Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Those Tiny Tasty Bubbles in your Wine........

.....tickling your taste buds on your tongue. When I first read that Champagne bubbles improve flavour in a Decanter news report I was intrigued but baffled when I read this sentence. " ..discovered that many aromatic compounds were more likely to be present in the bubbles than in the wine itself". If they were not in the wine in the first place then how would they suddenly appear in the Champagne bubbles? But the following article in RSC made a little bit more sense. So just how many of these precious little bubbles in a bottle of Champagne will bring us those delightful flavours? A scientist by the name of Bill Lembeck gave us the incredible number of 50 million. And that along with 90 psi ( your car tires are only inflated to 45 psi ) makes for a powerful punch of aromas and flavours.
The image is one of a Champagne sabering that went wrong. But there you have those 50 million bubbles under 90 pounds of pressure blowing away all those delicate flavours.
But the story does not end there, because now another scientist has discovered that we actually have taste receptors for carbonation. Apparently carbonic anhydrase 4 is responsible for sensing the taste of carbonation. It activates our sour cells. No wonder Champagne tastes so good.
I think it would be a good idea for
GĂ©rard Liger-Belair and Philippe Schmitt-Kopplin with their Champagne bubble experiments to get together with Nicholas Ryba and devise experiments that will tell us what to expect from the next generation of sparkling wines. The bubblier the better.
A toast to all of you!


David said...

interesting, now are those 50 million bubbles just in 1 glass? bottle?

Wilf G.K said...

David, they are the total in one bottle. I don't know how you would figure out how many bubbles in a glass.