Is there a word for sparkling wine that starts with the letter “P”?

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Dear Dr. Vinny,

Is there a word for sparkling wine that starts with the letter “P”?

—Liam, Dublin, Ireland

Dear Liam,

Oh fun! Are we doing a crossword together? I often get the clue for a four-letter wine-related prefix, which is “oeno,” from the Ancient Greek οἶνος.

I can think of at least two words that might be what you’re looking for. Prosecco is a popular light-bodied sparkling wine from Italy. (Check out our ABCs of Prosecco Superiore video for more.) The other word you might be thinking of is “pétillant,” a French word that means “sparkling” or “fizzy” and which has been trending in recent years with the rise of pétillant naturel sparkling wines, more commonly known as “pét-nats.”

A couple other sparkling P-words for your vocabulary: The primary red grape for Champagne and many other sparkling wines is Pinot Noir (another key grape is Pinot Meunier), and the top wine from a sparkling wine house is known as its “prestige cuvée.” “Perlage” is a term that refers to the size and energy of the bubbles in a glass of sparkling wine, and there’s also a somewhat obscure category of effervescent wines in Germany called Perlwein. I hope these all come in handy the next time you “pop” a bottle of bubbly!

—Dr. Vinny

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