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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 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, 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

31.12.16




By Julia Phillips, Jun 5 2014 03:00AM

It was the day of our trade launch held earlier this year at the lovely Loki Wines, the award winning wine merchants in Birmingham. My helpers for the day (sister, Alison and friends Kalai and Jo) and I unpacked all of the 35 ‘Riedel Ouverture Champagne’ glasses which I’d tried and tested with Riedel some weeks before – the ones that were’ just perfect’ for my Prosecco.

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