Ah, bubbles. How we love this effervescent elixir! Champagne, Prosecco, Sekt, Cava, Asti, Sparklings…whatever the type, we can always get behind a glass, be it a celebration or an ordinary day. Though some actually like it flat, most drink sparkling wine for the crisp excitement. If you like your fizz to spark, here are a few tips on getting the most out of your bottle.
You peel off the foil and remove the capsule. You then put your thumb over the cork with one hand and hold firm while grabbing the bottom of the bottle and slowly turning with the other.
A glorious moment. A cloud of smoke rolls out and alas, it’s time to pour.
But even the first glass can come out flat if you’re not following proper fizz form. Since bubbles help transfer everything we love about sparkling wines to our mouths, we should avoid lifeless pours like the plague! So here’s what you need to consider:
First and foremost, some sparkling wines are simply more vivacious than others. Nonetheless, they say an average bottle has more pressure than a car tire! That’s why it’s always extremely important to put your thumb immediately over the cork after removing the capsule. We don’t want any broken windows or missing eyes!
Without getting too technical, bubbles are caused by carbon dioxide that forms during a double fermentation. By the time a bottle is ready and sealed, the carbon dioxide has nowhere to go and therefore dissolves into the liquid. Keeping the bottle nice and chilled will make the gas move slower and ensure two things:
1. It’ll be a lot easier to open.
2. There will be more bubbles!
Warmer temperatures cause CO2 to move and release faster, which is a recipe an explosive uncorking and overall flatness. So first tip: Keep it cool.
And though aging might help a fine wine, you should open sparkling wines soon after buying them. The longer the age, the more they leak, meaning less bubbles in your bottle.
Bubbles are born in your glass, as soon as the CO2 can grab on to something and well, bubble. They form because of imperfections and impurities in the glass. Some of your finest flutes will actually have tiny imperfections on the inside to give the CO2 a boost. Dust particles and lent also help create more fizz. That might sound slightly unappealing, but we say, if you can’t see it or taste it, who cares!
A small-mouthed flute helps trap the CO2 as opposed to coupes or regular wine glasses, which create more diffusion. So unfortunately, your Great Gatsby look will mean not-so-great bubbles.
Second tip: Go for a flute and never give it a thorough cleaning. Soap and dishwashers are the enemy! Hot water and rubbing the glass will work just fine. Also, try wiping the glass with a clean dry towel prior to pouring. Your tastebuds will thank us later.
Finally! Did you know that a single glass of sparkling wine can produce more than one million bubbles by the time you take your last sip?! Getting the pour right promises thousands more.
Gérard Liger-Belair is known as a effervescence expert at the Université de Reims Champagne-Ardenne in France. After testing all kinds of pours, there is one clear winner and therefore our third tip: Angle the glass and pour slowly down the side. This will preserve up to twice as much carbon dioxide!
AFTER THE POUR
Ever notice that one glass of fizz can go straight to the head? Studies have shown that your body absorbs carbonated drinks faster than still options, meaning a quicker buzz. It does not, however, make you drunker…unless you drink too much, which we don’t recommend for tomorrow’s sake.
So sparkling wines should be savored. If you’re planning on finishing the bottle in one setting, keep it chilled on ice and avoid unnecessary movement. Though placing it in the refrigerator door might seem like a good idea, it’s actually not recommended. The door is usually the warmest spot in the fridge and things get clanked around a lot when opening and closing, which is bad for bubbles.
But what if you’re not able to finish the bottle? Is it possible to preserve a bubbly’s spark?
Let’s go ahead and dismiss the spoon in the bottle trick as an old wives’ tale. It just doesn’t work. Vacuum seals might be able to preserve a bit of flavor, but flatness is guaranteed after a day or two.
Swiss entrepreneur Manfred Jüni found this unacceptable, and after a lot of trial and error, came up with zzysh® Champagne. This revolutionary device seals the bottle back up tight and then shoots a mixture of argon gas and carbon dioxide to protect the liquid from oxygen and pressurize the bottle once more. So our last tip? zzysh® it after opening, and enjoy that same great fizz whenever your heart desires.