Influence of the temperature of the prise de mousse on the effervescence and foam of Champagne and sparkling wines.

The persistence of effervescence and foam collar during a Champagne or sparkling wine tasting constitute one, among others, specific consumer preference for these products. Many different factors related to the product or to the tasting conditions might influence their behavior in the glass. However, the underlying factor behind the fizziness of these wines involves a second in-bottle alcoholic fermentation, also well known as the prise de mousse. In France, from a regulatory point of view, there is no obligation to conduct the prise de mousse at a specific temperature. Only historical references mention the advantages of using cellars dug in the tuffeau of the Loire or in the chalk in the Champagne area, to develop the production of Crémant de Loire and Champagne, and above all to conduct a slow prise de mousse at a low temperature

The aim of this study was to assess whether a low temperature (13°C) or a high temperature (20°C) during the in-bottle fermentation might have an impact on the effervescence and the foaming properties (i.e., collar height and bubble size) of French sparkling wines. Two batches of wines were used: one Crémant de Loire and one Champagne wine. Three months after bottling, a campaign of instrumental and sensory analysis was carried out on these wines.

Our results showed that the champagne wine elaborated at 13°C and served in standard tasting conditions (i.e., engraved flute, 100 mL, 18°C) had better ability to keep the dissolved CO2 in the liquid phase than the one elaborated at 20°C. Most interestingly, we also observed, for the Crémant de Loire and the Champagne wine, that the lower the temperature of the prise de mousse, the smaller the bubbles in the foam collar during the ten minutes following the pouring process.

Finally, sensory analyses were performed by a panel of ten wine experts in order to reveal potential differences according to the temperature of the prise de mousse. Interestingly, a triangle test also showed a significant difference between the Champagne wine elaborated at 13°C and the one elaborated at 20°C.

Further experiments are under investigation to confirm these results on Champagne wine and sparkling wines aged during a longer period. A detailed knowledge of the chemical and biochemical differences between the sparkling wines elaborated at 13°C and 20°C may help to better understand the different behaviors observed in this study.

Presenting author: Clara, Cilindre – Equipe Effervescence (GSMA – UMR CNRS 7331), Université de Reims Champagne-Ardenne, BP 1039, Reims, France.

Additionnal authors: Silvia, Bassi | Equipe Effervescence (GSMA – UMR CNRS 7331), Université de Reims Champagne-Ardenne, BP 1039, Reims, France., Céline, Henrion | Institut Œnologique de Champagne (IOC), Mardeuil, France., Barbara, Poty | Equipe Effervescence (GSMA – UMR CNRS 7331), Université de Reims Champagne-Ardenne, BP 1039, Reims, France., Marie, Angot | Equipe Effervescence (GSMA – UMR CNRS 7331), Université de Reims Champagne-Ardenne, BP 1039, Reims, France., Jacques Emmanuel, Barbier | Institut Œnologique de Champagne (IOC), Mardeuil, France., Bertrand, Robillard | Institut Œnologique de Champagne (IOC), Mardeuil, France., Gérard, Liger-Belair | Equipe Effervescence (GSMA – UMR CNRS 7331), Université de Reims Champagne-Ardenne, BP 1039, Reims, France.

Email: clara.cilindre@univ-reims.fr

Keywords: Prise de mousse – temperature – CO2 – bubbles – sparkling wine tasting

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