Why champagne is so bubbly
The unique bubbly fizz and taste that comes on popping the champagne cork is because of trapped carbon dioxide in the drink, a new study has suggested.Updated: Dec 30, 2011 18:49 IST
The unique bubbly fizz and taste that comes on popping the champagne cork is because of trapped carbon dioxide in the drink, a new study has suggested.
A New Year’s themed video produced by the American Chemical Society, explained Henry’s Law, which is a law of physics that states that the pressure of a gas above a solution is proportional to the concentration of the gas within the solution.
For champagne, carbon dioxide is the gas that forms those delightful bubbles. And, in an unopened bottle of champagne, there is equilibrium between the CO2 inside the liquid and the gas in the spaces of the cork, the Discovery News reported.Popping the cork disturbs this equilibrium, which is only regained as the CO2 bubbles out. To get raise a perfect toast, make sure to pour on an angle, which preserves up to twice as much CO2 compared to pouring into the middle of the glass, according to a 2010 paper in the Journal of Agricultural Food Chemistry.
The video demonstrated that as the bubbles ascend the length of the glass in tiny trains, they drag along molecules of flavor and aroma which explode out of the surface, tickling the nose and stimulating the senses.
Champagne making process includes two fermentations that must be done absolutely accurately to ensure the correct concentration of bubbles in the final product. During the first fermentation, just as for any other kind of wine, yeast eats up sugar molecules in grape juice and releases CO2 and ethanol. The second fermentation traps CO2 inside the liquid.
This procedure is definitely not that easy as during 1600s, when Dom Perignon is rumoured to have discovered champagne (or at least helped perfect it), bottles seldom ended up with no bubbles while in some occasions, CO2 levels were so high that bottles exploded.
First Published: Dec 30, 2011 14:27 IST