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hathor

Champagne Bubbles

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Today's NY Times has an article by Harold McGee about Absinthe and the cocktail Death in the Afternoon.

In the article, he explains that champagne bubbles are caused by dust motes, and fibers. Not particularly romantic or appealing, but science is science.

My question is, does that mean that examining the 'perlage' or bubbles, and looking for even, constant bubbles, actually has no bearing on the quality of the wine?

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I believe the type of plant fiber they are talking about is cotton from the drying/shining towel.

Of course, it is much more politically correct to suggest that someone has a bit of drying cloth lint in their glass--a microscopic bit, than to suggest that their Riedel stemware has microscopic hills and valleys that allow bubbles to nucleate.

So, I say that there is some truth to it, but there is also some careful verbiage. Also, there is more carbon dioxide in the wine than is stable, that is the real reason it bubbles. If there weren't the carbon dioxide in excess, the champagne would be flat.

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Thanks for replying.

So, if your glass was dried in a vacum, and was completely smooth on the interior....there would be no neat little streams of bubbles? Just random bubbles caused by excess Co2?

We had some Proseco last night, and I observed my bubbles a little closer. Why do the bubble streams all start at the bottom of the glass? If anything, the bubbles should be concentrated on the sides of the glass where I was able to reach them with the drying cloth. And what of the glasses that were dried in the dishwasher? Etched interiors?

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Of course, it is much more politically correct to suggest that someone has a bit of drying cloth lint in their glass--a microscopic bit, than to suggest that their Riedel stemware has microscopic hills and valleys that allow bubbles to nucleate.

Actually, Riedel claims purposefully to makes their bubbly stems with a rough patch at the bottom of the interior crystal to induce better streams of bubbles.

Eric

that, and crystal is rougher textured then glass, too, which is why it's more suitable for wine in general. The rougher texture creates a sort of micro-aeration of the wine, furthering the release of the bouquet.

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Of course, it is much more politically correct to suggest that someone has a bit of drying cloth lint in their glass--a microscopic bit, than to suggest that their Riedel stemware has microscopic hills and valleys that allow bubbles to nucleate.

Actually, Riedel claims purposefully to makes their bubbly stems with a rough patch at the bottom of the interior crystal to induce better streams of bubbles.

Eric

that, and crystal is rougher textured then glass, too, which is why it's more suitable for wine in general. The rougher texture creates a sort of micro-aeration of the wine, furthering the release of the bouquet.

If you haven't tried them yet, the crystal stemware from Eisch is very cool. The micro-texture in them is enhanced to allow a further immediate oxidation in the wine. I was skeptical, but after trying them out, I was convinced. Google them for comments from Parker, Tanzer and such.

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