Why champagne tastes better from a wine glass
The science of fizz, demystified
I blame my own fascination with fizzy drinks on my grandmother’s Sodastream, a gunmetal grey model from the 1970s that farted and burped most thrillingly. I’m not sure the drinks it produced – insipid cola, overly sweet ginger ale – were actually all that nice. But to my seven-year-old self, they still seemed incredibly luxurious. And 35 years on, not much has changed, if I’m honest. I still love a drink with a bubble: champagne, gin and tonics, and nose-tickling spritzes. Even humble soda water feels like a trade-up tome.
我对起泡饮料的痴迷始于祖母的 Sodastream 牌的气泡水机，这台上世纪70年代的铁灰色机器总是能让人愉悦满满地打嗝。它生产的其他饮料，包括寡淡无味的可乐和甜味过头的姜汁汽水是不是也这么赞，我并不清楚。但对当时只有七岁的我来说，它们已经足够奢华了。35年过去了，坦白来说，情况并没有发生太大改变。我仍然热爱带有气泡的饮料——香槟、金汤力和让人鼻头发痒的各种 Spritz 饮料。就连平淡无奇的苏打水对我来说都堪比琼浆玉露了。
trade-up n. a sale of an object in order to buy sth similar but better and more expensive 卖次买好；以次换好的买卖
Apparently I’m not alone. A whole new generation of health-conscious millennials are now getting their kicks from fizzy drinks. “With sugar, artificial additives and, increasingly, alcohol on the blacklist, texture has emerged as a new frontier for liquid innovation,” says Paul Louis, director of Vandal, a drinks analyst. “We’re seeing much greater focus now on mouth-feel, which has resulted in a lot more sophisticated and nuanced carbonated drinks.”
显然像我一样的人还有很多。随着千禧一代越来越养生，他们开始爱上气泡饮料。“糖、人工添加剂甚至酒精都开始逐渐登上人们的饮食黑名单，口感因此成了液体创新的一个新领域，”饮料分析机构 Vandal 的总监保罗·路易斯（Paul Louis）说道：“我们看到如今人们对口感的关注日益增加，许多口感繁复细腻的碳酸饮料应运而生。”
Newcomers include the Copenhagen Sparkling Tea Company, which does a range of artisan sparkling teas packaged to look like champagne; and Coffer Cold Brew Coffee Soda from Texas, a naturally fermented, sweetened brew that looks like a craft beer. Arla, Britain’s biggest milk producer, recently announced plans to trial a fizzy pink milk drink in a bid to boost falling dairy sales. And this summer, Heineken launched a sparkling water laced with Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), otherwise known as the stuff in cannabis that gets you high.
气泡茶公司 Copenhagen Sparkling Tea 就是这一市场上的新秀之一，其推出了众多包装类似香槟的手工气泡茶；另外，还有来自德州的 Coffer Cold Brew Coffee 苏打水，这种天然发酵的甜味饮品采用了类似精酿啤酒的包装。英国最大的乳品公司 Arla 近日也宣布试推出一款起泡粉色牛奶，以期带动江河日下的乳制品销量。而 Heineken 今夏推出的一款气泡水更是加入了四氢大麻酚（THC），即大麻中让人变嗨的成分。
ferment /fɝ’mɛnt/ V-T/V-I If a food, drink, or other natural substance ferments, or if it is fermented, a chemical change takes place in it so that alcohol is produced.This process forms part of the production of alcoholic drinks such as wine and beer. 使发酵; 发酵
The first mechanically carbonated drink was Mr Bewley’s Mephitic Julep, a mix of still water and “fixed air” – what we now call carbon dioxide – that was developed in the 1760s by Richard Bewley, an English apothecary. To create his sparkling beverage – which was originally designed as a health tonic – he used a system invented by Joseph Priestley, the theologian who discovered oxygen. But it was the carbonating device patented in 1783 by Jean Jacob Schweppe, a German-born jeweller, that brought fizzy soft drinks to the wider public.
史上第一款碳酸饮料是18世纪60年代由英国药剂师理查德·布雷（Richard Bewley）发明的 Mephitic Julep ——一种水和固定空气（也即我们现在所说的二氧化碳）的混合物。调制这种起泡饮料的本意是发明一款健康饮品。为了制作它，理查德·布雷用到了曾发现氧气的神学家约瑟夫·普利斯特里（Joseph Priestley）发明的一种体系。但直到1783年德裔珠宝商让·雅各伯-施韦普（Jean Jacob Schweppe）的碳酸化设备获得专利后，起泡软饮料才开始被大众所熟知。
Bubbles in wine, by contrast, used to be considered a fault. It wasn’t until the end ofthe 17th century that the champenoise finally accepted that they could enhance the drinking experience (the English, it should be noted, had been enjoying fizzy wine for several decades by this point). Dom Pérignon, a Benedictine monk, often gets the credit for putting the bubbles into wine; the truth is he spent most of his early career trying to keep them out. These days big champagne houses devote time and money to achieving the perfect mousse with the help of people like Gérard Liger-Belair, a physicist and “bubble-ologist” at the University of Reims and author of “Uncorked: The Science of Champagne”.
