Sunday, January 20, 2013

French scientists work out how to pour the perfect glass of champagne, Daily Mail

The team tried out two methods of pouring bubbly, down the middle and down the side of the glass.
French scientists work out how to pour the perfect glass of champagne:   tilt the glass

They are, of course, experts on the best methods of Champagne production. And now it seems, the French are set on teaching the world another complex technique – how to pour it. Researchers in the heart of the Cham­pagne region claim to have shown the best way to keep the fizz in a glass of bubbly.  The secret, they say, is to tilt the glass and let the wine trickle gently down the side. Although the 'discovery' confirms what experienced bar tenders and drinkers have known for centuries, the researchers say it is the first time anyone has scientifically proven the correct method for dishing out the bubbly. Their study also confirms the importance of chilling champagne before serving to enhance its taste. Their report appears in ACS' bi-weekly Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry.

Gérard Liger-Belair and colleagues noted that tiny bubbles are the essence of fine champagnes and sparkling wines.

Scientists long have suspected that the act of pouring a glass of bubbly could have a big impact on gas levels in champagne and its quality. Past studies indicate that the bubbles — formed during the release of large amounts of dissolved carbon dioxide gas — help transfer the taste, aroma, and all-important 'mouth-feel' of champagne. But until now no scientific study had been carried out. The scientists studied carbon dioxide loss in champagne using two different pouring methods. One involved pouring champagne straight down the middle of a glass. The other involved pouring champagne down the side of an angled glass. They found that pouring champagne down the side preserved up to twice as much carbon dioxide in champagne than pouring down the middle — probably because the angled method was gentler. Research leader Gerard Liger-Belair said: 'Pouring champagne into a glass is far from having no consequences with regard to its dissolved CO2 concentration. 

'The angled, beer-like way of serving champagne was found to impact its concentration of dissolved CO2 significantly less.

'Moreover, the higher the Champagne temperature is, the higher its loss of dissolved carbon dioxide during the pouring process, which finally constitutes the first analytical proof that low temperatures prolong the drink's chill and help sit to retain its effervescence during the pouring process.' 
Last year, scientists discovered a chemical receptor hidden in the tongue's taste buds that responds to carbonated drinks such as sparkling wine, cola and fizzy water.The receptor was found on the taste cells that normally respond to sour food and drinks like lemon, vinegar and white wine. They also showed that cooler champagne temperatures  - ideally, 39 degrees Fahrenheit - help reduce carbon dioxide loss.  

Another 2009 study from German scientists revealed how Champagne gets its distinctive  flavor from its bubbles. They showed they were up to 30 times more flavor-enhancing chemicals in the bubbles than in the rest of the drink. Previously, many wine experts thought carbon dioxide in the bubbles give the wine an acidic bite and tingle - but did not contribute to its flavor. 

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