Bubbles, bubbles and more bubbles….
Imagine a glass of Champagne, Franciacorta, Spumante, Cava or Prosecco. Have you ever stopped and wondered how bubbles got in there? Probably not, I mean who thinks about these things while sipping on a glass of perfectly chilled bubbles, but if you have, here is the answer
The two main methods for making sparkling wine are:
CLASSIC METHOD, also known as Mèthod Champenoise, Methode Traditionelle and Metodo Classico is responsible for giving us the bubbles in Champagne, Italian Franciacorta, Trento DOC, among others.
CHARMANT or MARTINOTTI METHOD (also Italian Method) is mostly used in creating the bubbles in Prosecco and Asti.
Lets start of by saying that anything that has bubbles undergoes 2 fermentations. The first one to produce the base wine with its alcohol and then a second fermentation that is triggered with a cocktail called “liqueur de tirage” (sugar & yeasts).
In this second fermentation, yeast converts sugar into alcohol hence naturally producing carbon dioxide. When this happens in a sealed and closed environment that leaves no space for the CO2 to escape…voilà you have your bubbles! They are tightly trapped into the wine until they reach your lips!
In the Classic method, the process takes place mostly in 750 ml bottles. It is a very elaborate procedure that can last anything from 15 months to 10 years. The bottles are gradually turned (remouage or riddling) until the dead yeast cells (lees) fall to the neck of the bottle. Then the neck is frozen, the lee is removed, another secret cocktail “Liqueur d’expèdition” is added (depending on the producer) and then they are capped and ready to enjoy.
In the Charmant method, this second fermentation takes place in a large pressurized tank. It is all quicker and faster.
Different bubbles, different aromas, different texture, different wines…which bubble do you prefer?
The Classic Method usually produces longer lasting bubbles, while the Charmat method is know for larger and more powerful bubbles.
Italian bubbles to try
1 – Franciacorta D.O.C.G
Bubbles in this area go back to 1961. A young man had a dream. He wanted to make bubbles as the french did in a region that, up until then, only produced still wine. Since then, the area of Franciacorta (Province of Brescia in Lombardy) has produced pure excellence using Classic Method. Chardonnay, Pinot Nero & Pinot bianco are the only grapes allowed to produce Franciacorta D.O.C.G.
2- Trento D.O.C
Probably the oldest Italian bubble. The first production dates back to 1850. Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Pinot Blanc and Meunier give the base wine that, through the metodo classico, becomes Trento D.O.C
3 – Prosecco
Who has not had a glass of prosecco? This fresh, fruity, aromatic bubble that has earned its fame in nearly every country in the world. It is made with a grape called “Glera” and it is produced in Veneto, northwest region of Italy.
The highest quality prosecco is produced in a sub-region called Valdobbiadene. If you have to indulge and treat yourself, then do it the right way!
4 – Lambrusco
This red sparkling wine is produced in Emilia -Romagna. Even though it’s been around since the Roman times, this red grape is rarely appreciated outside it’s home region. It pairs wonderfully with mortadella…. so if you are in the area, do give it a try!
5 – Asti Spumante
There is only 1 grape that is used to make this Italian classic, and it’s the Moscato grape. The result is a very aromatic and sweet sparkling wine!
Essential of Italian Bubbles
We have created the perfect tasting for you. Our 90-Minute Essentials of Italian Bubbles is all about bubbles. Not only will you learn about Prosecco & Spumante and the fascinating story behind the creation of bubbles, but you will also taste 3 sparkling Italian wines while nibbling on amazing food. All of this in the heart of Rome.