The thought of tiny bubbles racing to the surface of a delectable Sparkling Wine can bring a smile to even the most hardened of individuals. The sound of corked pressure being released into the motionless atmosphere brings about memories of joy and happiness. Sparkling Wine is a mainstay at almost every celebration and has come to represent achievement and special occasions in people’s lives.
There is something inherent in Sparkling Wine that is difficult to describe. The nutty, apple freshness of a fine Sparkling Wine can be recognized and discussed among friends and lovers. But the mystery behind this ageless drink is an aspect that cannot be easily deciphered.
Breathing the gaseous Carbon Dioxide’s refreshing aroma that is released from a recently opened bottle of Sparkling Wine is an experience that is unparalleled. As a true pleasure of all senses, drinking Sparkling Wine can turn the loneliest working class man into an aristocratic giant; at least in his mind.
Although the true nature of Sparkling Wine is an esoteric unknown, its obscurity is overwhelmed by its injection into mainstream society. Sparkling Wine consumption is associated with the bourgeoisie’s decadent behavior. The Sparkling Wine’s crisp, delicate flavors are not what elevated this drink to its eternal heights. Like beautiful diamonds, Sparkling Wine has an aura of elegance and romance that separates it from other wines.
A monk named Dom Perignon discovered Sparkling Wine was discovered in France’s Champagne region. His accidental finding was made while working as the cellar master of Benedictine Abbey. The public did not embrace this discovery, and his method was hidden for many years.
Every truly brilliant idea is ridiculed and condemned, and Dom Perignon’s Sparkling Wine was no exception to this rule. But as the years passed, the idea of a sparkling wine grew in the eyes of his peers and the wine consuming world. Soon after this, Dom Perignon became a legend, and one of the most important figures in the annals of France’s winemaking history.
The techniques and formula Dom Perignon used became known as the traditional Champagne method. This process is still used today, and produces the best Sparkling Wines in the world. Many argue that the finest Sparkling Wines are produced in the Champagne region, the birthplace of the traditional Sparkling Wine.
Only Sparkling Wines from Champagne can be called Champagne. Although this has become the common name for Sparkling Wine, it would be incorrect to call a Sparkling Wine from the Napa Valley, Champagne. But whatever you call it, its bubbling effervescence can bring a person’s taste buds to a perpetual climax.
Regardless of the method used to make Sparkling Wine, it all begins with the production of still wine. The still wines are mixed in the proper proportions and a second fermentation is implemented to give Sparkling Wine its characteristic bubbles. But it is still wine that gives it flavor and complexity.
In the traditional method, the three varietals that constitute Sparkling Wine are Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier. Chardonnay gives Sparkling Wine its elegance and color; Pinot Noir gives it weight and Pinot Meunier gives it softness. The combination of these three varietals in the right proportions turn out Sparkling Wines that transcend this world.
Sparkling Wines from the Champagne region were once regarded as being exclusively for the wealthy or for special occasions. And a few select wines from certain Champagne houses live up to that reputation and beyond. But in recent years, the drink affectionately known as “bubbly, " is making its way onto dinner tables and tranquil nights in front of the fire.
It seems as if the mystery of Sparkling Wine has been debunked. Sparkling Wine is now a part of everyday life. But how could this embodiment of elegance and mystery turn into a conventional drink? As wine makes its way into the mainstream, Sparkling Wine producers are marketing it as an everyday drink. The subsequent influx of “value driven" Sparkling Wine into every Supermarket and liquor store has definitely contributed to its demystification.
But in the connoisseur’s eyes, the majesty of Sparkling Wine will never die. It will always be the manifestation of achievement and celebration. And not knowing exactly what it is about Sparkling Wine that gives it its magnificence ignites curiosity’s fire in our souls. It is within this that will always keep Sparkling Wine on a level above all other drinks.
Benjamin Bicais has written several articles about Napa Valley Wineries .