We’ve all celebrated something with some bubbly in our hand. Whether it was New Year’s Eve, a graduation, getting married, giving a toast, partying like a Gatsby or just celebrating life – we all associate a glass of sparkles as the right companion for a special occasion. But how much do we really know about sparkling wine?
1. Champagne has turned into a generic term, substituting the meaning of sparkling wine. In fact, the French had done such a remarkable job at dominating the term with a French word that there had to be a treaty signed in order to differentiate the sparkling wine from Champagne and all the rest. There are regulating bodies which monitor and have strict rules about whether a sparkling wine can be labelled champagne or not. One of the main requirements is that the grapes must be grown and come from the Champagne region in France. There are other strict rules set out by winemakers and the Comité Interprofessionnel du vin de Champagne. As much as we love any sparkling wine, it is safe to say that if it’s not French, it’s not champagne.
2. Don’t get too discouraged though. At the end of the day champagn is just one of the many sparkling wines. Other famous names for bubbly from around the world are: Cava from Spain; Asti, Prosecco & Trento DOC from different regions in Italy, Sekt from Germany, and so on.
3. The word “Brut” or “Extra Brut” is used to categorize how dry the wine is. This term is used only for sparkling wines.
4. If you’re drinking good sparkling wine there should be small lines (or so-called trains) on the inner part of your glass formed from the bubbles. These are called “collerettes”.
5. The pressure in a bottle of sparkling wine is 3 times more than in an average car tire. If you’ve always felt anxiety towards popping the cork – now you know why!
6. Another way of opening your bubbly is not through the cork. It includes an almost ritual-like technique called “Sabrage” which is basically breaking the bottle from the top of the neck by sliding a saber along the throat with some force. First records of sabrageing were from the time of Napoleon, when celebrating victories in battle.
7. In one glass of sparkling wine there are approximately 49 million bubbles. Talk about abundance.
8. Marilyn Monroe once bathed in sparkling wine (that would be around 350 bottles or more than 250 ltr.). Records have said it was champagne but we all know history can lie and even if it was champagne, the point is that she took a soak in wine! I’m sure all beauty experts are frowning upon submerging your body in an alcoholic beverage. In the end – who can say they have done anything like this?!
9. Sparkling wine may be a must for celebrations but probably not the best alternative if on a diet compared to regular wine. The bubbles are formed from a second fermentation process, in which yeast and more sugar are added. Also fizzy wine has 3 times more gas than beer. Because of this gas, alcohol is absorbed much faster into the bloodstream. That’s why drinking especially bubbles on an empty stomach may be tricky. If however you are contemplating what will be friendly to your waistline – wine (regular or sparkling) has much less calories than beer and spirits like gin, vodka and whiskey, so you’re still safe.
10. We’ll end the advanced knowledge about sparkling wine with a quirky fact – did you know that dropping a raisin into a glass of bubby will cause it to continuously float up and down in your glass. If you’re bored at a party, try it. Maybe some other weird, like-minded people will be attracted and you’ll happen to meet some fun people that night.
So folks, there you have it. You are now knowledgeable on sparkling wine. You can ice-break, chit-chat or use these fact as a pick-up line. Whichever you decide, share the mastery and be careful with those corks! Cheers!