How Are Sparkling Wines Made?

The world of sparkling wines, or champagne, as it is also incorrectly called, is pretty exciting. Most events that sparkling wine is used for are those of celebration. Celebrations such as parties, promotions and fancy dates many times will use it to mark the event. For this reason, champagne is seen as the party wine. The origin of sparkling wine is almost as fun and interesting as drinking it itself and the process of making this type of wine is exciting as well.

It is a common wine legend that sparkling wines were created by accident. Supposedly, some monks from Champagne, France discovered the method because they incorrectly fermented some wine. When they uncorked it, it had that bubbly appearance and they thought it was spoiled. It actually took years for champagne making to be recognized as a intentional process, rather than a mistake.

The old way of making sparkling wine was through temperature changes. The wine was cooled below fermenting temperature before all the sugar turned into alcohol. It was then reheated later on to the fermenting temperature, which created the carbon dioxide reaction that forms the sparkling bubbles.

Real champagne one only comes from Champagne, France and a group of localized wineries there. Any other winery that claims to make champagne is faulty unless they actually use grapes that are specifically from Champagne.

The process of making sparkling wine has stayed pretty much the same throughout the years. The process has become modernized, but for the most part retains the spirit of the old ways.

The first step in making champagne and sparkling wines is to pick the grapes over a period of time so that every grape is at its ripest. Sometimes, different grapes from different vineyards are used to retain the best qualities of each variety. The grapes are then pressed and stored, usually in stainless steel barrels to ferment.

This is done over a period of at least three weeks, until all the sugar is turned into alcohol. It is then separated from the bits that sunk to the bottom of the barrels and is transferred to other barrels, sometimes wood, to ferment longer or is mixed in with older wines to retain a particular flavor.

For the second fermentation, extra sugar and yeast is put in with the wine to make the bubbly texture. And that is how it is made! There are many different kinds of sparking wines and they are all made a little differently, but the basic process is the same.

So that is a brief overview of how sparkling wines were created and how they are made. There are so many different kinds of sparkling wine, that it would be impossible to name them all in one article. Visit a wine club or indulge in some books for more information. Just remember, a sparkling wine is not true champagne unless it comes from Champagne, France.

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