A lot of folks have asked about the photo in our Monday post (below) and the “dirt” that you see in the neck of the wine bottle. It’s actually not dirt but rather the “lees,” i.e., the dead yeast, in the wine.
For Champagne method (méthode champenoise) wines (like those produced in Champagne or in other parts of the world where the wines are called “traditional method”), first the winemaker makes a white wine (often from red grapes, like Pinot Noir); she or he then adds a small amount of sugar (dosage) to the wine and reseals it; the addition of sugar (not always necessary) causes the wine to ferment a second time (secondary fermentation) in a pressurized environment, thus preserving the CO2 that would otherwise escape; in Champagne and other appellations, the wine bottles are then placed in racks like the one you see above and are gently turned (ideally by hand) on a daily basis, so that the lees will gather in the neck of the bottle (fermentation occurs when yeast turns the sugar in grapes into alcohol); once the desired aging has been completed, the winemaker “disgorges” the lees and rebottles the sparkling wine for sale.
There’s a lot more to it but these are the basic steps and there are other ways to make wine sparkle, like the Charmat method, used to make more gently sparkling wines like Prosecco.
Read more here… And in the meantime, join us Saturday, Dec. 18, for the OOOODLES OF BUBBLES FESTIVAL @ Vino Vino!
TASTE 50+ SPARKLING WINES
OOOODLES OF BUBBLES
Saturday, Dec. 18, 1-3 p.m.
50+ sparkling wines
Admission: $20 per person
oysters freshly shucked by Chef Esteban
(not included in admission price)
15% DISCOUNT FOR THE PURCHASE
OF 2 OR MORE BOTTLES
CHEF ESTEBAN’S KITCHEN STARTS SERVING AT 1 PM
AND STAYS OPEN ALL DAY (UNTIL 11:00PM)
ALSO DIVA KAMI CUSTOM JEWELRY!