Sparkle, sparkling!

Despite the difficult political situation in the country, Ukrainians are already starting to prepare for the New Year holidays. And what is a celebration without a sparkling wine? We consume it with pleasure, but at the same time rumors about its "powder basis" and artificiality do not cease around the drink. Besides, some stores started selling sparkling wine under their own brand (aka "private label"), which boasts a very low price. Bargain price is good, but what about the quality of the drink? On the eve of the most cheerful Ukrainian holiday, the experts the Institute of Consumer Expertise have decided to study this question. To do this, eight samples of a truly "national" semi-sweet sparkling wine, which the winemakers called "Sovietskoye" were sent to the laboratory and for tasting.

The research and testing has covered the sparkling wine of eight enterprises, such as "Zolotaya Balka", "Fozzy Group" ("Povna Charka" private label), "Kyiv Factory of Sparkling Wines "Stolychnyi", "Nyva", "Ismail Winery", "Odessa Brandy Plant", "Odessa Factory of Sparkling Wines", and "Kharkiv Factory of Sparkling Wines." All drinks are indicated on the label as "Sovetskoye Sparkling Wine". But first, let’s clarify the terms. Lately it has become fashionable among shops to manufacture the products under a private label. The manufacturer of such products is usually chosen by the distribution network during the tender, and often the winner is chosen based on the lowest price offered, which, in most cases, does not guarantee a good quality of this product. The thing is that the two standards are now applicable in Ukraine for sparkling wines, namely DSTU 4800:2007 "Sparkling Wine of Ukraine" (for white sparkling wine) and DSTU 4807:2007 "Sparkling Wines" (for white, pink and red sparkling wines). Both standards are used in the manufacture of the beverage both according to a classical technology (when the secondary fermentation is carried out directly in the bottles) and in reservoirs (when the secondary fermentation takes place in acratophores, followed by bottling of the sparkling wine). In this sense, the difference between the two drinks produced in different ways can be told by professional tasters only. The majority of Ukrainian consumers choose sparkling wine, focusing on the cost or manufacturer.

The laboratory has primarily checked the physical and chemical parameters, namely the content of alcohol and sugar. The hardness of the sparkling wine should be 10.5 to 12.5 percent, and the sugar content should vary between 55 and 65 g/dm3. Almost all submitted samples of the sparkling wine have passed the test, for example, the sugar content in the samples of "Sovetskoye Sparkling Wine" of Izmail Winery and "Zolotaya Balka" was on the verge of the bottoming out. However, the main test of the sparkling wine, of course, is tasting. The sparkling wines were rated by a professional taste panel and a group of consumers. As usual in such a subjective matter as "taste", views differed. In general, the sparkling wine should be transparent, have a light straw color with hints of green to golden. The bouquet should be delicate, pure, possibly with a slight floral aroma and harmonious flavor. And, certainly, the sparkling wine is obliged shall sparkle when poured into a glass. The ratings of professional sommeliers determined the leader, a "Sovetskoye Sparkling Wine" from the Kyiv Factory of Sparkling Wines "Stolychnyi" (8.8 scores). "Zolotaya Balka" ranked second. The other participants were rated lower. The lowest rating was assigned to "Sovetskoye Sparkling Wine" bottled at the Odessa Factory of Sparkling Wines. The main reason is the bouquet. In this wine, it is weakly pronounced, and had a fermentation hint. The consumers, unlike sommeliers, rated all participants higher. However, in unanimity with "professionals", the "popular" tasters liked "Sovetskoye Sparkling Wine" from KFSW the most. Admittedly, Kyiv winemakers are remarkable for enviable stability; in the past year, the sparkling wine of this plant also took the first place in the ranking.

As for the price, its spread is quite significant. The sparkling wine of "Odessa Factory of Sparkling Wines" (UAH 37.5) and "Zolotaya Balka" (UAH 36.99) was the most expensive, while "Povna Charka", "Nyva" and "Izmail" were the cheapest (UAH 26). "Sovetskoye Sparkling Wine" of the tasting leader is sold in the medium price category (about UAH 30).

