Saturday, July 4, 2015
Whenever the discussion of wines turns to “Sparkling Wines”, the eyes of many people glaze over! To many people, Sparkling Wines seem a little exotic and foreign. The reality is, Sparkling Wines had their birth in a land far from the U.S.A., in Europe, in Champagne, France. Hundreds of years ago a Monk discovered the process of creating Champagne (Sparkling Wine). Because great wines were always ‘Unfiltered’, his ‘Ah-Ha’ moment probably was inspired by the secondary fermentation of his wine. In any case, it is to this Monk, in Champagne, France, a very long time ago, that we owe this supremely beautiful wine!
Before we get any further into our discussion of Sparkling Wines, we need to differentiate the “REAL” Sparkling Wines from the cheap, Factory produced bubbly wines.
The process for creating “REAL” Sparkling wines (like Champagne) is the Holy Grail! A “REAL” Sparkling Wine must go through TWO fermentations. The first fermentation takes the fruit to the level of most normal wines. Then, after the first fermentation, the wine goes through a second fermentation…”In the Bottle”! REAL Sparkling wines will always say on the label…”Fermented in this Bottle”! Additionally, a “REAL” Sparkling Wine can ONLY be created DRY (no sweetness)! The reason that a ‘REAL’ Sparkling Wine can ONLY be created DRY is because ‘Live Yeast’ are added to the Sparkling Wine bottle before it is wired shut. The Live Yeast eat the tiny amount of sugars inside the bottle and produce the natural bubbles that we associate with our Sparkling Wines! As with all great wines, your “REAL” Sparkling Wine label should read…’GROWN, PRODUCED, VINTED & BOTTLED’ and ‘UNFILTERED’!
By the way, each bottle of “REAL” Sparkling Wine must be turned a quarter turn each day throughout the second fermentation. Very time consuming and labor intensive, but well worth the wait!
Now, compare the above “REAL” Sparkling Wine to the cheap Factory produced bubbly wine. A cheap Factory produced bubbly wine is usually made from a filtered table wine. They add sugars, fruit juices and made up chemicals of hints & notes. Then, from a tank of carbon dioxide, they inject each bottle (just like your favorite soft drink). There’s NO live yeast here! Within a blink of an eye the cheap Factory produced Sparkling Wine is wired shut, labeled, boxed and shipped out the door!
If you’re like me, however, you may be turned off by the natural dryness of the “REAL” Sparkling Wine. Well, don’t be! You should NEVER sacrifice the quality of a “REAL” Sparkling Wine! If needed, from this day forward, you are empowered to add a little sweetness to your “REAL” sparkling wine. To my glass of “REAL” Sparkling Wine, I like to add a little whole cane sugar (it’s NOT GMO’d) or natural Florida Orange Blossom Honey! Try a slice of Fresh fruit in your glass of “REAL” Sparkling Wine for a wonderful treat!! Whatever type of sweetener that you use in your world, will work fine in your “REAL” Sparkling Wine.
So, until we meet again, pour a glass of “REAL” Sparkling Wine, raise it up in front of you and say…”Salute & Happy Days”!