Thursday, 8 October 2009

Paternoster Lift

This lovely phrase (referring to one of those lifts that goes on continuously without ever actually stopping at a floor) has been used by a report in the American 'Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences' to describe the way the bubbles in Champagne act as a flavour delivery system! It is not unique to Champagne but also found in 'good' - for which read bottle fermented - sparkling wine. By using mass spectometry it was discovered that the aromatic compounds were present by a factor of up to 30 times more in the bubbles rather than the wine. Their continuous rising and bursting delivers the flavour. (Shades of "every bubble has passed its fizzical" which was an advertising campaign of old for a soft drink.)

However, to anyone who has ever tasted still 'Champagne' before it passes through its bottle fermentation this will certainly come as no surprise. Without the improvement brought about by secondary fermentation it is doubtful if it would be drunk at all!

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