In general, the test results showed that the sparkling wine in Ukraine firs in the standards, but we note that the pricing policy does not always match the quality of products. We advise to choose the experienced manufacturer producing the affordable, high-quality and tasty sparkling wine, and then the holiday will pass well, and health will not fail.

No. Picture Brand Name Manufacturer address Capacity (volume) Date of manufacture Shelf life Storage Alcohol, sugar Specification Price, UAH Sugar mass concentration, g/dm3 Tasting score (total score)
1 Zolota Balka Sparkling wine of Ukraine, semi-sweet, "Sovetskoye Sparkling Wine" Zolota Balka Agrofirm LLC 0.75 l 08.10.2013 12 months Grape of European varieties, sucrose Alcohol 10.0-12.5% vol. DSTU 4800:2007 36.99 55.5 8.3
2 Povna Charka Sparkling wine of Ukraine, semi-sweet, "Sovetskoye Sparkling Wine" Nyva SPE 0.75 l 25.10.2013 24 months Sparkling wine from the grape, Aligote, Sauvignon green, Chardonnay Rkatsiteli, Riesling Rhine, Sukholimansky White varieties, liqueurs Alcohol 10.5-12.5% vol.. Sugar 5.5-6.5% DSTU 4800:2007 26 62.5 8.1
3 Nyva (Sviato) Sparkling wine of Ukraine, semi-sweet, "Sovetskoye Sparkling Wine" Nyva SPE 0.75 l 13.11.2012, No. 407Ш 24 months Sparkling wine from the grape, Aligote, Sauvignon Green, Traminer, Chardonnay, Rkatsiteli, Riesling Rhine, Muscat white, Irsha Oliver varieties, liqueurs Alcohol 10.5-12.5% vol.. Sugar 5.5-6.5% DSTU 4800:2007 26.65 58.4 8.1
4 Odesa Sparkling wine of Ukraine, semi-sweet, "Odesa" Odessa Sparkling Wine Factory PJSC 0.75 l 15.10.2013 12 months Wine materials, domestic and imported (Moldova), sucrose, carbon dioxide of endogenous origin, citric acid, tartaric acid Alcohol 10.5-12.5% vol. DSTU 4800:2007 37.5 57 7.3
5 KFSW Sparkling wine of Ukraine, semi-sweet, "Sovetskoye Sparkling Wine" "Kyiv Factory of sparkling Wines "Stolychnyi" PJSC 0.75 l 29.10.2013 12 months Sparkling wine material, sugar, sulfites (SO2) Alcohol 10.5-12.5% vol. DSTU 4800:2007 29.98 63 8.8
6 Kharkiv Sparkling wine of Ukraine, semi-sweet, "Sovetskoye Sparkling Wine" Kharkiv Plant of Sparkling Wines State Enterprise 0.75 l 16.10.2013 12 months Made from the grape of Aligote, Riesling, Pinot-Franc, Chardonnay, Sauvignon et al. varieties, sucrose, carbon dioxide of endogenous origin, citric acid, sulfur dioxide (antioxidant) Alcohol 10.5-12.5% vol. DSTU 4800:2007 30.69 57.2 8
7 Vynhrad Sparkling wine of Ukraine, semi-sweet, "Sovetskoye Sparkling Wine. Ismail" Ismail Winery PJSC 0.75 l 15.11.2013 12 months Grapes Aligote, Sauvignon green Chardonnay Rkatsiteli, Riesling Rhine, Fetyaska white Alcohol 10.5-12.5% vol.. Sugar 55-65 g / dm3 DSTU 4800:2007 26 55.1 8.1
8 OBF Sparkling wine of Ukraine, semi-sweet, "Sovetskoye Sparkling Wine. OBF" Odessa Brandy Factory PJSC 0.75 l 06.08.2013 12 months Wine materials for the sparkling wine of Ukraine, sucrose, sulfur dioxide (antioxidant) Alcohol 10.5-12.5% vol. DSTU 4800:2007 29.1 58.4 8.3

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