20 December 2016 556
Sparkling Wines: Production Methods and Classification
Sparkling wines are a low-alcohol drink that is consumed on anniversaries, parties, celebrations, and is particularly popular in the run-up to such events as the New Year or Christmas.
The sparkling wines quality is usualy determied on the basis of abundant foaming and perlant properties. The "foamed wines" were mentioned in the Old Testament. This beverage was also known in ancient Rome and in several countries of the Middle East. France has always been proud of its sparkling wines from famous regions like Limoux, Gaillac, Champagne, Etoile, Die, Saumur etc., but officially the creation of this drink is attributed to Benedictine monk Dom Perignon from Champagne region (France), which in 1668 -1670 had the idea to put wine with sugar in tightly closed bottles.
Champagne and sparkling wines
The term "champagne" refers to sparkling wines produced in the French region of Champagne. In accordance with the Madrid Agreement (1891), only sparkling wine produced in France, in the Champagne region has the right to wear a proprietary name - "Champagne". It is made from three grape varieties, Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier, which are grown on the territory of the above-mentioned region. Similar drinks made in other countries, including the Republic of Moldova are called sparkling wines. In the production process, this wine may undergo natural fermentation in the bottle, forming eventually the sparkling effect or carbon dioxide can be added artificially.
The methods of sparkling wines manufacturing
For the production of sparkling wines there are used high-quality basic varieties of wines which are produced with an average amount of sugar (160-190 g/l) and stored in grapes during ripening. One of the conditions is the high acidity of 8-10 g/l H2SO4.
There are four different methods to making Sparkling wine: Traditional Method (better known as Méthode Champenoise); Transfer Method, Charmat Method (also known as the Tank Method), and lastly (and lowly) the Injection Method.
Classification of sparkling wines
According to the production technology and the territorial origin:
- Champagne, normal, high-quality, white and rose;
- Crémant ;
- Sparkling wine produced by Champagne method;
- Sparkling Muscat;
- Sparkling Prosecco;
- Sparkling wines such as French pétillant;
- Low-alcohol sparkling wines
According to pressure (this determines the sparkling and foaming properties):
- Having a gauge pressure less than 3 bar at a temperature of 20 ° C;
- Having a pressure of 1.0-2.5 bar at 20 ° C;
According to sugar content:
- Brut nature: (no added sugar) up to 3 g/l;
- Extra brut: up to 6 g/l;
- Brut: up to 15 g/l;
- Extra dry: 12 – 20 g/l;
- Dry: 17 – 35 g/l;
- Demi-sec: 33 – 50 g/l;
- Sweet: more than 50 g/l;
Advices On Sparkling Wine Consumption
Due to the content of sugar, amino acids and salts, sparkling wines provide nutritious and mineralized effect, while organic acids,and phenolic compounds present in wine stimulate the digestion. Champagne and sparkling wine contains useful ingredients, which lower blood pressure and reduce the risk of blood clots. Sparkling wine promotes nitric oxide production and thus expands the blood vessels and improves circulation.
A good quality sparkling wine can be served with almost any type of food, but when it is used as an aperitif, it is preferred that the wine was dry. Sparkling wine can be consumed with eggs, mushroom dishes, cheeses (parmesan, gouda, brie, cheddar), seafood, eggs, oysters, vegetables, chicken, lamb, as well as Chinese food or sushi. Semi-dry or sweet sparkling wine is compatible with most desserts (fruit, candy, cakes). Typically, this product is drunk slowly, so that the consumer could feel a whole bunch of flavors and aromas.