As the Diary welcomes in the New Year there comes scientific proof of the wine tasters' adage that the best champagne has small bubbles and lots of them.
Researchers at the University of Reims Champagne-Ardenne have found that the size and number of bubbles in champagne determine the taste more than the grape. The bubbles are thought to pick up the flavour and aroma molecules of the champagne on their way to the top of the glass, which are then released when the bubbles burst.
The team's goal is to create a variety of champagne wines with smaller bubbles. While it is hard to control bubble growth, an interplay of physics and chemistry could lead to the perfect bubble.