For Those With An Interest In Sparkling Wine
Italy has a very long tradition of making extremely high quality sparkling wine. The team at Premier Estates Wine love finding out interesting facts about the history and characteristics of Italian sparkling wine and we also love sharing the knowledge with our customers, so here are just a few for you to enjoy while sipping a glass of our multi award winning Prosecco or Grand Rosé.
Sparkling Wines were being produced thousands of years ago
Sparkling or “effervescent” wines have been referred to throughout history and a number of Roman scholars wrote about them; so, “spumante” wines were certainly being made more than 2000 years ago. It would appear that winemakers didn’t really have any knowledge of the science behind why wines were sparkling, though, and attributed the bubbles to particular phases of the moon or even good and bad spirits!
Sparkling Wine grape harvesting is different from that for still wines
Grapes which are destined to be used to make sparkling wines are harvested earlier than those used to make still wines, when there is still a high acidity level in the fruit. The utmost care is taken to avoid the potential inclusion of phenolic compounds such as tannin and much of the time grapes are harvested manually rather than mechanically to avoid splitting the grapes and encouraging maceration between the grape skins and juice. The wine press is usually close to the vineyard where the grapes can be quickly pressed and separated from their skins.
Sparkling Wines tend to contain less sugar than still wines
A glass of sparkling wine will usually contain somewhere between 6 and 12 grammes of sugar per litre. Interestingly, a still wine containing 12 grammes of sugar per litre will taste noticeably sweeter than a sparkling wine containing the same amount of sugar. This is because of the higher acidity levels of the sparkling wine grapes.
The “bubbliness” of Sparkling Wine depends on the glass it’s poured into
The bubbles in your glass of sparkling wine form on imperfections in the surface of the glass into which it is poured. The more imperfections in the glass, the more bubbles you will see forming. This is why sparkling wine stays fizzy for longer in the bottle than it does in a wine glass; there are less imperfections in the surface of the bottle. So, if you want to take your time drinking your sparkling wine – buy an expensive cut crystal glass!
- For Most Sparkling Wines, “Ageing” Isn’t Necessarily A Benefit
Prosecco, for instance, undergoes secondary fermentation in a stainless steel tank and not in the bottle, like Champagne. Therefore, it is best consumed within a year of production.