Why Are My Bubbles Cloudy?

The inspiration for this blog is a recent discovery—Bulli Sampagnino Bianco Frizzante from the Emilia-Romagna region. This wine is light, effervescent and crisp!

The producers do not use sulfur dioxide (SO2) in the winery and make these bubbles via the Ancestral Method, which can sometimes cause the final product in your glass to be slightly cloudy.

If you refer back to my blog on sparkling wine production it will remind you of how Champagne and many sparkling wines are made, but another way sparkling wine is produced is via the ancestral method, also known as Pet Nat. With this method the wine is only partially fermented before being bottled, which means fermentation continues in the bottle without any additional manipulation of the wine before the consumer uncorks it.

To back up a step, most sparkling wines go through two fermentations. The first creates a still wine and the second fermentation is when the CO2 is captured to create the sparkle. In the case of Champagne this sparkle is captured in the bottle, but then the wines are disgorged—meaning the dead yeast cells are removed, liquer d’expédition (wine and sugar) is added and the bottle is corked.

When sparkling wine is made via the Ancestral Method, the grape juice only goes through one fermentation and it is completed in the bottle, but no disgorgement is done once fermentation is complete. Thus, many of these wines may appear cloudy, but it also means these wines are lower in sugar and also are usually not bottled with SO2.

I’ve tried a few versions, and I must say this example is the best version of this style of wine I’ve tried, thus far. In addition to sometimes appearing cloudy, the minimal manipulation of them can cause inconsistency among bottles. Or as I prefer to think about it, it makes each bottle even more unique!

This sparkling is delicious on its own, but it also paired very well with a simple Cacio e Pepe!