The presence of a constant stream of small bubbles rising upward is considered to be a sign of high quality champagne. However, recent research has made adjustments to this statement. According to them, it is the large bubbles that have a beneficial effect on the taste of the famous New Year's drink.
It is worth recalling that bubbles are dissolved carbon dioxide that forms in wine during the second stage of fragmentation in a sealed bottle. When the bottle is opened, the gas bursts out with a characteristic pop, and sometimes in the form of a jet of foam.
Scientists from the University of Reims, led by Professor Gerard Liger-Behler, found that the presence of large bubbles about 3.4 mm in size on the surface dramatically increases the release of aerosols. This means that the important aromatic compounds that give champagne its unique taste and smell hit the nose with the first sip.
Bubble motion laser tomography
On average, there are about a million bubbles in a glass. Using high-speed imaging and imaging techniques, the scientists studied their behavior. The moment the bubble bursts, a cavity forms, which stretches and deforms adjacent bubbles, creating a pattern similar to flower petals.
According to Professor Liger-Behler, the size of the bubbles can vary from 0.4 to 4 mm in diameter. Their size can be influenced by the viscosity of the drink, the shape and size of the glass. It was found that when the bubble size is 1.7 mm in radius, the largest number of droplets is formed and ejected onto the surface.
The research results, according to Liger-Beler, will help winemakers significantly improve the taste of sparkling wines.