Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Decanting a sparkling wine?

I was recently been told that it is possible to decant a champagne and still enjoy its finesse. With all curiosity, I opened a bottle of sparkling wine made with Methode Champenoise to experiment this unconventional way of drinking champagne. To make the whole experience worthwhile, I prepared a couple of oriental appetizers to go with my tasting.

To begin with, I use a decanter that has a stopper (so that the carbon dioxide does not escape too readily). After opening the chilled wine bottle with a loud "pop", I poured the wine immediately into a champagne glass as my reference sample. I then decant about half the bottle and let it rest for 5 minutes. Now, I have two samples (undecanted and decanted) each resting in its glassware for 5 minutes. Meanwhile, I start to observe the beautiful bubbles for both samples. Since the decanter has a broader surface, the bubble is not rising as beautifully as that of the proper champagne wine glass. After 5 minutes, I tasted the undecanted wine and feels that it has its normal fizzy self, citrus nose and a lemony palate. This sparkling wine uses the blending of Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier with 3 years lees contact. Now, I pour the decanted champagne into another similar glass and tasted it with high curiosity. There is still the fizziness but much less intense, the lemony palate is smoothened and it tastes more like a still wine that survived through the second fermentation. The creamy character of the wine is accentuated. To my pleasant surprise, I find the decanted sparkling wine very welcoming and indeed exhibits more fruit characters than its original sparkling form. The amount of oxygen exchange with the wine during decanting has removed the sharp edges contributed by the fruit acidity, softening the palate. There is still sufficient carbon dioxide to give the fizzy texture.

Food wise, I have an Indonesian styled deep fried squid and the ever popular Chinese dry fried prawns. They are perfect companion to a sparkling wine, decanted or not. Overall, I think this little experiment has yielded pleasant results and I don’t mind presenting it to my guests in the next dinner party. Cheers!

Copyright of Wine Treasures Pte Ltd

By Cher Lim
Wine Treasures Pte Ltd
Website: http://www.wine-treasures.com
Email: limce@singnet.com.sg

Labels: ,


Blogger Brent Shinyeda said...

Sounds interesting. I'll try it as a tasting session with my staff and see what they think.

Fri Sep 29, 02:13:00 AM  
Blogger Cher Lim said...

Great! Look forward to hearing from your tasting. Cheers!

By the way, I did a dish on braised seafood in port wine. It is quite a unique taste. Wonder if you have tried that in your restaurant?


Fri Sep 29, 11:29:00 AM  

Post a Comment

<< Home