A party is not a party without the presence of sparkling wines or champagne. Sparkling wine is basically the party drink of the alcohol world. Exciting occasions, like weddings, will have sparkling wine present. Champagne has a colorful history and how it is made is quite unique. This truly makes it worthy of the title "party wine."
It is said that sparkling wines were created by accident. Monks from Champagne, France were supposedly the accidental inventors of this drink. When their wines were stored in their cellars for some time, the wine turned bubbly. They thought they had spoiled the wine, but after drinking it they realized that they had created something great. Sparkling wine is created through temperature changes. When the wine cools down below fermentation temperature before all the alcohol has fermented and when it is heated up again, the resulting fermentation creates the bubbly appearance through a carbon dioxide reaction. Many wineries use the name champagne for their sparkling wine, but in actuality, wine that is truly champagne comes from a specific district of vineyards in France. Any other winery that uses the name champagne is stealing the name from the true foreign wineries.
The process of making sparkling wine has stayed pretty much the same throughout the years. This type of process has in recent years become modernized, however it pretty much keeps the spirit of the older 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. The wine 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 sparkling wine 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.
Now you know the basics of how sparkling wines are made. There are way too many kinds of wines to be named in one article, so if you are interested, check out some wine websites or a wine club for more information. One of the most important sparkling wine facts to remember is that true champagne only comes from France. Use that bit of factual info to impress your friends!
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