adding bonus room above garage wadsworth building onto a small house algonquin bathtub shower remodel glencoe home addition value cook county harrell remodeling buffalo grove .. Chicago Drug testing

How Sparkling Wine is Made

There are three methods that may be used to make sparkling wine. These methods are:

  • the Transfer Method,
  • Charmat Bulk process and
  • Methode Champenoise.
Methode Champenoise is the most labor-intensive and costly of these.

Before we get into how sparkling wines are made, we should first make a distinction between sparkling wine and champagne. Champagne is sparkling wine, but sparkling wine is not necessarily champagne. True champagne is produced in the Champagne region of France by using the Methode Champenoise and is produced from a high quality grape. In many circles in the United States, the term "champagne" has become a general term to include any sparkling wine. These are frequently made from inferior grapes through bulk processing and are often sweetened to mask their inferior quality. They are not true Champagnes.

Sparkling wines are made from both white and red grape varieties. The quality of the fruit is critical to the outcome of the finished product. In the Champagne region of France, Chardonnay, Pinot Noir or Pinot Meunier are used. But in other internationally recognized sparkling regions, like Asti, other varieties such as Muscat Blanco may be used. The grapes are harvested earlier than those picked for still (table) wine. There are several reasons for this early harvesting. One reason is to obtain a lower alcohol level in the cuvee (wine made from the initial fermentation, also called "base" wine). During the fermenting process the sugar is converted to alcohol, therefore the lower the sugar content of the grapes, the lower the alcohol content of the finished product. The reason for the lower alcohol content in the base wine is that the wine will go through another fermentation process that will increase the alcohol level. Another reason for harvesting grapes while at a lower sugar level is to produce a higher total acidity and lower pH rating. This adds longevity and crispness to the wine.

Now lets take a look at the three different methods vintners may use to make sparkling wines. Methode Champenoise is a more labor-intensive and expensive method than the other two methods of producing sparkling wine. After harvesting the fruit, the juice is pressed and put into containers for the first fermentation. These containers are either stainless steel vats or oak barrels. When the first fermentation is complete, various lots of wine are blended together to produce an assemblage (the final blend of varieties for the finished wine). Then a mixture of yeast and sugar, called a triage, is added to the base wine. The wine is bottled with a small plastic cup that fits in the neck of the bottle and collects any sediment. This small plastic cup is called a "bidule" The second fermentation takes place in the bottle and due to the sugar and yeast being added, alcohol and carbon dioxide are produced. Due to carbon dioxide formation and pressures up to 90 pounds per square inch, bottles for Champagne and sparkling wine must be thicker than regular wine bottles. During the second fermentation, temperature plays an important role. Cooler temperatures produce finer bubbles. Once the second fermentation is complete, dead yeast cells begin to break down and form a sediment in the wine. This process is called autolysis. The winemaker decides how long to allow for the autolysis process and this in turn has an impact on the final taste of the wine. The sediment must then be removed without losing the carbon dioxide and sparkle. The first step in doing this is riddling or remuage. In years past, this was done by inserting the neck of the wine bottle into a rack, called a pupitres, that would hold it at a 45 degree angle so the dead yeast cells would settle into the neck where the bidule was attached. Then every few days, a trained person, called a remuer, would give each of the bottles a quick shake and increase the angle of the bottles until they were eventually positioned completely downward, thereby collecting all the sediment in the neck. Today, the riddling process is automated. Next the sediment is removed by disgorgement. This is where the bottle is placed neck down in an icy brine to freeze the sediment into a solid plug. The cap is then removed and the pressure inside the bottle causes the frozen sediment to be expelled. Then a "dosage" is added. This dosage is a small amount of wine mixed with sugar and sometime brandy and it determines the sweetness or dryness of the sparkling wine. The bottle is then corked and secured with a wire hood.

The Transfer Method of making sparkling wine is similar to the Methode Champenoise except that instead of riddling to remove the sediment, the wine is transferred to a pressurized tank where the sediment is filtered. It is then bottled, corked and secured with a wire hood in preparation for sale to the public.

The Charmat Bulk Process is the quickest and least expensive method of making sparkling wine. With this process, instead of the wine going through the second fermentation in the bottle, the base wine is placed in a temperature-controlled, pressurized tank to which sugar and yeast is added. The secondary fermentation takes place in this tank without the release of any carbon dioxide. This tank acts like a very large bottle. Once the fermenting is complete, the wine is filtered under counter pressure and bottled using a counter-pressure filler. Because the wine has not spent the same amount of time in contact with the carbon dioxide, the bubbles tend to be larger and dissipate more quickly.

Marcia Parks is a wine reviewer and publisher of a wine review web site. To read reviews and learn more about wine visit http://www.wine-reviewer.com

In The News:

Beer, Wine and Your Bones

If you like the taste of a good brew, then... Read More

The Ten Most Important Wine Label Terms

For the average wine consumer, there is a plethora of... Read More

How Sparkling Wine is Made

There are three methods that may be used to make... Read More

Enjoy Your Favorite Wine - But With Some Rules

The mere mention of etiquette brings to mind various images,... Read More

The Curious History Of Wine Consumption In America

The history of wine consumption in America has been frought... Read More

Champagne

Champagne is without question the finest sparkling wine made in... Read More

Buying Wine, How to Read a Wine Label and Select a Great Bottle of Wine

I must admit, that for many of us, walking into... Read More

The Origin of the Cocktail

The cocktail has the distinction of being an original American... Read More

Chablis Wine

Chablis is thought to have originated in northern Spain and... Read More

Who Made the First Wine Anyway?

Although details are understandably sketchy, it is believed that, around... Read More

Guide To Tasting Wine

The basics of tasting wine are relatively simple to learn.... Read More

Choosing that Perfect Wine for a Dinner Party

So, you find yourself having been invited to a dinner... Read More

The Cocktail Party

A cocktail party can be more daunting than a dinner... Read More

The Mystery of Decanting

Decanting is a strange word to many people. Some do... Read More

An Idiots Guide To Wine Tasting

Have you ever seen those stiff upper-lipped types doing a... Read More

Explore the U.S. Wine Trails

Follow a Local Wine Trail to Discover the Secrets of... Read More

France Car Hire

Here is a quick summary of the different French wine... Read More

Ideal Wine Temperature

The ideal temperature to store wines is between 55?F and... Read More

Australia Is More Than Jacobs Creek

The Jacobs Creek Brand of wines have taken the world... Read More

What is Corked Wine?

Keeping a wine bottle sealed is probably the most important... Read More

Wine Tasting -- The Traditional Way

Wine tasting is properly known as 'Wine Degustation'. It is... Read More

Tequila

It was once a ritual usually performed by a man.... Read More

Alchoholism, A Major Diesease?

Alcoholism can be given a lot of definitions and all... Read More

The Old Fashioned: Two Recipes of an Underrated Classic

Like many mixed drinks, the Old Fashioned has a number... Read More

The Harmony between Wine and Food

Wine is a social drink which should be enjoyed in... Read More

induction street light retrofit induction wall packs Pete's produce ..
induction street light retrofit induction wall packs Pete's produce ..