Unlike non-sparkling wines, champagne is privy to a second fermentation inside the bottle, which infuses the base wine with carbon dioxide. This alone doesn’t create bubbles, though. Rather, they appear when you pop the cork, exposing the liquid to impurities in the air and along the sides of your glass: a vital and necessary step.
A single glass of champagne will give rise to nearly a million bubbles, which fill the air with their scent as they surface and burst at the top. The size of those bubbles depends on their age: the older a champagne, the more delicate its sparkle. A subtlety you can experience firsthand in a glass of Dom Ruinart.
FROM FRÉDÉRIC PANAÏOTIS
« The bubbles play an important role in carrying aromas. »