Champagne Bubble Stream
When you see photos of elegant Champagne flutes, there is always a delicate stream of 'champagne bubble pearls' snaking its way up from the bottom of the glass. How does that happen?
First, understand how Champagne has bubbles in it in the first place. They don't carbonate the wine! :) They actually put yeast into the bottle while they are making the Champagne. The yeast does its normal function - it consumes sugar and creates bubbles of carbon dioxide plus alcohol. That carbon dioxide, being made in the bottle, is what creates little bubbles in the sparkling wine.
So when you pour the Champagne out of the bottle into your glass, there are little carbon dioxide bubbles naturally present in the liquid. Normally they would sort of settle out over time without much visual (besides the foam when you first poured). But if there is an imperfection in the glass - a tiny scratch, a little bump - this forms a gathering point for bubbles. They naturally cling to that imperfection, and then they float upwards from that point.
We have fun at holiday parties, with plastic glasses. We carve little letters in the bottom of the plastic glasses with a nail or something. The bubbles then gather on those marks and come up in the glass in the shape of the letter. We are easily amused :)
Crystal glassware prides itself on being smooth - which is bad for bubbles! I know people who have gotten too-smooth crystal glasses and deliberately scratched the bottom slightly so they got the bubbles they wanted.
This bubble thing is a key reason you want to use a tall, thin flute for Champagne and not a short, fat coupe shape. The fat coupe shape allows lots of surface area for all the bubbles to release quickly, making your wine go flat. You want the Champagne to have only a small amount of bubbles being released, so the rest stay in the wine itself while you drink and enjoy it.
So in short if you get a Champagne glass that doesn't make bubbles, just gently scratch the bottom inside of the glass. That'll give the bubbles a place to congregate! And for the most fun, get plastic Champagne flutes to drink out of for a party. They might not be elegant, but they're great fun!
The Basics of Champagne
Methode Champenoise - How Champagne is Made
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Our Sangria Recipes include a section on sparkling sangria recipes. These are Champagne Cocktails as well!