Friday, 15 April 2011
Legend has it that Dom Pérignon invented it. But the locals of Limoux say their monks were first. Even the English claim to have mastered the style before anyone else. So when and where did bubbles first appear in wine and how exactly do they get there?
Let’s first look briefly at the science of sparkling wine. Bubbles are carbon dioxide (CO2). Cheap sparkling wines are injected with it much like a soft drink but quality wines capture naturally occurring CO2 during fermentation. The Traditional Method, used in Champagne and elsewhere, requires a still wine to be made and bottled before for a second fermentation is induced by the addition of sugar. Sealed in, the gas dissolves into the wine.