NCBI ROFL: Tiny bubbles, in the wine; Make me happy, make me feel fine! (And increase gaseous CO(2) and ethanol in the headspace).

By ncbi rofl | December 4, 2012 12:00 pm

Carbon dioxide and ethanol release from champagne glasses, under standard tasting conditions.

“A simple glass of champagne or sparkling wine may seem like the acme of frivolity to most people, but in fact, it may rather be considered as a fantastic playground for any fluid physicist or physicochemist. In this chapter, results obtained concerning various steps where the CO(2) molecule plays a role (from its ingestion in the liquid phase during the fermentation process to its progressive release in the headspace above the tasting glass) are gathered and synthesized to propose a self-consistent and global overview of how gaseous and dissolved CO(2) impact champagne and sparkling wine science. Some recent investigations, conducted through laser tomography techniques, on ascending bubbles and ascending-bubble-driven flow patterns found in champagne glasses are reported, which illustrate the fine interplay between ascending bubbles and the fluid around under standard tasting conditions. The simultaneous monitoring of gaseous CO(2) and ethanol in the headspace of both a flute and a coupe filled with champagne was reported, depending on whether or not the glass shows effervescence. Both gaseous CO(2) and ethanol were found to be enhanced by the presence of ascending bubbles, thus confirming the close link between ascending bubbles, ascending-bubble-driven flow patterns, and the release of gaseous CO(2) and volatile organic compounds.”

Bonus figures from the full text:

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NCBI ROFL is the brainchild of two Molecular and Cell Biology graduate students at UC Berkeley and features real research articles from the PubMed database (which is housed by the National Center for Biotechnology information, aka NCBI) that they find amusing (ROFL is a commonly-used internet acronym for "rolling on the floor, laughing"). Follow us on twitter: @ncbirofl


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