jamie goode's wine blog: Champagne bubbles in the news

Monday, September 28, 2009

Champagne bubbles in the news

A scientific paper in journal PNAS (Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA), published tomorrow morning (embargoed until 8pm today), looks at the nature of the bubbles in Champagne and sparkling wines.

As they rise to the surface, they aerosolize, carrying very fine droplets bearing flavour molecules, which we can then smell. The authors of this paper identified the compounds present in these fine aerosols, showing that they are important in the perception of fizz.

There's a nice BBC news story on this here, which I contributed to.

The actual research paper is:

Gerard Liger-Belair, Clara Cilindre, Regis D. Gougeon, Marianna Lucio, Istvan Gebefugi, Philippe Jeandet, and Philippe Schmitt-Kopplin 2009 Unraveling different chemical fingerprints between a champagne wine and its aerosols. PNAS 106: 1654516549

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At 7:51 AM, Anonymous Steve De Long said...

Hi Jamie,

The article is now live

It would be great if you could do a plain English synopsis of it.

I got that the bubbles carried the same flavor molecules as the Champagne, but there were certain molecules identified in higher concentration in the bubbles - associated with toasty, peachy and saffron odors (to name a few). It's not exactly clear if these were the only ones found or the only ones that they looked for.

Also, it would be interesting to know which Champagne they used in the analysis!

At 7:56 AM, Anonymous Steve De Long said...

Also, in terms of your BBC comments - are you suggesting that we return to Champagne coupes over flutes?

At 8:37 AM, Blogger Jamie said...

Thanks Steve, much appreciated

You know I think there's something to be said for glasses with a larger surface area for fizz.

At 9:08 AM, Blogger Warren EDWARDES said...

Hi Jamie

Surely best for the gas bubbles to break on the natural nucleation points on the tongue rather than in a glass.

i.e. Champagne is best drunk straight out of a bottle or through a straw.

At 4:29 PM, Blogger Warren EDWARDES said...

Interesting in that if bubbles rising up in aerosol fashion up one's nose then best to serve the poo warm.

And better still to use the bicycle pump method as the gas rises quicker - easy in; easy out.

At 8:02 PM, Blogger Warren EDWARDES said...

Nice show Jamie



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