Who invented sparkling wine?
Until present it remains disputed who invented sparkling wine and champagne: the French attribute the invention to the monk Dom Pierre Perignon (1638-1715), while the British are certain that it was their fellow countryman Christopher Merret (1614-1695) of the Royal Society who first discovered the product.
Mèthode Champenoise / bottle fermentation
We only use select base wines for the production of Puremonde sparkling wine. But how does such a wine turn into sparkling wine or champagne? It takes a `prise de mousse`- a second fermentation in the bottle – during which the bubbles develop. The bottles are being kept in special cupboards wich allow them to be shaken, and through constant movement the yeast settles in the neck of the bottle. In the end of the fermentation process the bottleneck is being dipped into a cold bath so that the yeast freezes. Than the bottle is being opened in an upright position, and the carbon dioxide´s pressure catapults the yeast cork out of the bottle.
During the second fermentation the sparkling wine gains its bubbles, but loses its natural sugar content. The sparkling wine is absolutely dry, but you want to enjoy a harmoniously balanced product. This is why at this stage a `dosage` is being added. According to legal guidelines and timed meticulously, the sparkling wine receives a dose of sugar dissolved in wine. It is the dosage which decides whether a sparkling wine will turn our brut, dry, semi-dry or mild.
Mèthode Charmat / barrel fermentation
Apart from the fermentation there is also the possibility to work with barrels. After the fermantation process in big, copression – proof barrels is finished, the sparkling wine is being transfered into back – pressure barrels and the yeast is filtered out. Here, too, the dossage is responsible for the harmonious balance and the sparkling wine´s definition as brut, dry, semi-dry or mild.
How do the bubbles get into the bottle?
As long as sparkling wine bottles are being kept closed there are no bubbles. Carbon dioxide (CO2) is dissolved in the sparkling wine at high pressure of around 6 bar. If the wine is being cooled down to five degrees Celsius, the pressure drops to around 4 bar. When the bottle is beeing opened, the carbon dioxide floats to the top of bubbles and evaporates. At a low pressure it cannot be contained in the beverage.
Opening the bottle is the biggest challenge when drinking sparkling wine – it should happen injury free an in the best case look elegant. In the moment the bottle is being opend the carbon dioxide inside expands abruptly. The pressure drops in an instant, from about five times the surrounding air´s pressure to standard value.
Bubbles in the glass
At first, most of the bubbles are attached to the glass´sides and only later float to the top. This is due to the fact that the bubbles have to grow before they gain flotation. They expand by 350 – 400 micrometers (one thousandth of a meter) per second. The carbon dioxide that makes up the bubbles is responsible for the charcteristic prickling.
When sparkling wine bubbles burst on the sureface they set the beverage´s aromas free and make them discernible for the sense of smell.