A bright and festive wine is certainly on your shopping list if you're getting ready for a dinner party or formal function. But what distinguishes champagne from sparkling wine? Or are they interchangeable? Although sparkling wine and champagne are frequently used interchangeably, the two beverages have different names, and you should avoid using the incorrect one around a wine expert. Everything you need to know about the two drinks and their differences is provided below. 

Champagne is included in the category of sparkling wine, which is a general term. To put it another way, champagne is just one sort of sparkling wine; there are many more. Other sparkling wine varieties include prosecco, cremant, and cava. 

Only wines from the French Champagne region are referred described as champagne. The majority of champagnes are produced using a blend of chardonnay, pinot noir, and meunier grapes. There are a few exceptions, though. A blanc de blancs, for instance, is champagne made only from chardonnay grapes, while a blanc de noirs is created only from pinot noir grapes. 

In any other region of the world, a wine created using a similar recipe is known as a sparkling wine. However, unlike champagnes, sparkling wines are not subject to the same regulations. For instance, they can be produced using the same grapes as champagnes or by blending various grape varieties. Additionally, sparkling wines can be produced using the Tank Method, however champagne must be produced using the Classic Method. 

The average alcohol content of red wine is 12.2 percent, whereas champagne's alcohol content is 12.2 percent (about 12.5 percent). However, you could find that a few glasses of champagne make you feel more buzzed than a few glasses of wine. This is due to the champagne's gas (bubbles), which makes it easier for your stomach to absorb and swiftly reach your bloodstream. Champagne includes more congeners, which reduce cell activity and cause headaches, so you'll likely get a worse hangover. 

Champagne often costs more than a standard bottle of white wine, costing about $50 for an average quality bottle. This is partially due to champagne creation being a considerably more complicated procedure than standard winemaking. For instance, champagne requires an in-bottle fermentation while any sparkling wine can go through a second fermentation in tanks. The average champagne is produced over the course of 18 to 30 months. 

In addition, the wine-producing location can affect the price, and France's Champagne region is regarded as being more opulent than other regions. 

By mixing champagne and wine, one can create a delightful beverage with a solid base and a sparkling finish. The combination of champagne with fruity beverages like cranberry juice, however, is usually preferred. As a finishing touch, garnish the cocktail with strawberries, raspberries, or other fruits.