When we hear the word, sparkling wine, the first image, which comes to our mind, is a joyous occasion. Actually, it is the fizz and the bubbles, which sets them apart from the table wine. One of the most significant and well-renowned examples of a sparkling wine is champagne. However, the common notion that all sparkling wines are champagnes is false. The truth is that although all champagnes come under sparkling wine category, not all sparkling wines are champagne. The fizz of the sparkling wine is because of the significant levels of carbon dioxide in it. The sparkling wine is made from the grapes and the quality of the wine largely depends on the quality of the grapes used for the production. Both red and white varieties of grapes are used for the purpose and the most common varieties are Pinot Noir and Chardonnay grapes. Sparkling wine also differs from other table wine in the manner that the grapes for the production of sparkling wines are harvested a little earlier than for those in table wines. These wines come in a variety of colors such as pink, light, dry, sweet, rich etc. The first stage of sparkling wine making is the production of base wine, which doesn’t contain any bubbles. Actually, these bubbles are added in the second fermentation only. There are three techniques, which are used for making sparkling wine, namely, Methode Champenoise, The Transfer Method, and Charmat Bulk process. Read on to know more about these processes.
Ways For Making Sparkling Wine
It is also called as traditional method. Actually, this method is physically very intensive and costs a lot. After the primary fermentation of the wine is over, an assortment of yeast and rock sugar is added to it and then these bottles are capped with a crown seal and then a second fermentation is allowed to take place in the bottle. This process generates CO2, which dissolves into the wine because of the intense pressure of the cap. Now the wine is allowed to get matured in the bottle on the lees which helps in adding character to the wine. The bottle undergoes another process called as riddling and the bottle is swiftly corked to maintain the fizz. The wines made through this process have an edge of quality and character over others.
The Transfer Method
This method follows the same path till the second fermentation however after the second fermentation these bottles are opened under pressure and then they are emptied into a big tank to be filtered and fined in a larger quantity. This process saves time and is not that expensive too. However, the wine made through this process lacks the benefits of aging of yeast lees, which is supposed to add complexity and character to the wine. The transfer method delivers more quatity with low cost.
Charmat Bulk Process
The second fermentation of the wine is done in a specially designed pressure tank in Charmat bulk process. Charmat process was invented in Italy and is widely used there. The advantage of this process is the quick processing and lesser cost. In the pressure tank the wine is filtered and fined and can be even bottled just after three months of fruit harvest. Although the taste of the sparkling wine made through this process may taste like still wine with bubbles. This method is generally used for commercial purposes.