An old wine-making technique that most sparkling wine and champagne masters are privy to involves the use of a champagne riddling rack to remove sediments from the wine. These unique, distinctive racks are not only useful but provide an endless amount of decorating possibilities. Many people use them for both!
These racks have been used since the early 1800's to help remove sediments that can cause wine to have a cloudy appearance or a bitter taste. Prior to the invention of the riddling racks we see today, the first champagne riddling rack was made by cutting holes into a kitchen table and allowing gravity to work the sediments to the necks of the bottles as the bottles remained upside down.
Looking at the champagne riddling racks we see today, you will see some shaped like an A-frame and others shaped like a board. Here are more details about the riddling process:
The rack must be able to hold the bottles at an angle of about 45 degrees, neck down.
Pick the bottle up by the bottom and shake it slightly while twisting it sharply to the right and left.
Place it back into the rack and move on to the next bottle.
Repeat this every other day for 14 days.
This shaking and disturbing of the liquid breaks the adhesion that sediment has formed to the sides of the bottle, allowing it to float free. As it settles during rest times, gravity will help the sediment move to the neck of the bottle.
'Freezing' the neck of the bottle, with glycol, brine or calcium chloride at approximately -20°C for 8 - 10 minutes will help solidify this material for easy removal. This process is called disgorging and takes place just before the corking, caging, labeling, and shipping of most wines.
We have an expansive selection of champagne riddling racks available at Barrel-Art. We offer a line of decorative racks, from 10 bottle units to a massive 120 bottle system. The decorating possibilities are unique and endless.