A glass of champagne may contain approximately one million bubbles - much lower than previously estimated, researchers have found. The importance of fizz, more technically known as effervescence, in sparkling wines and champagnes contributes to the complete sensory experience of a glass, or flute, of fine bubbly, researchers said.
Researchers have now closely examined the factors that affect these bubbles, and he has come up with an estimate of just how many are in each glass.
Gerard Liger-Belair from the University of Reims Champagne-Ardenne, France noted that effervescence plays an important role in the look, taste, aroma and mouth feel of champagne and other sparkling wines.
Wine journalists and bloggers often cite 15 million as the average number of bubbles fizzing in a single glass of champagne, based on some simple mathematics. However, Liger-Belair suspected that the formula leading to this estimate oversimplified the matter.
It didn't take into account the fact that some of the dissolved carbon dioxide escapes from a glass without forming bubbles. Also, the size of the bubbles changes over time, and this could affect the final number.
Taking into consideration temperature, bubble dynamics and the tilt of a flute, Liger-Belair came up with a new way to calculate the number of bubbles in a glass of champagne. And the result is far lower than what has been cited. "One million bubbles seems to be a reasonable approximation for the whole number of bubbles likely to form if you resist drinking champagne from your flute," he said. Liger-Belair also found that if you prefer more fizz in your bubbly, serve it warmer than you normally would and be sure to tilt the flute when pouring. The study appears in American Chemical Society's The Journal of Physical Chemistry B.