Sparkling wine is a must-have for the festive season. However, if you don’t want to splash out on commercial Champagne or Prosecco, why not try making it at home? Read on for our simple steps to make Faux-secco/ Sham-pagne from homemade wine.
Choosing Your Sparkling Wine Grape
Good choices for quality sparkling wines are fruity, full-bodied whites with lively, but not tart, acidity. Chardonnay and Chardonnay style wines work very well. Pink or rose bubbly can be made from blush wines. The easiest way is to buy a wine kit.
You can also carbonate any fruit wine.
Making the Base Wine
- Ferment a wine kit in the normal way. Do not add any stabilising packs. The sulphite and potassium sorbate in stabiliser will prevent a second fermentation, which is essential to sparkling wine.
- Dissolve 1/4 teaspoon of Metabisulphite powder in 125 ml of cool water and add to the wine. Add the finings following the wine kit instructions.
- Put the wine into a sanitized container for the primary fermentation. Wait 10 days.
- When the wine is clear it’s ready to be made into sparkling wine.
- Add approximately one teaspoon of white sugar per 500ml of wine. Stir thoroughly and gently into wine.
- Add sparkling wine yeast. The yeast acting on the extra sugar is what causes the carbonation.
- Siphon your wine into sanitized sparkling wine bottles leaving 1 inch (2.5 cm) of head space at the top of each bottle. Make sure to use bottles designed for sparkling wine or PET bottles. Normal glass wine bottles may explode under the pressure.
- Depending on your bottles, cap them with crown caps or insert sparkling wine plastic stoppers and wire them down using wire cages and a cage wirer or pliers.
- Store bottles on their sides at 19º-23ºC for two months to properly carbonate. The longer you leave it, the more time there will be for the small bubbles (characteristic of quality Champagne) to form.