然而，起泡葡萄酒起初却被认为是一种失误。直到17世纪末，法国人才终于接受香槟的口感比普通葡萄酒更好（值得一提的是，当时起泡葡萄酒在英国已经出现几十年了）。本笃会修士唐培里侬（Dom Pérignon）常被认为是起泡葡萄酒的发明者，但在职业生涯早期，他一直努力想去除葡萄酒中的气泡。如今，大型香槟公司都在斥巨资、下血本让葡萄酒有最完美的起泡口感，它们常常借助专家的帮助，其中就包括法国汉斯大学物理学家和“气泡学家”、《开瓶：香槟的科学》(Uncorked: The Science of Champagne) 作者杰拉德·里杰-贝拉尔（Gerard Liger-Belair）。
“In the past few years, we have been able to examine in minute detail how bubble sbehave in glasses and how changing parameters of the drinks and/or the glass could modify the tasting experience,” Liger-Belair explains from his laboratory. “For example, knowing the mechanics of the very complex and subtle bubble-bursting process can be used to enhance the aroma experience.” In other words, you can manipulate a champagne’s bouquet simply by tweaking the way the bubbles burst.
It was partly Liger-Belair’s research into aroma that prompted wine professionals to jettison the traditional champagne flute. A tall flute might look more elegant, says Liger-Belair, but its shape causes a build-up of carbon dioxide in the headspace of the glass that interferes with the process of nosing. If you really want to get the full aroma of a champagne, he says, then you’re better off drinking out of a white-wine glass.
It also helps if the glasses haven’t been cleaned too well; the fibres cast off from paper and cloth create the tiny air pockets – or nucleation sites – that bubbles need to form. If you poured champagne into a glass that was surgically clean, it wouldn’t bubble at all.
airpocket n. a closed area that becomes filled with air 气窝
“Bubbles are fabulous because they make a drink multi-sensory before it’s even gone in the mouth,” says sensory scientist Professor Barry Smith. “Just think of a glass of champagne. It’s sonic – you have the sound of the cork coming off, you can hear the bubbles fizzing in the glass. And visually it’s very dramatic too – we see millions of bubbles rising, but in a random motion, so it attracts our visual attention. And each bubble is like a little flavour delivery system that carries the odours of the drink up to your nose. All of these things make champagne very multi-sensory – as wines go it’s hugely dynamic.”
Sitting in his office, surrounded by boxes labelled “nose clips” and “Bollinger”, Smith plays recordings of soda water, prosecco and champagne being poured and asks me to identify which is which, just from the sound. To my surprise, it’s easy: the big bubbles in the carbonated water are brusque and clattery; the bubbles in the prosecco, which gets its secondary fermentation in a tank, sound busier and higher pitched; and the bubbles in the champagne, which come from along, slow, secondary fermentation in a bottle, surge creamily, like a wave running up a beach. To my ear, anyway, they sound more expensive.
Bubbles also give us a buzz, says Smith, by stimulating the trigeminal nerve – the same one that rings bells when you eat too much horseradish. “In the wild that would signal ‘danger! Don’t eat this!’” he says. “But humans enjoy a bit of that.”
We’re also getting more discerning about the type of bubble we’re buying, says Paul Louis: “We’re seeing a trend towards products with a finer fizz and new terminology like ‘light bubbles’. There isn’t just one type of carbonation any more.”
The result has been products like Perrier Fine Bulles, a Perrier variant with a more delicate mousse, and the Sodastream Power Automatic Sparkling Water Maker, which can deliver three different levels of carbonation at the touch of a button.
在此趋势下出现了一种口感更为轻柔的巴黎水 Perrier Fine Bulles；而 Sodastream 旗下的自动汽水机更能通过一个按钮调节三档不同的碳酸化程度。
I’ve got one of these Sodastreams. It’s shiny and black with flashing lights, and anytime someone comes to dinner, they ask to play with it. I demonstrate the different settings and expound on the virtues of gentle carbonation over big clunking bubbles. But when I’m on my own, I always carbonate to the max. Because, as any seven-year-old will tell you, when it comes to fizz, the more bubbles the better.