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Scientists Find a Better Way To Pour Champagne

samzenpus posted more than 3 years ago | from the straight-into-my-mouth? dept.

Idle 15

BuzzSkyline writes "It's better to pour Champagne the way a good bartender draws a beer, by running it down the inside surface of the glass. The revelation, which appears in July 2010 issue of the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, flies in the face of age-old French traditions, which require the bubbly to be poured in a stream that free-falls straight down the center of a champagne flute. By using infrared thermography to image the carbon dioxide that escapes over the rim of a Champagne glass for various style pours, the researchers proved that the gentler, beer-like technique allows the wine to retain more of the dissolved gas that is critical to the whole Champagne experience."

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15 comments

je ne suis pas d'accord (1)

mininab (1544283) | more than 3 years ago | (#33301508)

As a french chemist, I have to disagree. The best Champagne experience doesn't mean having as much gas as possible ! I completely agree serving it "freefalling" lets a lot of gas out, but that's precisely the point. Plus it is served in two times, the first draw gets really bubbly, and during the second, the liquid hits the bubbles from the already poured liquid instead of the glass, and releases a lot less gas. By waiting more or less between the two, you can influence how much gas will be left in the first pour, and, with training, get to the real Champagne experience.

Re:je ne suis pas d'accord (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33301956)

Je suis entièrement de votre avis.

Le lâche anonyme.

Wow, I got that one right ... (2, Interesting)

gstoddart (321705) | more than 3 years ago | (#33302236)

Not being aware of the Fancy French technique, I've always poured Champagne like this (ok, "sparkling wine" since "real champagne" is too spendy). Precisely because it doesn't froth up like mad, just like pouring beer.

This just in .. poncy table-side service is more about flash than substance. Who knew?

Of course, this brings up the debate of which is the correct champagne glass -- the flute, or the wide/shallow one? It seems to have changed over the last several decades -- at least, in movies and the like.

Re:Wow, I got that one right ... (1)

John Hasler (414242) | more than 3 years ago | (#33302362)

Of course, this brings up the debate of which is the correct champagne glass -- the flute, or the wide/shallow one?

Neither. Drink it out of a styrofoam cup.

Re:Wow, I got that one right ... (1)

gstoddart (321705) | more than 3 years ago | (#33302414)

Neither. Drink it out of a styrofoam cup.

*laugh* At that point, shouldn't I just leave the bottle in the paper bag?

Re:Wow, I got that one right ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33306960)

Drink it strait from the tap on the side of the box!

Re:Wow, I got that one right ... (1)

Flash Modin (1828190) | more than 3 years ago | (#33303240)

Actually, if you read the paper these guys are also working on designing better champagne flutes that will retain more of the bubbles.

Re:Wow, I got that one right ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33303562)

Even the wide champagne glass narrows well before the stem -- they're not like snifters, they're shaped more like lilies. Flutes simply dispense with the flaring out at the top. I suppose if you're going for the super-traditional look, you use the wide crystal, but as far as I can tell, flutes have been the preferred vessel for the last 20 years or so. At least in America, but what do we philistines know?

Re:Wow, I got that one right ... (1)

jackchance (947926) | more than 3 years ago | (#33307822)

Ya, i also pour my prosecco like beer. If you want to maximize bubbliness this is the right way to pour. If you want fewer bubbles, pour straight down.

I prefer a flute to a wide shallow glass. but that's just personal preference.

Nose (1)

poundbang (1882488) | more than 3 years ago | (#33306146)

Beer is often purposely poured straight down into the glass to draw the head out, allowing the aroma to add to the experience. I suspect that many bartenders pour along the side of the glass to reduce the head, allowing the glass to be filled higher without making a mess. Customers at a bar will likely see the glass filled up to the top as a good thing, and thus they will label the bartender as good.

I'm not sure if the same comparison can be made to Champagne, but I'll bet that the French are laughing at scientists believing that they can understand and optimize a subjective experience through physics. Probably almost as hard as they are laughing at Americans calling Miller High Life the "Champagne of Beers".

No one knows the best way anyway (1)

dark grep (766587) | more than 3 years ago | (#33310956)

Almost no one who drinks champagne does it in away that allows it to be appreciated like any other fine wine. It is always a case of 'pop the cork, pour the glass' - even in very good restaurants with good sommelier that should know better. The ONLY way to get the full benefit of the drink is to open the bottle at least 45 minutes before it is to be drunk, then let it bottle breath on ice or in a 'clean' refrigerator (that is, one where the champagne wont pick up the aromas of anything else that is in the fridge). One technique to shortcut this process is to pour a little into each flute ant let it stand (about 15 minutes) and then top up the flutes just prior to serving. Personally, I have found this to be inferior to the bottle breathing method, but still better than 'pop and serve' Try this out yourself, and you will find even with a standard NV Verve the flavour is vastly better than anything you have tried before. And if you are drinking something like a vintage Krug, then it is mandatory that you let it breath, unless you want to end up with a mouth full of something that tastes like liquid vegimite.
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