Archive for the ‘sparkling’ Category

Figure 1. Sala Vivé Semi Seco


Dolores Sala Vivé co-founded Freixenet in Spain with her husband Pedro Ferrer Bosch.  The winery history claims that the sparkling wine was made in homage to her, the “Grande Dame of Sparkling Wine” (salavive website, 2010). The winery itself is in the Mexican state of Querétaro (see salavive website for more information, 2010) and was constructed at the beginning of 1980. Drawing on the experience and tradition gained at the Spanish sparkler producer, Freixenet, the Mexican winery has added an excellent location, featuring a claim for some of the “best geo-climactic characteristics for producing quality sparkling wine 2,000 meters above sea level with unusual and extreme conditions for the maturation of the grape (25ºC during the day and 0ºC at night)” (salavive website, 2010).  Confirmation of these claims is beyond the scope of this present research.


This experiment, conducted by two researchers, was designed to investigate the characteristics of  the Sala Vivé Semi Seco sparkling wine and to follow up on and corroborate earlier research (unpublished).  Researchers in this experiment investigated aroma, flavor, color, vessel design, bubbles and overall drinkability, culminating their experiment with a satisfaction evaluation.


A 750 ml bottle of Sala Vivé was obtained as a gift from a wedding reception.  The bottle was chilled for 24 hours to a temperature of 3 degrees centigrade (producer recommends 6 to 8 degrees) and opened under controlled conditions: removal of the plastic covering and cage, tipping the bottle to a 45 degree angle and pulling the cork while rotating the bottle but not the cork.  Approximately 75 ml of liquid was poured into clean glass vessels.  Aroma was evaluated by smelling the wine.  Flavor and other attributes (see Aim above) were analyzed by tasting the wine and discussing it amongst the research team at great length and, subsequently, satisfaction was assessed.  The glass was held up to outdoor lighting to evaluate the color, and aesthetic aspects of the vessel were considered. The experiment was considered to be concluded when the bottle had been drunk.


The results for Sala Vivé Semi Seco are shown in Table 1 below.

Table 1. Characteristics of Sala Vivé Semi Seco.

Characteristic Result
Aroma Strong wood/cork with stale breath
Flavor Sweet with hints of shampoo, and conditioner finish. Label (in Japanese) suggests flavors of apple and pear. This research suggests that another conclusion could be drawn and cannot confirm the fruit elements in the flavor.
Color Conventional sparkling blanc de blanc wine color where if 1 is pale and 5 very yellow, this wine would be a 4.
Satisfaction Might do to replace some beers (Bud?) on a hot afternoon.  Perhaps not.
Vessel Design The picture of Granny Sala Vivé crowns an otherwise conventional label (see figure 1)
Bubbles The bubbles did not overfoam or fade.
Drinkability The researchers could not complete the experiment, choosing to refresh their palates with a different wine before the bottle was finished.  As the wine increased in temperature – from the 3degrees C on opening to the 6 to 8 degrees recommended by the producer, the desire to continue the experiment on the part of the research team declined dramatically.  While the subject wine was willing (and able) to continue the experiment, the research team was unable to pursue it to the set conclusion.

The average of scores given to this wine by the research team was 2.


The research team assigned to do the follow up research on Sala Vivé has confirmed that initial investigation (unpublished results).  This study itself, however, might have been tainted by exposure to the previous research on the wine subject.  The Rosenthal Effect (Wikipedia, 2010) might have come into play, leading the team in this inquiry to expect the wine to fail to live up to sparkling wine standards (established through extensive previous research experiments).  The wine under investigation in this experiment thus might have fallen to the low expectations of the researchers.