This is what makes sparkling wine according to the Méthode Traditionnelle so unique
Countless fine strings of pearls stretching skywards from the bottom of the glass. An elegant fragrance. Then a tingling sensation on the palate and finally the refreshing finish with every single sip. Sparkling wine according to the Méthode Traditionnelle is more than a drink. It is an attitude to life that Peter Szigeti would not want to miss.
Premium sparkling wines from SZIGETI are produced exclusively according to the method developed by the monk Dom Pérignon in the 17th century. The Benedictine proceeded in a planned and targeted manner. The creation of champagne was by no means a coincidence, nor was the brother cellarer the first to try his hand at bottle fermentation. With his sophisticated Méthode Traditionnelle, however, Dom Pérignon set the bar quite high for all sparkling wines of the future.
The Méthode Traditionnelle simply explained
As complicated and lengthy as the process of making champagne or sparkling wine by bottle fermentation is, the principle is simple. A dry and fresh base wine suitable for sparkling wine production is fermented a second time directly in the champagne bottle with the addition of sugar and yeast. Finally, the yeast must be removed and in most cases the sparkling wine is given the so-called dosage, an addition whose exact composition is guarded by the respective cellar master like the apple of his eye. But how did someone come up with the idea of fermenting wine in the bottle? As so often in history, it was chance that directed the process.
From unwanted mistake to sought-after sparkling wine
For many centuries, cellar technology was little more than the intuition of a more or less gifted cellar master. So it often happened that wines were not yet fully fermented when they were bottled and continued to ferment happily in the dark. The result was sparkling wines in the spring, which were not appreciated at all in France. In England, however, these carbonated French wines were suddenly considered great - on the islands, all kinds of additives were readily added to the wine anyway to improve the taste. From then on, everything was different. The sparkle gradually went from being an undesirable cellar bug to a sales hit.
Pure cellar joy: Dom Pérignon drinks stars
As cellarer, Dom Pérignon was responsible for the economic stability of his monastery Saint-Pierre d'Hautvillers in the Champagne region. Since wine production ensured a fair amount of income, the resourceful wine lover jumped on the bandwagon. He tinkered and tasted for a long time until the result was as he wished. Just at this moment, when Dom Pérignon was finally satisfied with his champagne, he probably said: "Brothers, come quickly. I drink stars!" Incidentally, the accomplished brother was the first to blend different white wines and to press white wine from red grapes. He is also the inventor of the agraffe, which in his day was not made of wire but of cords to hold the cork in the bottle against the pressure. He prudently developed the method, which is now known worldwide as the Méthode Traditionnelle, Méthode Champenois or Champagne method. There is no doubt that the Benedictine monk was one of the great oenologists of the 17th and early 18th centuries - but he did not invent sparkling wine.
Inimitable taste thanks to Méthode Traditionnelle
The storage of the wines on yeast means that bottle-fermented sparkling wines have such a special taste - often of pastry and nuts. The yeast cells that die during fermentation leave this unique bouquet as their final greeting. The sparkling wines also acquire an incredibly fine perlage and great creaminess. The longer the sparkling wine is stored and thus matures, the more opulent its bouquet becomes and the more precious the sparkling result. It therefore takes many months before traditionally produced premium sparkling wines such as those from SZIGETI can be enjoyed to the full in the glass.
Thick-walled bottle, cork and agraffe - the insignia of sparkling wine
The bottle must withstand a pressure of around 7 atmospheres and the filigree wire basket must ensure that the cork does not fly away uncontrollably. Opening a champagne bottle is therefore associated with a certain thrill for many connoisseurs. Those who can do it are rewarded with a soft "pop" and the often visible escape of a delicate plume of carbon dioxide. Incidentally, Peter Szigeti also knows why the standard bottle for sparkling wine holds 0.75 litres: "Dom Pérignon found that 0.75 litres corresponded to the average amount consumed by a male adult at dinner. So there was no provision for any leftover in the bottle!"
Have you now also got the desire to drink stars? Then you should pay a visit to the SZIGETI sparkling wine cellar in Gols, Burgenland, or order a selection of the finest sparkling wines, produced according to the Méthode Traditionnelle, conveniently in the online shop!
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