How Sparkling Wine Is Made

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The bubbles that make sparkling wine so attractive are a natural byproduct of the fermentation process. When grape juice is fermented, the sugar is converted into alcohol and carbon dioxide gas. If the gas cannot escape because the wine is in a sealed tank or bottle, it remains dissolved in the wine—and then when the…

Why Are Ships Christened with Wine?

Marine tradition

Wine has been a part of many cultural traditions for thousands of years. One familiar tradition is the smashing of a bottle of Champagne against the bow of a ship as part of a ship christening ceremony. But what is the origin of this tradition?  For thousands of years, many cultures have christened their ships,…

340-Year-Old Tree Made into Wine Barrels

In 2005, the Bordeaux barrel-maker Tonnellerie Sylvain (Sylvain Cooperage) paid a record-breaking 37,790 euros for a 340-year-old oak tree auctioned by the French government. The tree was the last of the oldest oaks from the Morat Grove of the ancient Tronçais forest. It had been planted during the reign of Louis XIV at the direction…