Did you know … these facts and figures about sparkling wine?

Here is a small collection of facts and figures about sparkling wine that I discovered while reading.

Did you know …

… that Champagne (France), Crémant (France), Cava (Spain), Spumante (Italy) and Winzersekt (Germany) are all sparkling wines made by traditional bottle fermentation?

… that Prosecco, Secco or Frizzante is carbonated? It does not arise during the second fermentation, as with sparkling wine. That is why you sell it in normal wine bottles.

… that sparkling wine is a wine that has passed through at least 40 pair of hands before it can be served?

… that a ‘coupe’ glass is a flat bowl with a broad rim. According to legend it has the shape of Marie Antoinette’s bosom?

… that the term German “Sekt” became official in 1925 after the use of “Champagne” was not any more permitted by the Versailles Treaty for German manufacturers?

… that the term Winzersekt for German quality sparkling wines is protected, although the term has been used for a long time in Austria?

… that 1 ½ billion bottles of champagne matures in the chalk cellars of Champagne?

Financial facts

Did you know ….

… that the first sparkling wine tax in Germany was basically a war tax to finance the fleet?

… that the sparkling wine tax in Germany still exists today and is € 1.21 / bottle including VAT? According to the German Statistische Bundesamt, the state received around 377 million Euros tax in 2019.

Fast facts and figures about sparkling wine

Did you know ….

… that an uncontrolled sparkling wine cork can develop a speed of over 50 km/h?

… that you need to freeze the sparkling wine bottle before disgorgement. The yeast then shoots out of the bottle with over 100 km/h?

… that Rolls-Royce equips its cars with a refrigerator that cools down to six or eleven degrees in two cooling modes? This is because sommeliers recommend six degrees Celsius as the optimal serving temperature for non-vintage champagne and eleven degrees Celsius for vintage champagne.

Sparkling facts and figures about sparkling wine

Did you know ….

… that each bottle of sparkling wine contains an average of 49 million individual bubbles? The scientist Bill Lembeck calculated that for a 750 ml champagne bottle at 20ºC.

… that sparkling wine was originally considered a faulty wine because of the uncontrollable perlage?

Forceful facts

Did you know ….

… that it is not considered good form to pop the corks? The more elegant method is to let the excess pressure in the bottle escape in a controlled manner when opening. The resulting sound, a gentle whistle, is also affectionately known as the “angel’s fart”.

… that the champagne bottles have to withstand a fairly high pressure. That is because of the carbonic acid. There can rise pressures of over 8 bar in the bottle, depending on the temperature. For comparison: a car tire only has 2.5 bar! That is why the bottle is thicker and the cork is secured with a wire, the “agraffe” to be on the safe side.

… that the saying “behead a bottle” comes from “to saber”. The cavalry officers under Napoleon usually did not have a corkscrew with them. That’s why they unceremoniously opened their champagne bottles with their sabers.