Sparkling Wine Vocabulary. How Many Terms Do You Know?

Sparking Wine Terms:

ABV/Alcohol: (Alcohol By Volume): The percentage of alcohol in a beverage.

Aging: The process of cellaring a wine by keeping it in a cool, dark place over time.

Aroma: The pleasant smell of wine.

Assemblage: Blending wines for complexity, balance, vintage variation, etc.

Asti: Sparking wines made with a single fermentation in a tank.

Autolytic Flavors: The bready and pastry flavors that dead yeast create in sparkling wines like Champagne and Cava.

Blanc de Blancs: Sparkling wine made from white grapes only.

Blanc de Noirs: Sparkling wine made from black grapes only.

Brut/Bruto/Herb: Dry sparkling wine (the most common style).

Brut Nature: Extremely dry, almost no residual sugar left in the sparkling wine.

Cava: Sparkling wine from Spain made in the “Traditional Method.”

Champagne: Sparkling wine from Champagne, France made in the “Traditional Method.”

Clarification: The process of making wine clear by removing solids, skins, and leftover yeast.

Crémant: Sparkling wines from France outside of the Champagne region.

Demi-Sec: Medium dry sparkling wine.

Disgorgement: The process of removing dead yeasts from the sparkling wine bottle.

Dosage: The amount of sugar added to sparkling wine in the final stage of production.

Doux/Dulce: Sweet sparkling wine.

Extra Brut/Extra Bruto/Extra Trocken: Extra dry sparkling wine.

Fractions: There are different phases of pressed grape juice. The beginning presses are purer juice and higher in acid. The juice is separated by fractions for later blending.

Freezing: The neck of the sparkling wine bottle is rapidly chilled in order to pop out the dead yeast.

Grand Cru: Champagne made in Grand Cru villages.

Lambrusco: Red sparkling wine from Italy, usually sweet.

Late disgorgement: Sparkling wines aged on their lees (dead yeast) and are disgorged (lees removal) right before sale.

Lees: Dead yeast that give bready, brioche, and toasty flavors to sparkling wine.

Lees Aging: Allowing the sparkling wine to mix with the dead yeast over a period of time.

Liqueur d’Expedition: A mixture of wine + sugar (dosage) to give the sparkling wine a final sweetness level.

Liquor de Tirage: A mixture of wine + sugar + nutrients for the 2nd fermentation of sparkling wines.

Moscato d’Asti: Low alcohol, sweet, sparkling wine from Italy made by the Asti Method.

Non-Vintage: Wines that are blended across vintages (the year in which the grapes are harvested).

Premier Cru: Champagne made in Premier Cru villages.

Prestige Cuvée: The finest Champagne wines of the highest quality.

Prosecco: Sparkling wine from Italy.

Pupitres: Contraptions that hold sparkling wine bottles to allow for riddling (gradually turning to make the dead yeast fall to the bottle neck).

Riddling: The process of gradually rotating sparkling wine bottles to allow the lees to fall to the neck in order to be disgorged.

Sec/Seco/Secco: Dry sparkling wine.

Sekt: German sparkling wine.

Sur Latte: Wines bottles that are stored horizontally.

Sur Pointe: Wine bottles that are stored vertically.

Tank Method: Sparkling wines that have a second fermentation in the tank.

Traditional Method: Sparkling wines that have a second fermentation in the bottle.

Transfer Method: Sparkling wines that have a second fermentation in the the bottle, but are transferred to a tank before final bottling.

Trocken: Dry sparkling wine.

Vintage: The year in which the grapes were harvested.

Whole Bunch Press: Grapes for sparkling wines are hand-picked and pressed by the bunch to keep them pure, in tact, and unbroken.

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