Monday, January 10, 2011

THE SPARKLE IN SPARKLING WINE


The Sparkle In Sparkling Wine

What puts the sparkle in sparkling wine?  The short answer: carbon dioxide gas.  But a half dozen French scientists and all the Pommery champagne they could sample offer a few sidebars to this fact.  This information comes from a story in the Montreal Gazette .

This research - did they know they'd get a gig like this when they signed up for science? - shows that the main thing that makes those bubbles disappear is the act of pouring the wine into the glass.

Pouring sparkling wine into the glass so that it hits the bottom of the glass actually promotes the dissipation of bubbles.  If you want the nose tickles to last a while, the guys in the lab coats say you should pour it gently down the side of the glass.  That results in twice the bubbles of splashier methods.

The study also found that using a tall, narrow flute instead of a wide champagne glass will help preserve the bubbles longer.

Finally, the scientists advise us to serve the sparklers cold - there's something about density and surface tension which is enhanced when the wine is refrigerated.

Keep these items in mind when breaking out the bubbly and you'll be ready for the champagne lifestyle.