Fewer bubbles in your glass of Prosecco is virtually never to do with poor quality fizz.
1. Detergent residue on your glass
Any traces of detergent left on the inside of your glass will kill bubbles. Make sure you rinse your glasses well, and then rinse again.
2. Using a cloth laundered in fabric softener
The fabric softener from your drying/polishing cloth transfers on to your glass and kills your bubbles. Avoid using softener at all costs on your cloths, saving money and your bubbles!
3. There’s no nucleation point
Most sparkling wine glasses are manufactured with a tiny laser-etched ring at the bottom of glass. This ‘nucleation point’ helps bubbles to form. Occasionally, this etched point may be missing or very small meaning none or very few bubbles will form (you should still feel bubbles in your mouth though).
4. The glass is too clean
New glasses may appear to show more bubbles than after being washed. When glasses are washed ‘additional’ nucleation points from specs of dust or flecks of cardboard from packaging will probably not be present, thus creating less places for bubbles to form.
5. No imperfections in the glass
The glass may be perfectly smooth with no imperfections, thus giving no additional nucleation points other than the one purposely etched on the glass. This is particularly seen with high quality glass such as the Riedel Prosecco Superiore glasses. Controlled bubbles from the intentional nucleation point, which is the most perfect way to drink Prosecco, helps to prevent too much of a mousse cap forming which traps some of the aroma and subsequently impairs the taste.
6. The Prosecco is too cold
The Prosecco may have been chilled to below the recommended 6 degrees or the glass has been chilled. If the Prosecco is too cold this will slow down the bubble formation (and impair the aroma and taste).
7. The glass is too wide
Glasses that are too wide, such as a coupe, may make bubbles look great initially but they soon dissipate. The large surface area allows bubbles to escape more quickly. A tulip style glass is best for high quality Prosecco which has enough space to allow the wine’s characteristics to develop and then a taper at the mouth concentrating the aromas, but not too wide to allow bubbles to dissipate too quickly.
8. Your Prosecco is a Frizzante style
Frizzante Prosecco is lightly sparkling. It is made to be that way with about 2.5 bars of pressure compared to Spumante (meaning fully sparkling) with about 4.5 bars of pressure.
9. Your Prosecco is a Tranquillo
Tranquillo Prosecco is actually a still wine and is made with no bubbles.
10. There’s a non-rinsable residue on your glass
After a long period of use, usually in commercial situations, a non-rinsable residue can build up on your glasses preventing bubbles from forming. Proton, the leading chemical glass cleaning company, produces ‘Renovator’, a commercial solution to remove this residue.