The bubbles in your champagne could be a handy way to tell how good it is

The bubbles in your champagne are a handy way to tell how good it is
(Picture: Getty)

We all love a glass of bubbly.

But while you’ve been too busy drinking the stuff, researchers have been busy at work finding out whether the size and sound of champagne bubbles can give clues to the quality.

Study co-author Doctor Kyle Spratt and his colleagues say in their recently published paper that it’s a ‘hardly accepted theory’ that you can judge the quality of sparkling wine from the bubbles.

But they maintain that bubbles *could* play a role in determining how expensive that bottle should be.

The University of Texas at Austin researcher said: ‘The point of the project is to study the sounds that champagne bubbles make, and to see what we can infer about the bubbles from the sounds that they make.

‘Bubbles are very resonant. They basically ring like bells, and the frequency of that ringing depends in part on the size of the bubbles.’

The researchers have previously investigated how bubbles related to underwater sounds using a hydrophone, a device that records underwater sound.

The bubbles in your champagne are a handy way to tell how good it is
(Picture: Lidl)

So naturally, they assumed a similar technique might apply to the investigation of wine bubbles.

Dr Spratt said: ‘When we came across the idea that bubbles play an important role in the quality of a sparkling wine, our first instinct was to drop a hydrophone into a glass and see what kind of sound we can hear.’

It wasn’t an easy task to gather data though.

Dr Spratt said it was difficult due to the properties of the wine and its bubble mechanisms.

And the researcher dropped another bombshell: apparently, the champagne flute design is there not just to look fancy.

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In fact, it can have an effect on bubble formation.

He said: ‘Another challenge for us was to make sure that the characteristics of the glass itself weren’t biasing our measurements in some way.

‘If you ever have to resort to drinking champagne out of a Styrofoam cup, the bubbles will be quite different.’

The measurements on a variety of sparkling wines were presented at the annual meeting of the Acoustical Society of America in New Orleans last month.

Who fancies a glass of bubbly?

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