This post is unashamedly inspired by reruns of Heston’s 80’s Feasts on late night lifestyle TV. Proof that food blog posts can sometimes be entirely frivolous and light-hearted. Not to be taken too seriously. I watched with utter amusement as Blumenthal carbonated the cheap and cheerful 80’s plonk du jour, a sweet German riesling; Blue Nun, in a kitsch, retro but highly desirable kitchen gadget of the times; the SodaStream. The result? Bubbles masquerading as champagne. Good enough to fool the most discerning of City yuppie palates. Or should I say, SHAMpagne?
Don’t believe me? You can access the episode here. The irony is that 30 years on, what’s old is new again, and SodaStreams are very much back in vogue. So much so that just last Christmas my husband became the proud new owner of a shiny red metallic model courtesy of Secret Santa. My most successful and useful gift purchase yet. There’s not a day that goes by that the SodaStream in not put to use. Today, it’s taking centre stage in my very own Heston style kitchen experiment. Turning a very average bottle of white wine into bubbles. Methode SodaStream.
First things first, wary of the possibility of creating an explosive mess, I took my SodaStream out of the kitchen, outside to our back deck. After all who wants to spend hours cleaning up after any mishaps? To be fair the appliance also does come with a clear warning: DO NOT use the soda maker to carbonate any liquid other than plain water.
For best results the trick seems to be to use a well chilled, light white wine. Simply decant into a SodaStream bottle, place into the soda maker and carbonate in short sharp bursts until the LED screen lights up at medium. Conservative by nature I will admit I didn’t attempt to proceed past this level to high. Allow the fizz to settle for a few minutes before even considering removing your bottle. You have been forewarned, a little patience avoids the creation of an overflowing mess.
Heston was right this very crude method of carbonisation actually works, producing surprisingly fine round bubbles in my now sparkling wine. Whilst I do love my fine French Champagne, well made Italian Proseccos and Australian sparkling wines, with Melbourne Cup just around the corner on the first Tuesday of November heralding the start of the silly season and summer entertaining, this may well become a new party trick. An easy way to add sparkle to a punch or fizz to my Grown Up Gin and Tonic Slushies or Aperol Spritz particularly when entertaining on a whim or caught unawares and there’s no bubbly in the fridge.
Heston’s SHAMpagne. Methode SodaStream.
1 bottle white wine, chilled (I used Riesling and Sauvignon Blanc
DECANT chilled wine into a SodaStream bottle.
PLACE bottle into SodaStream machine and screw into place.
PRESS the carbonate button in short bursts until LED screen lights up at medium level of carbonation.
ALLOW fizz to settle for 5 minutes before removing bottle from the SodaStream.
SERVE immediately or cap the bottle and refrigerate until required.