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Tuesday 28 November 2017

How mixing riesling concentrate with water can taste better than Champagne

Did you know that you can squirt some riesling concentrate into water, put a SodaStream machine into action and end up with a beverage that tastes better than Champagne.

This remarkable news came to me via a SodaStream press release issued by a PR company and datelined Airport City, Israel.

The release read: SodaStream International is announcing the launch of its limited edition line, "Sparkling Gold", a fine alcoholic concentrate to be added to sparkling water. This sparkling tangy tongue pleaser, resembling the taste of a fruity Riesling wine, is available exclusively on the SodaStream Germany online shop at

I checked my calendar carefully but April 1 is a long way away.

So what, then, to make of this release, which claims: "SodaStream 'Sparkling Gold' limited edition is the result of an innovative development process, designed to enable consumers a variety of indulging, sparkling drinks. 

An independent market research test conducted in Germany in October 2017, established that 76% of people surveyed enjoyed the taste of SodaStream 'Sparkling Gold' as much as or more than French champagne brands Moet & Chardon and Veuve Clicquot.

It goes on: "SodaStream is changing the way people drink. Millions of people around the globe enjoy using SodaStream to transform their ordinary tap water into fresh sparkling water at the touch of a button. Fun and exciting concentrates give more users the opportunity to enjoy and even indulge in festive beverages this holiday season."

The man behind these intriguing claims is Daniel Birnbaum, chief executive officer of SodaStream.

He says that SodaStream 'Sparkling Gold' contains 10% alcohol by volume when prepared using the recommended mixing ratio of one part 'Sparkling Gold' concentrate to five parts sparkling water. And 'Sparkling Gold' comes in a beautiful 200ml gold-tinted glass bottle that creates 12 glasses of holiday celebration.

This is simply amazing news - but I worry that it may well put thousands of hard-working Champenoise out of work by the end of the year.

# A close look at the "independent market research" conducted in October shows it featured a whopping 100 testers, of whom 76% of women found "Sparkling Gold" tastes very good or good, to 56% for Moet & Chandon and 67% Veuve Clicquot. Compelling evidence indeed.

But I think I might be sticking to Billecart-Salmon or Bollinger for just a while longer.

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