Sparkling wines are made throughout the world and the most famous are from the region in France known as Champagne.

Jim Harre, Chair of Judges, New World Wine Awards

To be called Champagne, the wine has to have had a second fermentation in the bottle to create the fizz (known as Methode Champenoise or Methode Traditionelle) and to have been grown and produced within the boarders of the Champagne region.

This is why sparkling wine such as Jacob's Creek Chardonnay Pinot Noir, which has been made using the same grape varieties and techniques as employed in Champagne, cannot be called Champagne.

Bottle fermented wines have great acidity and lovely biscuit, brioche and marmite flavours. These are clean refreshing and seriously well made wines. As a cool climate producer, New Zealand has the near perfect climate for the production of bottle fermented wines.

Two great examples are the Morton Estate Blanc de Blanc 2000, a sparkling wine made from Chardonnay grapes. It has eleven years of bottle age and all the hallmarks of a spectacular wine for a special occasion. The other good example is the Lindauer Classic Rosé which is a fantastic price and displays lovely bottle fermented characters.

Another method of producing sparkling wines is by carbonation, which maintains the fresh fruit flavours of the wine. A beautiful wine for summer is Moscato, a wine style that has its origins in Italy. Light, low alcohol and bursting with the flavours of freshly crushed Muscat grapes. My suggestion is to try the [yellow tail] Moscato, well chilled, with a ripe peach on a hot Summer's day.