What Is Sparkling Wine in 60 Seconds: What Is Sparkling Wine and How Does It Work?
Any white or red grape may be used to make sparkling wine, which is a wine that has been carbonated. Despite the fact that white sparkling wines are the most frequent, sparkling rosé and, to a lesser extent, red sparkling wines are also available. Sparkling wines are available in a variety of styles ranging from dry to sweet. The tastes expressed by sparkling wines vary depending on the grape(s) used, the environment in which they were produced, and the winemaking process employed.
The Method of Production of Sparkling Wine
The Méthode Champenoise is often regarded as the most superior way of producing sparkling wine. In most cases, the phrase refers to wines produced inside the Champagne area, whereas the term “traditional method” refers to wines produced using the same methodology but in locations outside than the Champagne region. The secondary fermentation must take place within the bottle in order for this procedure to be successful. After that, the wine is allowed to age on its lees (dead yeast cells), which has an influence on its scents, tastes, and mouthfeel. This part of the process results in flavors of brioche and almonds, as well as a smooth and creamy texture that is pleasing to the palate. Riddling (which is often done by hand) and disgorgement are time-consuming processes that result in higher price points on shop shelves as compared to the Champagne technique and conventional procedures.
The Charmat technique, commonly known as the tank method, is a more efficient and cost-effective method of producing sparkling wine. This procedure, which is most well-known for its relationship with Prosecco, involves transferring the wine from its initial fermentation vat to a big sealed pressure tank, where it undergoes secondary fermentation, which produces carbon dioxide and sugar. After that, the wine is bottled and transported to the market. Because these sparkling wines do not spend time on the lees and are released immediately after bottling, they are lighter and more fruit-forward than those made using the traditional process.
It is also possible to employ the transfer technique, which incorporates elements of both the classic and the tank procedures. In this method, the sparkling wine undergoes secondary fermentation within the bottle and is then preserved on its lees before being moved to a tank where it is filtered to remove any remaining sediment. This avoids the time-consuming and expensive procedures of riddling and disgorgement while preserving the flavor of the lees aging.
Carbonation is a last option, and it is also the least expensive of them all. The wine is infused with carbon dioxide (CO2) rather of going through a secondary fermentation process to get its fizz. The wine is then bottled under pressure.