I went back into Mad Wine/Foodie Scientist mode again last night. After carbonating some homemade iced tea, I opened up a bottle of Rieflé 2007 Bonheur Exceptionnel Alsace Grand Cru Steinert Pinot Gris and did something I haven’t done in a while and made my own sparkling wine.
I have posted on doing this before but this time I did things a bit differently. You may recall from my last post on this that Sodastream makes standard one quart/litre bottles for carbonating which doesn’t exactly work well with 750 ml/3cup standard wine amounts.
I recently picked up some new half-size 500 ml/2 cup carbonating bottles for the Sodastream. So I filled one up with 2 cups of the Pinot Gris which I opened last night and posted a note on. Then I carbonated this amount of wine knowing I would be adding it back in to the remaining still 1 cup of wine in the bottle. I slowly added it back using a funnel but was not done yet. I then poured 2 cups of this now semi-carbonated wine back into the carbonating bottle and re-carbonated the wine. Then I poured this back into the wine bottle which contained the 1 cup of semi-carbonated wine. This double-carbonation ended up producing a sparkling Alsace Pinot Gris wine that was more akin to the carbonation you’d find in a traditional sparkling wine.
Since the Sodastream is a closed environment device – it has to be so no CO2 escapes while carbonating – there was actually very little if any exposure to oxygen. It also helps that carbon dioxide is somewhat of an inert gas (though obviously not as good as argon or nitrogen). The end result was perfect. I had my first glass of the sparkling Alsace Grand Cru Pinot Gris last night and will continue to enjoy for this week.
One other note: though I was initially skeptical of how airtight a seal it would provide and thought about transferring the finished sparkling wine to a clean screwcap bottle, I ended up using a standard cork T-stopper and I have to say it worked just as well as the screwtop.
The next sparkling wine I make will likely be an overdue sparkling sweet wine, maybe a recioto, passito or vin santo. I’ll let everyone know how that turns out.