Thursday, May 24, 2012

Special Tools: Sparkling Wine Glasses

Sparkling wine differs from table wine in that sparkling wine is filled with carbon dioxide causing it to fizz.  The carbon dioxide either comes from natural fermentation or carbon dioxide injection.
Sparkling wine comes in white, rose or even red and dry or sweet.
Champagne is one example of sparking wine, but it only produced in the Champagne region of France, even though it is often used as the generic term for sparkling wine.

Sparkling wine glasses come in three styles, the elegantly shaped tulip, the flute and the coupe. All glasses have a stem to keep the hand from warming the wine.
During the initial pouring of the sparkling wine, there is an initial burst of carbonation that occurs when the bubbles form on the imperfections of the glass. A poured glass of wine will lose its carbonation faster than an open bottle, due to the bubbles rising out of the glass and into the air.  The bubbles formed at the top of the glass are called the "mousse". An average bottle of Champagne can produce 49 million bubbles!
It is speculated that the bubbles in sparking wines cause the alcohol to absorb into the bloodstream quickly, causing people to get intoxicated quicker.

The flute shaped glass and the tulip shaped glass is tall and narrow. It has a small bowl in an effort to keep the bubbles fizzing. (Flutes are also used for beers as well.)  Tulip shapes keep the carbonation longer and also encourage the aroma of the sparkling wine to linger for the user. The flute and tulip glass hold an average of 8 oz.

The coupe is also called a saucer.  It is shallow and wide.  Frequently, it is used for presentation to make stacked champagne towers.  Because the carbonation dissipates quickly in these glasses, they are mostly used for cocktails and daiquiris now.  The coupe holds approximately 4 - 5 oz.

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