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What Is Spumante? Italian Sparkling Wine

What Is Spumante? Italian Sparkling Wine

There are probably hundreds of thousands of wines on the planet. However, you haven’t had wine until you’ve tried Spumante. So, let’s find out what this delicious wine is. 

What Is Spumante?

In short, Spumante is a variety of Italian Sparkling wine. It is an Italian term that means sparkling wine in English. 

Spumante can be made in any Italian region using any kind of grape. So to label a wine as Spumante, it must be grown and produced in Italy. 

How Is Spumante Made

There are two methods of producing Spumante: the Classic Champenoise Method and the Charmat Method.

The Champenoise Method involves double fermentation. Fresh yeast and sugar are added during the maturation process. 

Every wine goes through a first fermentation which creates alcohol. In contrast, sparkling wines need to be fermented a second time. This means winemakers following the Champenoise method bottle the wine at the halfway mark. 

However, they also add more sugar and yeast before sealing the bottles and letting them age. The yeast produces carbon dioxide gas. 

The gas is broken down, creating a bubbly texture, and trapped in the bottle until someone opens it. Next, the Spumante is shipped to its final destination or sold to consumers at the winery. 

In contrast, the Charmat technique is easier than the Champenoise method. Rather than being bottled, the second fermentation occurs in huge barrels

Today’s vineyards use metal containers outfitted with specialty pressure adapters and temperature controls. However, some wine purists believe the Charmat method can be done in wooden barrels. 

Nevertheless, metal containers help control the direction of the bubbles as well as the number of bubbles that are produced. In addition to this, fewer bubbles will escape when using a metal container.

What Are the Levels of Sweetness?

Spumante wine is flexible. It is not one type of wine. It’s more of a category. 

The flavor of Spumante can range from depends on the type of grape used to produce the wine. It also depends on the region it is made in and how long it is aged or fermented. 

Spumante can also be categorized based on its sweetness level. These are the 6 levels of sweetness for spumante wine. 

Extra Brut

Extra brut wines have the lowest sugar levels. Brut is a French word meaning dry. However, in this case, it means a lack of sweetness, not a lack of moisture. 

They can be as low as 0 grams per liter, as high as 6 grams per little, or somewhere in between. 


Brut Spumante has less than 12 grams of sugar per liter of wine. In other words, it is a dry sparkling wine. 

Although brut wines are not the sweetest Spumante, they are definitely sweeter than extra brut wine. In fact, it may even taste sweeter than still white wine, which has a similar sugar content to brut wine. 

Extra Dry 

Extra Dry Spumante has 12-17 grams of sugar per liter of wine. Although it is considered a dry wine, it contains a sweeter flavor than those mentioned above. 


Dry sparkling wines have 17-32 grams per liter of wine. Dry sparkling wines are often compared to the flavor of apricots. They are sweet with a slightly bitter flavor. 


Demi-sec is a sweeter type of Spumante. Demi-sec wines have 33-50 grams of sugar per liter of wine. Demi-sec may also be called semi-dry wine.


Doux spumante is the sweetest of them all. They contain over 50 grams of sugar per liter. 

Although Doux spumante is not as popular as the other categories, it is often served with desserts and used for cocktails. 

What’s the Difference Between a Champagne and Spumante?

To label sparkling wine as Champagne, it must be made in Champagne, France. In contrast, Spumante has to be made and proceed in any province of Italy. Additionally, any type of grape grown in Italy can be used to make Spumante. 

Is Spumante the Same as Prosecco?

Truth be told, I’d be lying if I said there was a difference between prosecco and Spumante, especially regarding the varieties of grape. Moreover, both prosecco and varieties can be brut or dry and have different levels of sweetness. 

Is Spumante a Good Wine?

Even though some people love the sweetness levels of Spumante wines, it is not seen as a superior quality wine. Yes, the region has a distinguished DOCG classification.

However, most Spumante wines exported to the US are less than quality and poorly made. So, they are classified as a low-quality wines.

Final Thoughts

Yes, there are many different types out there. Spumante is a delicious bubbly wine. Make sure you grab a quality bottle of Spumante the next time you are craving a bottle of wine.

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