Bubbly for the Summer

Bubbly For Summer

What is better then a nice glass, or bottle of sparkling wine during the warm summer months?  The way that the crisp fruit flavor and bubbles dance across your tongue is just delightful on a warm summer evening, for a celebration or just for fun.

Here is some interesting information on sparkling wine that may help you decide what kind will best suite your palate.   

There are six levels of sweetness of sparkling wine starting with the sweetest doux.  The next step down is demi-sec followed by sec.  After that is extra dry label followed by brut then extra brut.  For a point of reference doux has around fifty grams of sugar per litre, extra dry has twelve to fifteen per litre, brut has less than twelve and extra brut has less than six.

The aroma’s of sparkling wine are usually of fresh baked bread, from the yeast used in secondary fermentation, fresh applesauce, spiced apple and fresh pear.  The traditional flavors of sparkling wine are apple, pear, citrus, strawberry, cream, vanilla, nuts, and yeast.  If the ripe tree fruit flavor is dominant it is most likely a new world sparkling wine, if the more subtle creamy, yeast and nut flavors are dominant it is going to be a traditional Champagne.

Traditional sparkling wine originates from the Champagne valley of France and is made with three types of grapes; Pinot noir, Chardonnay and Pinot Meunier.  Sparkling wine can only be called Champagne if the grapes are grown and the wine is produced in Champagne, otherwise it must be called sparkling wine.  In Italy sparkling wine is called prosecco and spumante.  In Spain it is referred to as cava.

The bubbles from sparkling wine come from the secondary fermentation process.  This is when the producer adds the desired amount of sugar and a few grams of yeast to the still wine.  The yeast and sugar create carbon dioxide (bubbles) and alcohol.  This conversion traps millions of bubbles in a confined space making about eighty pounds per square inch in your typical bottle of sparkling wine.  This secondary fermentation process actually occurs in the bottle which is the traditional Champagne method, it can also occur in the fermentation tank which is referred to as the Charmat method, it is up to the winemaker.

It is said that drinking Champagne is like drinking in the stars, so find what kind you like best and enjoy.  As always if you have any questions or need assistance in finding what will best suite your palate contact me at rob@vinovinonline.com.  

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