Sparkling wine and champagne are often used to celebrate special occasions.

Champagne

Champagnes and sparkling wines are treated somewhat differently than other wines:

  1. The grapes are grown and fermented the same as with any other wine.
  2. After fermentation, the wines are aged for about five months.
  3. The wine is bottled with extra yeast and sugar. The bottles are capped to allow for a second round of fermentation, which lasts for about a year.
  4. The wine is aged for one or more years after the second fermentation.
  5. The yeast is removed through riddling, whereby the bottle is placed upside-down and rotated one-eighth of a turn every day. The dead yeast cells settle into the neck of the bottle.
  6. The neck of the bottle is frozen in an ice/salt water bath and the cork is removed. The pressure forces the frozen plug of dead yeast cells out of the bottle. This process is called disgorging.
  7. A mixture of white-wine brandy and sugar (dosage) is added to top off the bottle.
  8. The bottle is corked and wired to secure the high pressure inside.