Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Champagne And Bubbles: Smaller Is Better

Date:
December 16, 2003
Source:
American Chemical Society
Summary:
That long train of tiny, rising bubbles is the key to the drink's flavor and aroma, scientists say. And the smaller the bubbles, the better, according to the people who should know, researchers in the Champagne region of France, home to the famous vineyards that gave birth to the bubbly wine.

As New Year's Eve approaches and you prepare to pop open that champagne bottle, keep your fingers crossed for small bubbles ... and lots of them.

That long train of tiny, rising bubbles is the key to the drink's flavor and aroma, scientists say. And the smaller the bubbles, the better, according to the people who should know, researchers in the Champagne region of France, home to the famous vineyards that gave birth to the bubbly wine.

"Our ultimate goal is to create smaller bubbles in champagne wines," says Gιrard Liger-Belair, Ph.D., an associate professor at the University of Reims Champagne-Ardenne in France, whose study on the subject will be published this week in the Dec. 17 issue of the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, a peer-reviewed publication of the American Chemical Society, the world's largest scientific society.

The reason smaller bubbles make better champagne is basically because there are more bubbles available to release the flavor and aroma.

The little bubbles pick up flavor and aroma molecules during their celebrated ascent, pulling them along until the bubbles literally explode onto the surface of the liquid, creating the sensory fireworks that are generally associated with a good tasting, refreshing champagne.

The scientific explanation of why smaller bubbles make better champagne gets a bit more involved. As Liger-Belair says, "We must first understand each and every parameter that could control bubble growth."

Crafting a better champagne bubble is no easy task. It involves a complex interplay of physics and chemistry to help create that bubble "magic," says the researcher, who is also a consultant with Mφet & Chandon, a leading champagne manufacturer.

An excessive amount of carbon dioxide is the main factor responsible for bubble growth in carbonated beverages, whether produced naturally via fermentation or added artificially. But other factors also play a role in bubble formation, including the degree of diffusion of carbon dioxide within the liquid.

In order to test the extent to which diffusion influences bubble formation, Liger-Belair measured carbon dioxide concentrations inside equal quantities of five different beverages: champagne, sparkling wine, beer, soda and carbonated water. To his surprise, he found that even though champagne and its close relative, sparkling wine, had about the same diffusion measurement for carbon dioxide, their bubble sizes were significantly different.

Liger-Belair's conclusion: Contrary to expectations, the diffusion of the carbon dioxide was not the main factor determining bubble size in champagne, although it did play a major role in the formation of bubbles in the other beverages he examined.

Based on his study, Liger-Belair says that other chemical components that are dispersed throughout champagne, including dissolved salts, carbohydrates, and minerals, play a bigger role than previously believed in the formation of its uniquely small bubbles.

The researcher hopes to use this finding, combined with future studies, to develop a more comprehensive computer model of the factors that determine champagne bubble formation in order to create the perfect little bubble.

No doubt, Don Ho would approve.

Funding for this study was provided by the Europol'Agro Institute and the Association Recherche Oenologie Champagne Universite.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by American Chemical Society. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

American Chemical Society. "Champagne And Bubbles: Smaller Is Better." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 16 December 2003. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2003/12/031216075207.htm>.
American Chemical Society. (2003, December 16). Champagne And Bubbles: Smaller Is Better. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 16, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2003/12/031216075207.htm
American Chemical Society. "Champagne And Bubbles: Smaller Is Better." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2003/12/031216075207.htm (accessed April 16, 2014).

Share This



More Plants & Animals News

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Ebola Outbreak Now Linked To 121 Deaths

Ebola Outbreak Now Linked To 121 Deaths

Newsy (Apr. 15, 2014) — The ebola virus outbreak in West Africa is now linked to 121 deaths. Health officials fear the virus will continue to spread in urban areas. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
In Washington, a Push to Sterilize Stray Cats

In Washington, a Push to Sterilize Stray Cats

AFP (Apr. 14, 2014) — To curb the growing numbers of feral cats in the US capital, the Washington Humane Society is encouraging residents to set traps and bring the animals to a sterilization clinic, after which they are released.. Duration: 02:29 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
After Attack, Officials Kill 5 Bears in Florida

After Attack, Officials Kill 5 Bears in Florida

AP (Apr. 14, 2014) — Florida wildlife officials say they have killed five bears following an attack on a woman in a suburban subdivision in central Florida. Forty-five year-old Terri Frana was attacked by a large bear in her driveway Saturday. (April 14) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Uruguay Opens Its First Cannabis Library

Uruguay Opens Its First Cannabis Library

AFP (Apr. 13, 2014) — Uruguay opened its first Cannabis Library in Montevideo on Saturday, where people can come and read books on cannabis or take classes on how to grow the plant or even how to cook with it. Duration: 01:20 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins