Prosecco and Sparkling Wine Specialist

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Welcome to my Sparkling Blog


On my blog page you will find articles where I share 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, 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


By Julia Phillips, Dec 31 2016 12:37PM

Glasses of Prosecco
Glasses of Prosecco

Fewer bubbles in your glass of Prosecco than you might expect is virtually never to do with poor quality fizz. Have you encountered some of the below reasons without maybe realising?

1. Detergent residue on your glass

Any traces of detergent left on the inside of your glass will kill bubbles. Make sure you rinse your glasses well, and then rinse again.

2. Using a cloth laundered in fabric softener

The fabric softener from your drying/polishing cloth transfers on to your glass and kills your bubbles. Avoid using softener at all costs on your cloths, saving money and your bubbles!

3. There’s no nucleation point

Most sparkling wine glasses are manufactured with a tiny laser-etched ring at the bottom of glass. This 'nucleation point' helps bubbles to form. Occasionally, this etched point may be missing or very small meaning none or very few bubbles will form (you should still feel bubbles in your mouth though).

4. The glass is too clean

New glasses may appear to show more bubbles than after being washed. When glasses are washed ‘additional’ nucleation points from specs of dust or flecks of cardboard from packaging will probably not be present, thus creating less places for bubbles to form.

5. No imperfections in the glass

The glass may be perfectly smooth with no imperfections, thus giving no additional nucleation points other than the one purposely etched on the glass. This is particularly seen with high quality glass such as the Riedel Prosecco Superiore glasses. Controlled bubbles from the intentional nucleation point, which is the most perfect way to drink Prosecco, helps to prevent too much of a mousse cap forming which traps some of the aroma and subsequently impairs the taste.

6. The Prosecco is too cold

The Prosecco may have been chilled to below the recommended 6 degrees or the glass has been chilled. If the Prosecco is too cold this will slow down the bubble formation (and impair the aroma and taste).

7. The glass is too wide

Glasses that are too wide, such as a coupe, may make bubbles look great initially but they soon dissipate. The large surface area allows bubbles to escape more quickly. A tulip style glass is best for high quality Prosecco which has enough space to allow the wine's characteristics to develop and then a taper at the mouth concentrating the aromas, but not too wide to allow bubbles to dissipate too quickly.

8. Your Prosecco is a Frizzante style

Frizzante Prosecco is lightly sparkling. It is made to be that way with about 2.5 bars of pressure compared to Spumante (meaning fully sparkling) with about 4.5 bars of pressure.

9. Your Prosecco is a Tranquillo

Tranquillo Prosecco is actually a still wine and is made with no bubbles.

10. There's a non-rinsable residue on your glass

After a long period of use, usually in commercial situations, a non-rinsable residue can build up on your glasses preventing bubbles from forming. Proton, the leading chemical glass cleaning company, produces 'Renovator', a commercial solution to remove this residue.

Julia Phillips

Just Perfect Wines


By Julia Phillips, Dec 1 2016 08:46PM

Most of us could probably answer that one! For me, it has always been bubbles throughout the glass and a layer of mousse (the foamy bit on top after pouring a glass in case you’re wondering) residing on the top. However, I have been interested in what the ‘perfect glass of Prosecco’ should look like in terms of the bubbles and mousse as there seemed to be variations and I wanted to understand why.

Photo shoot with lots of Prosecco bubbles and mousse
Photo shoot with lots of Prosecco bubbles and mousse

My curiosity started a few years ago at my trade launch when my Prosecco had hardly any bubbles or mousse whilst using my special Riedel (the world’s best) glasses. These were the very same glasses which were full of bubbles and mousse at Riedel UK and my photo shoot a few weeks prior. I later discovered that as fabric softener had been used on the polishing cloths, the softener transfers to the glasses and it had killed all the bubbles. No one told me that one before!

Foamy mousse on the top of a Prosecco glass and Prosecco without mousse
Foamy mousse on the top of a Prosecco glass and Prosecco without mousse

Home testing. New glass on the left (bubbles and mousse). Clean glass on the right (a thin ring of mousse and bubbles forming from the centre).

Riedel advised me it was best to use a dishwasher to wash and dry their glasses, and then polished with a microfiber cloth (which hasn’t touched softener, obviously). I followed these instructions but was still left disappointed with Prosecco bubbles only appearing to form from the centre of the glass and the mousse quickly dissipating. It just wasn’t how they performed when they were new and ‘straight out of the box’.

Still getting frustrated and after further investigation, I discovered that there can be a build up of a non-rinsable residue which causes a film to form on the glass, affecting bubble formation. Ah this must be it I thought! It was suggested I use neat lemon juice to rid the residue, but disappointingly again it made no difference.

Some time later, I learnt about a chemical product that strips the glass of the non-rinsable residue which is used commercially in the pub industry. Surely this will solve my bubble issue?! I bought the product ‘Renovate’ made by Proton, the UK’s leading chemical product manufacturers of glassware cleaning solutions. As the product is intended to be used commercially the product didn’t have instructions for use with a domestic dishwasher so I contacted Proton. I spoke with Damien, Proton’s Research & Development Manager - a complete chemistry and glass cleaning genius! Following Damien’s advice, I set about using my Renovate, new dishwasher settings and new detergent with high expectations. Disaster! It didn’t work. How could it not work!?

Following more conversations with Damien and further testing with Steve at Riedel UK (MD and glass guru), I finally understood the reason for the lack of bubbles/mousse. So here it is:

• My glasses didn’t have a non-rinsable residue on them. They hadn’t been used long enough for that to develop, so the Renovate product didn’t have a job to do.

• When the glasses were first used in Riedel’s showroom (and for my photo shoot), they were new out of the box. After a polish, it is highly likely they would still have cardboard particles, tiny specks from the production process and dust in them. These particles act as nucleation points to give the bubbles something to form from, so a spread of bubbles throughout the glass is to be expected.

• My glasses after washing were in fact ‘too clean’ to allow the glass to be completely filled with bubbles and residing mousse.

• Most sparkling wine glasses are manufactured with a nucleation point etched at the centre of the bottom of the inside of the glass. This point is there to help bubbles to form.

• As Riedel’s glasses are made from high quality crystal glass with virtually no manufacturing imperfections they are completely smooth apart from the intentional nucleation point. This is why the bubbles only appeared from the centre (after the glasses were thoroughly cleaned) and why sometimes on inferior or ‘dirty’ glasses you may see the bubbles dispersed throughout the glass.

Bubbles forming from the nucleation point; the perfect glass of Prosecco.

My early assumption of how a glass of Prosecco should look (or indeed Champagne, Cava or other sparkling wines) (ie, full of bubbles and a layer of mousse) was now changing if the ‘world’s best glasses’ don’t produce that effect. During another visit to Riedel, we tested new ‘out of the box’ Riedel Prosecco Superiore glasses vs the same glasses cleaned in a dishwasher. As a result, I then discovered with the help of Steve, why the Riedel Prosecco Superiore glasses really do give the perfect result after cleaning:

• More mousse was evident on the new glasses vs the cleaned glasses. The mousse soon disappeared on the cleaned glasses. The layer of foamy mousse may add to the visual effect, but it formed a cap and prevented some of the aroma from escaping compared to the more intense aromas given off in the cleaned glass.

• About 80% of our sense of taste comes from aroma - the Prosecco didn’t taste as good in the new glass compared to the cleaned glass.

• The bubbles in the new glass didn’t last as long as the bubbles in the cleaned glass. This is because there are essentially more nucleation points in the new glasses caused by the dust and other particles, therefore releasing more carbon dioxide in the form of bubbles. The bubbles in the clean glass were still fizzing after 1 hour of testing, whereas the bubbles in the new glass had almost gone.

This is in addition to the glass being the perfect shape to accentuate the wonderful characteristics of fine Prosecco Superiore, which are to be appreciated and enjoyed to the very last drop.

The perfect glass of Prosecco (not that you can see the bubbles on the photo – they are there!)

So finally, I had my answer, which had been puzzling me for the last few years. I now know what the ’perfect glass of Prosecco’ should look like. I would much rather sacrifice a few bubbles and mousse for:

• a superior aroma

• a superior taste

• longer lasting bubbles

• a beautifully gleaming (and there’s another story), crystal clear elegant glass

rather than a glass shared with cardboard particles, a layer of dust and who knows what else giving less aroma, lacking on taste and goes flatter quicker (not that Prosecco is in my glass for too long!).

Special thanks to Steve McGraw at Riedel UK and Damien Sleath at Proton, whom without their help, I would still be extremely mystified.

Julia Phillips


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