A note of context for you...WINE INFO ALERT! WINE INFO ALERT! If you are averse to reading actual wine information, then enjoy the video and I'll see you next posting. Otherwise, read on. When making sparkling wine in the traditional method (i.e. Champagne), there are two steps to fermentation. The first step is usually in steal tanks or wooden barrels, or some combination of both. That first fermentation is done to actually make the wine and produce alcohol (otherwise you would just have bubbly grape juice, great for our under age readers). After that fermentation is finished and the wine has seen the amount of oak to the wine makers liking, the wine maker will begin the second fermentation. Usually, this involves adding a little bit of sweet wine to their product, so that there will be some amount of sugar for the yeast to feast on. They then bottle the wine with new, living yeast, cap it, and allow the yeast to do its work. The bi-product of the yeast eating is not more alcohol, but gas, in the form of small, bright bubbles.
Now, most wine makers then do a process called disgorging, where they get the yeast cells out of the wine by either freezing the very top of the bottle, trapping the yeast cells in the ice and then releasing it, or by skillfully opening the bottle after the yeast cells have rested in the cap at the top. Either way, you are left with a yeast free bottle of bubbles to open and enjoy. However, in the Movia case, wine maker and sort of evil genius Ales Kristancic (no, he isn't Italian) has decided not to disgorge the bottles, leaving the yeast from the secondary fermentation in. He believes that this helps impart some of those deliciously yeasty flavors to the wine that we love in champagne, while also making the wine bone dry.
The opening under water is a way to free the yeast from the wine, thus allowing you to enjoy yeast free wine. The hardest part is the bottle slipping in your hand as you are trying to release the cork. Movia has designed a special tool to help with this and the tool much resembles a tire iron, so I opted for the easier, and perhaps more presentable method of my hand.
If you come across this wine, don't let the fear of opening it deter you. It is delicious and a super cool party trick. Hope you enjoy the video and happy sippin'.