Where The Hell Did All Of These Bubbles Come From?

Hello, Tuesday! We recently posted a question on Facebook regarding which wine style people preferred the most. It was an overwhelming success. Not only did people vote and comment why the preferred one wine style over another, they also added their own categories to further classify their selections, creating an even deeper discussion. MSix Wines will look to post a question similar to this every Sunday evening. Make sure you vote and comment to enter to win a bottle of our inaugural Pinot Noir! Thank you to all that participated!

If you missed yesterday’s post, we will be making an extremely limited production of sparkling wine in honor of the bicentennial of 1811, a very important year in wine history. This post will dive into the world of making sparkling wine and attempt to provide the cliff notes version of how this effervescent wonder is created.

Sparkling wine (or ‘champagne’ if it is from the region of Champagne in France) is created from a normal, ordinary white wine. After the base wine has completed primary fermentation (sugar -> alcohol + CO2), the wine is bottled and a slurry of wine, yeast and sugar, known as ‘triage’, is added to the bottle; this step is what produces the bubbles we love. As time passes, the yeast will further break down the sugar into more alcohol and CO2, but since this fermentation (known as the secondary fermentation) occurs within the confined space of the bottle, the gas is not release and instead, dissolved into the wine. Sparkling wines will sit anywhere from three to ten years sur lie – French for “on lees” – before the process of riddling occurs. Riddling is the spinning of champagne bottles and inverting the bottle to shift all of the yeast remnants towards the neck of the bottle. After the riddling process is complete, the champagne is disgorged; this occurs by placing the next of the champagne bottle in a sub-zero solution, freezing the yeast bodies in a solid ice cube, making their removal very easy. The bottle is then opened and the internal pressure forces the yeasty ice cube out. The champagne bottle is topped up with more champagne and bottled for sale. Voilá! Bubbles!

A few pictures from our trip to Champagne this past summer. The three day excursion throughout Champagne and Epernay was met by perfect weather, great food and even better company!

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-MSix

Champagne is the only wine that leaves a woman more beautiful after drinking it.
Madame De Pompadour