Any wine lover knows that there are a lot of varieties when it comes to wine. There are so many different types of wines, and even more options within the different types. Some wines are more similar than others, like white wine and sparkling wine. So what’s the difference between the two? We’ll explore their differences and similarities below.

While we’re on the topic of white wine, check out these tips for cooking with white wine!

Carbon Dioxide

The main difference between these two wines is the presence of carbon dioxide, which is responsible for making sparkling wine bubbly. In order to stay bubbly, sparkling wine undergoes a secondary fermentation process that traps carbon dioxide inside the bottle or tank. White wine, on the other hand, is a still wine. This means that it does not contain any carbon dioxide (or bubbles). 

Production Methods

The production methods for white wine and sparkling wine are also different. White wine is typically made from fermented grape juice that is clarified and filtered to remove any solids. Then, it is aged in stainless steel tanks, barrels, or other vessels. White wine is intended to preserve the natural flavors and aromas of the grapes.

Unlike white wine, sparkling wine goes through a secondary fermentation process that adds carbon dioxide to the wine. There are several methods for producing sparkling wine, including the traditional method (also known as the Champagne method), where the secondary fermentation occurs in the bottle, and the Charmat method, where the secondary fermentation occurs in a tank. Sparkling wines may also undergo additional aging and blending to achieve the desired flavors and styles.

Flavor Profiles

Another difference between white wine and sparkling wine is their flavor profiles, and, more specifically, their level of sweetness. While white wines range from dry to sweet, whereas sparkling wines are typically categorized into different sweetness levels, such as brut (very dry), extra dry (slightly sweet), sec (sweet), and demi-sec (semi-sweet), among others.


A final simple distinction between white and sparkling wine is the glassware used for serving them. You typically serve white wine in a regular wine glass, while you would serve sparkling in a flute or a coupe glass. If you’re wondering if there is a rhyme or reason to this, there is! these glasses are specifically designed to showcase the bubbles and preserve the carbonation for longer.

Robinette’s Wine

Robinette’s produces several fruit wines and obtains others from growers of Michigan fruit. Visit Robinette’s winery in Grand Rapids, Michigan to sample and bring home some of our homemade wines and hard ciders!