What is still wine, and how does it differ from other types of wine?
Still wine is the most commonly enjoyed type of table wine. Learn all about still wine, types of still wine, and how to serve it for maximum enjoyment.
What Is Still Wine?
Still wine is not bubbly or carbonated. The word “still” when referring to wine, indicates a lack of bubbling action, so the liquid sits “still” in the glass.
While still wine can have a few bubbles and create a tingling sensation in the mouth, it cannot legally have more than .392gm/ml of carbon dioxide in the wine.
A little carbon dioxide is inevitable in wine, but there can’t be enough to make it bubble like sparkling wine or champagne.
Any color of wine – white, red, or rosé – that is not intentionally or naturally carbonated is considered a still wine rather than a sparkling wine.
Read More: Dry vs Sweet Wine comparison and guide. Discover everything you need to know about sweet and dry wines to choose the right kind for your taste!
What’s the Difference Between Still Wine and Sparkling Wine?
Still wine is not carbonated, while sparkling wine is. Sparkling wine has natural carbonation produced by cold fermentation or it can be force carbonated with carbon dioxide.
Whichever way sparkling wine is made, it tends to have a gentle “pop” when the bottle is opened, the wine foams as it is poured into the cup, and the wine will have fine trails of bubbles ascending in the glass.
A still wine can have a little foam as it is poured because there is still carbon dioxide in the wine, but this dissipates and what’s left is a glass of velvety wine without effervescence.
Is Still or Sparkling Wine Better?
Carbonation causes these tiny bubbles that create that “bubbly” sensation you have in your mouth after drinking sparkling wines like champagne.
Sparkling wines are enjoyed at festive occasions such as wedding receptions, and with light meals like brunch, salad luncheons, or mid-afternoon charcuterie buffets.
Sparkling wines are very refreshing, lightly fruity, and make you feel a little more full thanks to the bubbles.
Still wines are usually served as table wines or dessert wines, depending on the occasion.
The flavors shine through without the bubbles, making them favorites for carefully pairing with foods and desserts.
Can You Turn Still Wine Into Sparkling Wine?
This is a frequent question we get and the answer is yes… and no. Yes, you can inject carbon dioxide into the wine and get a sparkling effect afterward.
No, you can’t just inject carbon dioxide into a good bottle of wine and expect it to taste good afterward. It will be sparkling, but the flavor and aromas are thoroughly ruined.
Wine is carefully fermented to create a certain aroma, range of flavors, and feel in the mouth.
These flavors and aromas are carefully formed compounds that get destroyed when forcefully carbonating the wine.
If you have a SodaStream and have ever been tempted to use it to carbonate your favorite wine to make a refreshing summertime drink, watch this before you pop the cork and give it a go.
Why Is Still Wine Better for Dinner?
Still wine is best for serving with dinner because it does not contain carbonation.
Dinner is typically a heavier meal, and the carbonation of sparkling wine can inhibit the full enjoyment of the meal.
When it comes to choosing which wines to serve, no two people have the same taste when it comes to drinking wine.
Some prefer light red wines, and others prefer white wines.
The basic rule of thumb is to consider the heaviness and color of the food you’re serving for dinner and match it to your type of wine.
For example, an outdoor barbecue may feature flame-grilled beef steaks and pork sausages. This is heavy.
A nice red wine will pair well and hold its own against the meat flavors.
A light dinner of seafood scampi is perfectly paired with a refreshing glass of dry or semi-sweet white wine.
Dessert wines can be enjoyed on their own, especially if they’re very thick and sweet like ice wine.
Other dessert wines are perfectly luxurious when paired with rich desserts like cheesecake or tiramisu.
Now that you understand the difference between still wine and sparkling wine and when to serve them, you are ready to serve your guests the perfect glass of wine.
We recommend serving still wine with most meals, and saving the sparkling wine for special occasions, brunch, luncheons, snacks, and desserts.