Sparkling wines are the fruits of years of consistent
production of the best grapes, and the most accurate fermentation process. We celebrate, enjoy and toast our fellows with sparkling wines. A gathering, together with friends and family can be a joyous event. Sparkling wines
can be served with foods to delight the palate, or served alone as a romantic gesture. Whatever we choose, sparkling wines are an integral part of our social and cultural heritage.
Wines with bubbles are associated, for many people, primarily with festivities and celebrations. More precious and complicated to make than still wines, they have traditionally been considered as occasional extravagances.
With higher acidity, more delicate flavor, their unique palate
tingle and lower alcohol than most table wines, they are however some of the most versatile wines to accompany food. Modern production techniques have brought sparkling wines to market that are more affordable and accessible for everyday enjoyment.
Bubbles in wine were known to vintners long before they could reliably capture and preserve this phenomenon in the
bottle. As a natural by product of the fermentation process, carbon dioxide is released in the liquid to provide a sparkle. In the Northern climates, cold weather sometimes arrives early after harvest, stopping fermentation before the sugar is completely used up.
Warm weather in the spring often causes it to start up again, resulting in carbonated wine. The English imported
wine in casks. They found also that adding sugar to tart, acidic wine would often soon cause it to sparkle and they
developed a liking for it. English bottles were much stronger than those in France and not as inclined to burst when the pressure built.
Early success making sparkling wines in the French district of Champagne made its name famous, so much so that champagne has become generic for sparkling wine, to the external aggravation of the resident producers. The Champagne appellation has some of the strictest, most
exacting standards for growing, producing and labeling in all the wine world. Cheap American brands copy the Champagne name, but neither the standards, nor the methods. Quality American producers emulate the standards, apply the traditional production methods and, out of respect and in deference, leave the champagne name to the originals.
The traditional way of making sparkling wine begins with the grape harvest, which is always early in the season compared to the picking of the still wines. Picking when
sugars are relatively low keeps the alcohol low, since secondary fermentation will boost it later. Also, the youthful acids help to preserve the wine over the long course of its
development. The grapes are pressed immediately, by pressing the crushing equipment, to avoid both oxidation and color in the wine.
The initial fermentation takes place most often in stainless steel tanks, although many varieties of container, from concrete vats to redwood tanks, are used. After the usual
period of three weeks or more, when all of the natural grape sugar has been converted to alcohol, the wine is dry. While the wine rests in a cold environment, solids and particles settle in the bottom. The clear wine on top is then racked or siphoned off the murky lees. Sometimes it is aged in oak barrels during or after this clarification and racking. The new wine is quite weak in flavor, very tart and low in alcohol. It may then be blended with stocks of older wine saved from precious vintages, to keep a consistent
house style or cuvee.
One final note, there is a village, above Lake Neuchatel in
so named Champagne, they began producing still white wine 700 years before sparkling wine was first made in France, although most of their wine is consumed locally, due to EU regulations, the 39 Swiss growers are no longer Technorati Tags : Tiny, Bubbles!!permitted to use the name of their
village on wine bottles!!
Let’s all http://www.marialiberati.comtickle our palate with some sparkling wine!!!