Too often we classify the bubbly bottle solely for celebrations and special occasions. Sparkling wine is capable of countless styles and it makes a versatile piece to any dinner party. When properly stored and cared for, bubbly wine can age effortlessly for years and even decades while stirring up extraordinary complexity in its bottle, which ranks them in the high company of the world’s greatest wines. As you celebrate and pop your bottles, do you ever wonder where the sparkle from your glass came from?
Sparkling wine is made by taking the simple fermentation formula (sugar + yeast + alcohol + CO2) and restriction of the gas from escaping. When you ferment wine in a closed environment, the CO2 has nowhere else to go but retreat back into the wine, only to be released in the form of tiny bubbles upon opening.
The story of Champagne is attributed to the monk, Dom Perignon. Cold temperatures coupled with deep cellars and lack of insulation was a problem. The fermentation process would initiate but would soon shut down due to the colder temperatures, and without knowing exactly what was going on, the wines were being bottled anyway. The following Spring, as the earth was blooming and the temperatures were rising, the fermentation process would begin again. With no place for the CO2 to escape, it returned to the wine and eventually built up proceeding to blow the corks off of the bottles. As legend has it, it was here that brother Perignon caught the wine in his glass and shouted, “Come quick! I am tasting the stars!”
Today, we use the same methods of making the sought after bottle of Sparkling Wine. The process is more controlled, but the chemistry remains the same. As this winemaking method was developed in Champagne and the rules surrounding making this wine is from that particular region, we can think of Champagne in terms of a geographical location as opposed to a winemaking style.
“Sparkling Wine” is made throughout the globe and it is made all over the world from Oregon, Austria, Tasmania, to many bubblies in France. However, there is only one true Champagne, from the region near Paris, France, that graces us such as Pierre Gimonnet and Gaston Chiquet. Cheers to Dom Perignon!
At Fainting Goat Cellars we are committed to the passion for wine and good company. Inspire us to create your home cellar and share the taste of the stars! It is our goal to cultivate your passion and enthusiasm for wine. Our founders Rob and Lori Glenn have traveled all over the world to discover new wines and exquisite tastes that would be the perfect addition to any wine cellar.