Effervescence in champagne and sparkling wines: From grape harvest to bubble rise
Equipe Effervescence Champagne et Applications, Groupe de Spectrométrie Moléculaire et Atmosphérique (GSMA), UMR CNRS 7331, UFR Sciences Exactes et Naturelles, BP. 1039, 51687 Reims Cedex 2, France
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Received: 5 October 2016
Revised: 21 November 2016
Published online: 6 January 2017
Bubbles in a glass of champagne may seem like the acme of frivolity to most of people, but in fact they may rather be considered as a fantastic playground for any fluid physicist. Under standard tasting conditions, about a million bubbles will nucleate and rise if you resist drinking from your flute. The so-called effervescence process, which enlivens champagne and sparkling wines tasting, is the result of the complex interplay between carbon dioxide (CO2) dissolved in the liquid phase, tiny air pockets trapped within microscopic particles during the pouring process, and some both glass and liquid properties. In this tutorial review, the journey of yeast-fermented CO2 is reviewed (from its progressive dissolution in the liquid phase during the fermentation process, to its progressive release in the headspace above glasses). The most recent advances about the physicochemical processes behind the nucleation, and rise of gaseous CO2 bubbles, under standard tasting conditions, have been gathered hereafter. Let's hope that your enjoyment of champagne will be enhanced after reading this tutorial review dedicated to the unsuspected physics hidden right under your nose each time you enjoy a glass of bubbly.
© EDP Sciences, Springer-Verlag, 2017