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Welcome to my Sparkling Blog

 

On my blog page you will find articles where I share my passion, discoveries and thoughts about the wonderful world of wine, in particularly my special passion Prosecco and sparkling wine.    It would be great to hear your comments

 

Julia Philips, Owner of Just Perfect Wines

By Julia Phillips, Mar 25 2018 06:48PM


A close up of the nucleation point (the ring) in a Riedel Prosecco glass
A close up of the nucleation point (the ring) in a Riedel Prosecco glass

In order to serve a particular brand of ‘fizz on tap’ at his hotel, a chap I was chatting to at an event this week told me he would need to have special glasses with nucleation points. Now I’m aware of nucleation points thanks to my work with top glassware brand, Riedel. Nucleation points in case you are not aware, are tiny rough laser-etched dots or rings at the base of a sparkling wine flute or glass. The purpose of this ‘scratch’, is to give the bubbles dissolved within your Prosecco (or other fizz) a point of release, helping them to form in your glass. If you’re not convinced, try dropping a raisin in your fizz – it gives a similar effect!


Interestingly, if your glass is perfectly smooth and clean ie, free of dust, debris etc which also act as small nucleation points, then you would have no bubbles in your fizz what so ever. This point was actually proved in an experiment by Möet & Chandon in laboratory conditions, when “after pouring, the Champagne looked simply like a still wine”*.




A nucleation point in a Spiegelau Prosecco glass
A nucleation point in a Spiegelau Prosecco glass


I had thought that part of being a ‘Champagne flute’, all flutes were flute shaped and had nucleation points. Most of my glassware since starting Just Perfect Wines is made by Riedel, some by Italesse. All their Prosecco glasses have nucleation points and so assumed it was the norm. It seems not, so this hotelier informed me! And yes, he’s right. My old standard flutes don’t have any nucleation points. It would appear that only higher quality glassware made for sparkling wine has these etched scratches to give optimum bubble performance.


Ironically, a lady at one of my Prosecco tastings this week told me after I relayed the above story that she’d bought some flutes from Riedel recently and thought the nucleation point was a manufacturer’s imperfection! Oh no, definitely not. They are perfect ‘imperfections’, intended by the manufacturer.




Bubbles and Ca'Salina
Bubbles and Ca'Salina



Julia Phillips

24.03.18

* “Uncorked - The Science of Champagne” by Gérard Liger-Belair, 2013.
















By Julia Phillips, Nov 8 2017 01:03PM

Simply put….I would say it’s a cross between a Prosecco and Champagne style, which tastes amazing and in theory no hangovers or headaches. Just perfect don’t you think?!


Giorgia Brut Sparkling Wine
Giorgia Brut Sparkling Wine

So it’s 100% Glera (the grape used to make Prosecco), made by a Prosecco winery, Ca’Salina who are in the heart of one of best Prosecco regions in Italy, Valdobbiadene - however, it can’t be called Prosecco. That is because it is made in a different way to the method used for making the strictly controlled product, Prosecco DOC /DOCG, hence the name “Giorgia”.


I met with Gregorio Bortolin this summer, the owner of the Ca’Salina winery who explained that Giorgia (named after his granddaughter) is a result of his experiment using the modern floatation tank method (instead of the usual (for Prosecco) Charmat method) to produce a ‘no added sulphites’ sparkling wine. All wines have a natural level of sulphites, but most also have sulphites added up to the legal limit of 210mg/l for white wine. Sulphur is a preservative and used to stop anything that comes into the winery and doesn’t belong to the grapes eg, bacteria, fungus, bad natural yeast from making the wine go bad (or oxidise). By using the flotation tank method, this process separates anything bad leaving a pure grape juice. With no impurities and a clean juice there is no need to add sulphites. Simple.



Giorgia no added sulphites label
Giorgia no added sulphites label

As the wine is stripped of the natural yeast (which may not be a good yeast), Ca’Salina add top quality yeast to start off the first fermentation. Using pure juice and high quality yeast gives you a just perfect sparkling wine, so Gregorio explained…. And yes, he is right. Giorgia is truly beautiful. The result is a clean, fresh, dry tasting wine; a with a little more complexity than most Proseccos but not as heavy or over-dry as some Champagnes, Cavas or English Sparkling Wines. It has fruity aromas and a taste you get from Prosecco as well as aromas of honey, butter and brioche you tend to get from wines made in the Champagne method.


And of course, in theory with no added sulphites comes no headaches or hangovers…and it’s low sugar, so low calorie too (...and did I mention it has a pretty label?) - Giorgia really is just perfect. A very exciting and interesting wine all Prosecco and sparkling wine lovers must try. Please let me know what you think if you do!



Gregorio Bortolin and Julia Phillips at Ca'Salina, June 2017
Gregorio Bortolin and Julia Phillips at Ca'Salina, June 2017

Grazie mille to Gregorio for his wonderful experiment.


Julia Phillips

Owner of Just Perfect Wines

08.11.17







By Julia Phillips, Jan 3 2017 05:32PM


Cirotto Extra Brut Prosecco Superiore
Cirotto Extra Brut Prosecco Superiore

At just 66 calories per 100ml glass, Cirotto’s newest Prosecco Superiore DOCG Extra Brut is possibly the lowest calorie Prosecco you can buy.


The fizz boasts a very low sugar level of only 3g per litre; less than a quarter of most Prosecco at around 16g. At 66 calories, it’s even lower than the “Skinny Prosecco” brand which quotes 67 calories per 100ml glass and 7g of sugar per litre.


Despite the low calories and residual sugar, the aroma, taste and alcohol content (11%) are not comprised. The Prosecco is exceptionally high quality due to the hard work and experience of award-winning Cirotto winery. Every step of the winemaking process has to be perfect, starting with top quality grapes which come from one of the best Prosecco regions, Monfumo in Asolo. As a result, the Prosecco is delightful to drink with beautiful aromas of golden apple, pear and citrus fruits.


Cirotto’s Extra Brut Prosecco is a style which will appeal to those that prefer a very dry taste or for those of us who watch our weight where every calorie counts! The Prosecco allows you to still enjoy your favourite indulgence, yet reduce your calorie and sugar intake at the same time. A perfect way to help with New Year diets.


“ Given Cirotto’s Prosecco has very little sugar and few calories, consumers may think it won’t be pleasant to drink. How wrong can they be! As the Prosecco is very high quality, it is beautiful, easy to drink and not overly dry to the taste. In cheaper, more mass-produced Prosecco, sugar is often added to cover up any imperfections in quality and make it more palatable. With Cirotto’s, they carefully manage every step of the process to ensure there is nothing bad that can adversely affect the taste of their wine” comments Julia Phillips, owner of Just Perfect Wines, UK importer for Cirotto in the Midlands.


The Cirotto Prosecco Superiore Extra Brut is available from retail stores il Gusto in Trentham and Leek, as well as www.justperfectwines.com priced and Amazon at RRP £22.99 per bottle.


J Phillips

03.01.17





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