflow.

Using a pressurised cork to seal in as many bubbles as possible between pours is also a good idea.


How to store sparkling wine

If you’re planning to consume your bottle of sparkling wine within 3-4 days, it’s fine to store it in the fridge; otherwise, unopened bottles are best stored in a cool place with low light and a consistent temperature. A cellar or wine rack would be your best bet.

Once opened, reseal the bottle with a hermetic cork and store it in the fridge to consume within two days.


How long does sparkling wine last unopened?

Typically, an unopened bottle of sparkling can last at least three years; if it’s a vintage Champagne you’re working with, it can be anywhere from five to ten years.

However, sparkling wine won’t go bad per sé, (if stored correctly), but just like the rest of us over time, they do age and will eventually lose some of their zing.


What food does sparkling wine pair with?

It would be remiss of us not to start with the classic couplings of Champagne and oysters and Champagne and strawberries, two pairings that exude sheer opulence and never fail to impress.

Consider a Blanc de Blancs to elevate your seafood platter to new heights.

A Prosécco is a perfect accompaniment to creamy pasta, risottos or spicy and fragrant Asian curries.

Sparkling Rosé is an excellent match for grazing on a charcuterie and cheese board.

While a sweet Moscato paired with dessert is a wonderful ending to a delicious dinner.


Can I use sparkling wine in cooking?

If you’ve ever been faced with the solemn task of pouring the remnants of a fizz-less bottle of sparkling wine down the drain, it may be comforting to know there is no such need. Flat sparkling is the perfect alternative to still wine, should the recipe call for it.

Or, if you’re looking to impress that breakfast date, why not whip up a batch of pancakes with last night's leftover bubbles, the secret ingredient to ensure maximum fluffiness every single time!


What’s the difference between champagne and sparkling wine?

While sparkling wine refers to all types of carbonated wine, Champagne refers strictly to sparkling wine made in the Champagne region of France, adhering to the strict rules as to what types of grapes and what processes are used.

So essentially Champagne is one of several different types of sparkling wine.

Interesting to note that the name Champagne is legally protected. There is an actual clause in the Treaty of Versailles pertaining to its use!

Tempus Two Sparkling Wine and glass

Discover Tempus Two sparkling wine


2022 Tempus Two Varietal Blanc de Blancs Sparkling

A zesty and refreshing extra dry wine with enticing fruit flavours of peach, passionfruit and green apple.


Tempus Two Copper Prestige Cuvée

Vibrant, balanced, showing citrus dominance over tropical fruits and minerality with a salivating persistence.


2022 Tempus Two Copper Moscato Rosa

Aromas of kiwi fruit, musk and pineapple. Its palate bursts with sweet tropical fruits, balanced by zesty acidity and finishes with a refreshing spritz.


2020 Tempus Two Copper Prosecco

Made in true Prosecco style, this brut sparkling wine displays lifted lemon and green aromas complemented by an elegant palate featuring a fine, creamy mouthfeel and zesty, persistent finish.


NV Tempus Two Varietal Prosecco

Bright and fresh with lifted citrus and green apple, delivering vibrant fruit flavours with a zesty luscious finish.


2020 Tempus Two Lighten Up Prosecco

Delicate bubbles mingle with notes of citrus and pear for a lasting, crisp finish. It’s lower in alcohol and calories while still bursting with flavour — the perfect way to moderate your drinking.


Tempus Two Zero Prosecco

It may be non-alcoholic, but this Prosecco still has the same fresh citrus and pear aromas and bright, zesty palate you will find in full-alcohol Prosecco.


Tempus Two Zero Spritz Rosé

Full-flavoured yet with zero alcohol, enjoy fresh strawberry and citrus aromas and forest berry flavours with a crisp, spritzy finish. Whatever the occasion, there is certainly no shortage of bubbly options to get the party started.


Whether it's Prosecco, a classic Chardonnay-based ‘Blanc de Blanc’ sparkling wine modelled after Champagne, or a pretty in pink Sparkling Rosé, Tempus Two has wonderful Australian-made sparkling wine options for you to try.

So, what are you waiting for… let’s get poppin’!