What Does a Sparkling Wine with 24 Carat Gold Flakes Taste Like?
7th December 2020
I remember first seeing a sparkling wine with gold flakes within it and it really caught my eye and myself, along with many others, were buzzing around the said stand (at a wine tasting event in London) awaiting to taste and explore. I forget which sparkling wine it was, but since then I have tasted many others and usually, during a trade tasting or even an international wine tour / judging competition, a glass of bubbly with gold flakes will make an appearance.
I will suggest that the main and possibly the only reason that gold flakes are added to sparkling wine is for brand awareness / marketing. Sometimes I see a very old and traditional sparkling winemaker who has experimented with added a label that boasts gold flakes – When questioned it is usually, nine times out of ten, an idea that their PR agent / marketing person nudged them into doing.
Gold flakes are readily available to purchase online so that consumers can add them into sparkling wines / cocktails at home. Usually around £25-35 per tiny pot (100mg), they can add a lot more fun to drinks when enjoying friends and family gatherings. You can also purchase imitation gold flakes which are obviously a cheaper solution.
From Champagne to Austrian fizz, many producers offer the ‘gold flake option’ with usually a premium being paid on the wine averaging around £30 per bottles with some Champagne scaling £200 and more. Gold flakes are also used frequently by top chefs to decorate foods such as chocolate desserts.
So, when it comes to gold flakes in sparkling wines, what are the questions you will most likely have?
Do the gold flakes make the sparkling wine taste better / worse?
- The gold flakes make no difference to the aromas or flavours of the wine. It is purely for visual satisfaction that they are added. The gold flakes are tasteless and odourless.
Is it safe to consume gold flakes?
- In moderation of course, but consuming gold flakes will not be bad for you. If these are official gold flakes such a 24 carat rather than any cheap imitation that you do not know from what they are made, then they will simply not be digested and pass out of your system usually within 24-48 hours.
Are they really 24 carat gold?
- Yes, they are really tiny fakes of gold leaf (sometimes variations on the carat stated). Check always the label or research the producers / suppliers website to check for authentic / origination of the gold flakes.
Do the gold flakes make the wine go bad or will they corrode in the wine eventually?
- Gold flakes are chemically inert and will not react to / within the sparkling wine. The other fairly unique thing about gold is that it doesn’t react with oxygen, so it never rusts or corrodes.
An example of sparkling wine with gold flakes:
We chose one of our award winning sparkling wines from the 2020 Glass of Bubbly awards that delighted some of our judges with golden flakes swirling around their glass as they took notes and gave scores.
When you are judging countless wines a day then something new always pleases be it an outstanding wine or something different from the colour of the wine to added compliments such as gold flakes!
Simonic – Semiska Penina Gold – Slovenia – Silver Medal Winner in the category of ‘First Date’
The winery: Simonic is a winery based in Slovenia within the Bela Krajina wine-growing region. The Simonič family saw the birth of their sparkling wine range at the beginning of the 21st century (the year 2000) and sees them producing a hearty and character filled range of bubbly labels that includes a version to delight golden flake lovers!
Tasting notes of the wine: “80% chardonnay / 20% Laško Riesling. Green fruit, lightly toasted bread nose. Yes, it has golden flakes! Fresh green fruit flavours.“
Co-founder of Glass of Bubbly. Journalist and author focused on Champagne & Sparkling Wines and pairing them with foods.