“Hi Karen, Do the bubbles in Champagne have any impact on the flavor of the wine, or are they just textural?”—Michael M. (New York, NY)
Michael, great question. The bubbles (all one million of them in every glass) certainly give Champagne an extra dimension of texture and make it super lively on the palate. But bubbles also contribute to the overall flavor by magnifying a Champagne wine’s aroma. (Flavor is the unified perception of smell and taste). As bubbles form and rise to the surface of the liquid, tiny droplets of wine are released into the air, projecting the wine’s aroma to your nose. Even when the wine is on your palate, the bubbles help project its aromas to your retronasal passages, thereby amplifying the wine’s smell, and hence its flavor.