How well do you know your sparkling wines? Bacco Wines explains.

February 21, 2018 in Brand Partners, Table Tales Singapore, Thursday Curated

How well do you know your sparkling wines? Bacco Wines explains.

February 21, 2018 in Brand Partners, Table Tales Singapore, Thursday Curated

How well do you know your sparkling wines?

When it comes to bubbly, champagne is often the first thing that comes to mind. And if you want to make an impression, it’s champagne you want to serve, not a ‘cheap’ sparkling wine. Oh boy were we wrong!

We talked to Laura from Bacco Wines and she explained the different methods of making sparkling wine and that it’s very much a matter of taste. Being an Italian wine distributor Bacco doesn’t sell champagne (since as we know, to be called champagne it needs to be produced in champagne, France), but they sell a range of Traditional and Charmat method wines that are perhaps even better…

It’s all about how it’s made. Let us explain the difference.

Image: http://winefolly.com/review/how-sparkling-wine-is-made/

Bottle (traditional) method

Wine undergoes a first fermentation before being bottled with yeast to initiate a second fermentation. This process creates the bubbles (CO2) directly in the bottle.

After this, bottles are aged ‘on the lees’ (yeast) and are regularly rotated (riddling) so that the dead yeast falls into the bottle neck. This is then frozen to force out the block of yeast (disgorging) before the final cork is secured.

If the winemaker decides to add sugar (dosage*) this is done after disgorging. The bottle method sparkling can be labelled Brut Nature, Extra Brut or Demi Sec and Doux. See more about this later where we explain these different labels.

Wine Characteristics.
Fine, persistent perlage (6-7 atmospheres of pressure) with biscuit aromas.

Italian bubbles
Metodo Classico
Franciacorte DOCG
Trento DOC

Image: http://winefolly.com/review/how-sparkling-wine-is-made/

Tank (charmat) method

Wine undergoes a first fermentation in stainless vats and then moves to a pressure-resistant tank (auto-clave) for the second fermentation. Over the next 10 days the bubbles (CO2) are trapped inside the tank.

The sparkling wine is then filtered and if the winemaker decides to add sugar (dosage*) it is done at this stage before the final bottling. The tank method sparkling is usually Brut, Extra Dry or Dry. We’ll discuss this more further down.

Wine characteristics
Medium to large bubbles (2-4 atmospheres of pressure) with a fruity nose.

Italian bubbles
Prosecco (Superiore, Millesimato)
Lambrusco (Secco, Semisecco, Dolce)
Asti Spumante

What does Dosage mean?

Dosage has to do with the sweetness levels of the sparkling wine which can be quite tart from natural acidity levels. Dosage is a technique to balance the perceived sweetness of the wine.

TIP: when you see the term ‘Brut’ it refers to a ‘raw’ or natural state, which is why a ‘Dry’ wine will be closer to sweet (doux) on the dosage notes below.

We distinguish the following dosage levels..

Brut Nature = 0-3 g/l (<1/6 tsp)
Extra Brut = 0-6 g/l (<1/4 tsp)
Brut = 0-12 g/l (<1/2 tsp)
Extra Dry = 12-17 g/l (<3/4 tsp)
Dry = 17-32 g/l (<1 tsp)
Demi Sec = 32-50 g/l (1-2 tsp)
Doux = 50+ g/l (>2 tsp)
tsp = teaspoon per average 5oz or approx. 150ml serving

So does this mean sparkling wine is very sweet and thus unhealthy?

We have some good news here. It doesn’t require much added sugar to ‘sweeten’ wine. Unlike many other popular alcoholic beverages, such as a G&T which has 14g of sugar in a typical 6 oz serving. A glass of bubbles is a good bet if you’re counting your sugar intake. Perhaps the Brut Nature or Extra Brut are ‘unnaturally non-sweet’ the first time you taste them, but once you’re used to non-sugary drinks and foods, I think the ‘sweeter’ versions of sparkling wine are way too sweet.

How to figure out what you like?

More good news! Bacco Wines has a wide range of sparkling Italian wines which you can try at wine tasting events held every 2 weeks. Or you can buy them online and run your own tasting at home!

BOTTLE (TRADITIONAL) METHOD labels at baccowines.com – click here
TANK (CHARMAT) METHOD labels at baccowines.com – click here

Quarterly Tasting

Every quarter Bacco Wines organizes a bigger wine tasting whereby they open 20+ wines to try. The next fair is coming up!

Tickets are only $40 for the 4-hour Tasting. Of course, we have a special price for you!

Option 1: Get our book with our shortlist of Singapore’s best restaurants and 2 tickets to Bacco’s Boutique Italian Wine Fair for $99 only. (UP$149).

Option 2: Have our book already and want to join? Get 2 tickets for $55 only instead of $80 when you use voucher TT318 on baccowines.com

Event details

WHEN: Saturday 10 March, 2-6pm
WHERE: The COMMIS café, 46 Kim Yam Road, unit #01-06/07, 46 Kim Yam Road (Robertson Quay area, access from River Valley or Mohd Sultan)

Bacco Wines & Table Tales

We’re proud to have Bacco Wines as a brand partner for our 2018 Table Tales edition.

Bacco Wines offers you a complimentary members account, worth $88 per year. This entitles you to members prices online and invites you to the regularly organised wine tastings. Email info@baccowines.com and quote ‘TABLETALES’ to get your free account.

About Table Tales

Table Tales is a yearly lifestyle publication (SG & JKT) with a curated selection of restaurants and brand partners. Looking for date night ideas or a trusted resource to explore the culinary side of your city? We got you covered and give you unique privileges along the way. Table Tales will change the way you dine out.

Don’t have a copy of Table Tales yet? 
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    About The Author: Karin van Vliet

    Karin van Vliet is the author and publisher of Table Tales, an experiential dining book that is about encouraging meaningful connections with others and crafting lasting memories with your loved ones. Through a curated list of 10 genuine and fantastic dining recommendations that have been personally sampled by Karin and her partner, Peter, they hope to share their extraordinary experience with others in the hopes of elevating their lifestyles by changing the way they dine out and encouraging them to unplug from their digital lives.

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