The European Physical Journal Special Topics

, Volume 226, Issue 1, pp 3–116

Effervescence in champagne and sparkling wines: From grape harvest to bubble rise


DOI: 10.1140/epjst/e2017-02678-7

Cite this article as:
Liger-Belair, G. Eur. Phys. J. Spec. Top. (2017) 226: 3. doi:10.1140/epjst/e2017-02678-7
Part of the following topical collections:
  1. Bubble Dynamics in Champagne and Sparkling Wines: Recent Advances and Future Prospects


Bubbles in a glass of champagne may seem like the acme of frivolity to most of people, but in fact they may rather be considered as a fantastic playground for any fluid physicist. Under standard tasting conditions, about a million bubbles will nucleate and rise if you resist drinking from your flute. The so-called effervescence process, which enlivens champagne and sparkling wines tasting, is the result of the complex interplay between carbon dioxide (CO2) dissolved in the liquid phase, tiny air pockets trapped within microscopic particles during the pouring process, and some both glass and liquid properties. In this tutorial review, the journey of yeast-fermented CO2 is reviewed (from its progressive dissolution in the liquid phase during the fermentation process, to its progressive release in the headspace above glasses). The most recent advances about the physicochemical processes behind the nucleation, and rise of gaseous CO2 bubbles, under standard tasting conditions, have been gathered hereafter. Let’s hope that your enjoyment of champagne will be enhanced after reading this tutorial review dedicated to the unsuspected physics hidden right under your nose each time you enjoy a glass of bubbly.

Copyright information

© EDP Sciences and Springer 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Equipe Effervescence Champagne et Applications, Groupe de Spectrométrie Moléculaire et Atmosphérique (GSMA), UMR CNRS 7331, UFR Sciences Exactes et NaturellesReims Cedex 2France

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