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Can Anyone Topple Champagne? S16 – Week 2

Written by Christine Marsiglio MW

Ding Ding! Round 2 of the Sparkling 16 Tournament has finished, and there are bubbles all over the place. We’re driving toward the Final Four this week!

The Wine Folly Sparkling 16 Tournament runs until December 19 – learn how to play and win a Coravin Sparkling wine preservation system.

There were some surprising close calls and a few played out as expected. Here’s how week 2 broke down.

Sparkling 16 Week 2 Bottle Sheet
Big eliminations! We’re heading into the Final Four Week.

Sparkling 16 Tournament – Week 2 Analysis

Division 1

Week 2 S16 Matchup Champagne vs. Lambrusco

Lambrusco vs. Champagne

The complex brioche and autolytic aromas from Northern France took their toll on the red Lambrusco. The sparkler from the hometown of Ferrari tried to take down the Goliath from Champagne. Lambrusco was at a disadvantage as the votes came in from the get-go, with 90% of people leaning on Champagne.

Maybe because the holiday season and Champagne go hand in hand, or perhaps not enough people have ventured into red sparkling yet, but either way, Champagne is going to the Semi-Finals!

Week 2 S16 Matchup Cava vs. Crémant de Loire

Crémant de Loire vs. Cava

Whoa! A close call that goes to show you shouldn’t put all your eggs in one basket!

The Wine Folly team was sure that Cava would stomp over the Crémant, but it was pretty close! Perhaps Cava has an image problem, and people haven’t tried the amazing quality found in Gran Reserva Cavas out there. Or, people love Chenin Blanc, with its lanolin and beeswax notes, and will support it no matter the battle.

Cava managed to land the knockout punch in the last round, but its most fierce battle is yet to come.

Match up for this Week

This week, the match is two wines that use the same traditional method and different grapes, but both have exacting quality standards. Both have doughy and bready aromas, chalky intensity, and fine bubbles.

This week we will see Champagne vs. Cava. Will Cava be the comeback kid? Will voters go out on a limb, or will Champagne rule the holiday roost? It’s up to you! Don’t forget to vote!

Division 2

Week 2 S16 Pet-Nat vs. Crémant d'Alsace

Pét-Nat vs. Crémant d’Alsace

The traditional method sparkler from Eastern France laid a smackdown to the funkier side of sparkling, Pét-Nat. Crémant d’Alsace can have all the same elements of Champagne (brioche, lemon curd, fine mousse), but generally at lower prices, which may have forced the Pét-Nat on the ropes.

The battle of the traditional method vs. the ancestral method has ended, and it seems tradition takes the cake.

Week 2 S16 Matchup Prosecco vs. Franciacorta

Prosecco vs. Franciacorta

What a nail-biter! Given the dominance of Prosecco in the world sparkling wine market, the Wine Folly team had all their tickets on Prosecco.

So we were surprised to see how much of a fight Franciacorta put up. The voters know how elegant, complex, and delicate this traditional method sparkling from north of Milan can be. However, Veneto’s aromatic, fruity, and floral Prosecco edged over the line to take the Italian crown.

Who doesn’t love a glass of Prosecco?

Match up for this Week

Prosecco takes on Crémant d’Alsace next week – tradition vs. tank methods match up again. Will the all-powerful Prosecco continue on its path of domination and walk over the Alsatian? Or will the bubbly from the banks of the Rhine reign supreme?

Sparkling 16 Giveaway Layout

Sign up to Win

Voting continues on Instagram with the next bracket this week and there are lots of ways to increase your chances at the big prize pack – be sure to check them all out when you submit your email.

The Final Four voting goes live at 12 Eastern, so head over to our Instagram to vote!

Written byChristine Marsiglio MW

Christine Marsiglio is Head Wine Educator and Resident Master of Wine for Folly Enterprises and Wine Folly. Christine is a certified Wine & Spirits Education Trust wine educator, a winner of the Bollinger Medal, and holds an MSc in Oenology and Viticulture from École Supérieure d'Agriculture d'Angers, France.

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