Home-made sparkling wine? No, thank you


Champagne is well known for its characteristic bubbles  Sciengist

Champagne is well known for its characteristic bubbles  Sciengist

I love a good glass of bubbly. Rarely though, is the golden, carbonated liquid in my glass genuine Champagne.

Sodastream claims their product can "turn tap water into sparkling water in seconds". I personally know this to be true.

But I highly doubt it can turn Ye Olde Chateau Cardboard into Champagne!

Apparently some people disagree, claiming through their YouTube videos that they have made their own "Champagne", within the comfort of their own home. Other punters would strongly agree with me, and their YouTube videos are good evidence of this...

Why can't I make my own Champagne?

Firstly, there is the source, quality and variety of grape. Champagne is not just a style of wine, with beautiful bubbles. It is actually a variety of grape, from the French region of Champagne. So even if I have awesome riesling grapes that make a beautiful wine that I chuck in my Sodastream and add bubbles to, it will never be Champagne. Because adding the bubbles is a crucial, complex step that doesn't occur with the press of a button.

Sparkling wine undergoes a secondary fermentation within the sealed bottle, producing and trapping the carbon dioxide

During fermentation, yeast converts sugars into cellular energy, producing alcohol and carbon dioxide. When this process occurs in the initial fermentation of sparkling wine, the carbon dioxide is released. When the wine is bottled together with an extra mixture of yeast and sugar, a secondary fermentation process occurs and the carbon dioxide produced is trapped by the cork.

The bottles used for sparkling wine production are required to withstand 6kg/cm2 pressure from the carbon dioxide build-up

I think it was perhaps this second point that young Noah and his father hadn't quite grasped prior to making their YouTube video about homemade sparkling red:

Whilst we all love some home experimentation, we don't particularly want our kitchen looking like a murder scene!

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