|MadSci Network: Chemistry|
Dear Kate, This will be the third try to answer your query , my computer [or I] seem to have problems. Well, here goes again. No, I don't think that alcohol destroys carbonation. Many popular beverages - beer, champagne, sparkling burgundy, etc. are carbonated. The presence of bubbles merely shows that the CO2 gas is leaving the solution, since these drinks are all super-saturated with CO2 even when cold. Therefore the gas will tend to leave the liquid. Even though no or few bubbles are seen, the liquid may still be well carbonated. The bubbles of gas don't form just anywhere in the body of the liquid, they form at some point [a "nucleating" site], or rather points, almost always on some solid surface. Look at a glass of soda water [or beer, or 7-UP, etc.] You will see that the bubbles form at definite points in the glass, when a bubble grows large enough and breaks away, a new small bubble starts to form at the same spot. It may have been that when you drank the wine, the wine had removed many of the sites. In the body of the liquid the same phenomenon will be seen. Bubbles will form on a thread of [e.g.] lint, break off, and new bubbles will form on the same speck. Remember that you cite only one instance, one observation of this matter, so you could check it again. It seems like more fun than most experiments. Get 3 dry glasses. Over one, shake a piece of paper, cloth, etc. In a second glass, fill it with wine, leave it stand for a few minutes, then drain the glass [Cheers!] leaving a little wine behind. Now pour club soda in all 3 glasses and observe. You may note a difference between a new glass and an old one with many scratches on the inner surface.
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