Sparkling wines are a kind of table or natural wine which contain large amounts of dissolved carbon dioxide gas.
Which is the most common method of producing sparkling wine?
Trap the CO2 from a second alcoholic fermentation
You have just inherited a vineyard of Grenache grapes- a red variety which has been used for mass market blush varietal wines by some producers- and you want to make an inexpensive, fresh, fruity sparkling wine. You hire a consulting enologist who recommends you build a winery for the __________ process.
Tank fermentation (or Charmat process)
According to the legend, the methode champenoise was discovered by __________ sometime during the period _______ to _______.
Dom Perignon; 1668-1715
The term "champagne" may be used on the label for a wine made in any part of France as long as the precise steps that are prescribed by the French law for the methode champenoise process are followed.
Which grape variety below is not likely to be used for methode champenoise sparkling wine production in France or California?
To emulate the characteristics of grapes produced under conditions in France's Champagne district, ______ grape growing regions are preferred and the grapes are harvested _______ wherever methode champenoise wines are made.
Recognizable varietal aroma is not usually sought in grapes to be used for the methode champenoise.
The blended wine that will be bottled for a second fermentation is called the vin de _______.
Pressing whole clusters is one fruit handling procedure which was originally developed to minimize color extraction from dark skinned Pinot Noir grapes.
Why are the fruit handling techniques developed to minimize color extraction from Pinot Noir also used to handle Chardonnay for methode champenoise?
Because those procedures minimize tannin extraction as well
In sparkling wine production, as in white table wine production, the wines produced from the free run juices are in higher quality and those from the harder pressings are distilled.
The most prestigious wine of a sparkling wine producer may be called _______.
Tete de cuvee
What is a reserve wine and how is it used in methode champenoise sparkling wine?
Reserve wines are blends of still wines from previous vintages which are added to cuvees to minimize vintage to vintage variation, especially in a producers non-vintage champagnes.
How much of a cuvee would be made up of reserve wine?
as much as 20-30%
You would expect to see about the same proportion of vintage dated wines among the sparkling wines as among the varietal table wines on the shelves of your wine shop.
False, vintage dated varietal table wines are much more common than vintage dated sparkling wines.
Which producer would encourage the malolactic fermentation?
Domaine Longtaste whose vineyards are in the coldest regions and who specialize in the driest, longest aged, most complex sparkling wines.
The wines to be blended into a cuvee would not be very attractive as still table wines because they would seem too tart, too low in alcohol and lacking in varietal character.
Why is experience particularly important for winemakers who are blending the wines for a cuvee?
Because they must be able to envision what the wine will be like in 2-4 years, after it is fermented a second time and after a period of aging on the yeast in the bottle.
A cuvee blended from white grapes only is called ______ and if only red grapes are used, it is ________.
Blanc de blancs, blanc de noirs
Why are sugar and yeast nutrients added along with an actively growing yeast culture to start the prise de mousse?
Because the wines blended to make the cuvee had been fermented to dryness, there is no fermentable sugar in the cuvee. In addition, the yeast that caused the alcoholic fermentation to occur probably depleted other essential nutrients while converting the sugar to alcohol.
The term for drawing off cuvee with its yeast, sugar, and nutrients into bottles for the second fermentation is ___________.
Because the conditions are so different- low sugar, high alcohol, increasing CO2 pressure- from those of the first alcoholic fermentation, yeast for the prise de mousse are often of a different strain or species.
In methode champenoise, the wine ages with the yeast for about ______.
What are the two processes that occur during aging of the champenoise sur lie?
The wine matures and gains the complexity which comes from the bottle aging and yeast autolysis (the cells dissolve themselves) adding important champagne bouquet elements and enabling the CO2 to remain dissolved in the wine longer.
The process of collecting the yeast for removal is ________.
After the yeast cells are collected, the bottles may be stored neck down until the yeast cells are removed during ________.
The sugar is adjusted in the methode champenoise after the yeast is removed. The step is called _________.
The neck of the bottles are frozen in the __________ step in order to _______ collected by ________.
disgorging, trap the yeast, riddling
You should wait 6-9 months after the yeast removal and sugar addition steps to drink method champenoise wines. This period is recommended to allow the added sugar to become integrated into the wine.
After the re-corking that follows the removal of the yeast and adjustment of sugar, sparkling wines develop in the bottle in much the same way as do white table wines.
False, because they are saturated with CO2, sparkling wines don't undergo the same chemical changes as white table wines. Sparkling wines will not change as much as do white table wines in the bottle.
Most methode champenoise sparkling wines are best if drunk within 2-3 years after they are released
True, but some vintage and reserve sparkling wines can best be enjoyed many years after disgorging.
About ______% of sparkling wine made in the US is produced by the methode champenoise process.
Describe the transfer process
Method of producing sparkling wines in which the wines undergo their second fermentation in the bottles which are then opened and their pooled wine filtered to remove the yeast, receive a dosage, and be rebottled.
Sparkling wines made by the Charmat process reflect the fruity, youthful characteristics of the grapes they are made from because the process can be completed relatively quickly.
Charmat process wines have _________ yeast character compared to methode champenoise wines.
One of the greatest advantages of tank fermentation for sparkling wines is low production costs. This is one important basis for the fact that about _______% of US sparkling wines is made by this method by about _____ large scale producers.
Imported sparkling wine makes up about ______% of the US market.
An example of a sparkling wine made up by trapping the CO2 from only one alcoholic fermentation is:
A Brut Charmat Process wine will probably be drier than a Brut sparkling wine made by the methode champenoise.
False, it will probably be the opposite. Charmat being sweeter.
Scrupulous rinsing of glasses is important to avoid accelerated bubble dissipation while tasting sparkling wines.
To fully enjoy a sparkling wine it should be served in a flute so its bubbles will always be displayed properly, and, unlike table wine, the glasses would e filled nearly all the way to the brim.
Why is it not necessary to swirl sparkling wines when making a sensory evaluation?
Release of volatile odor components because of the CO2 rising from the wine carries these odorants out of the wine and into the air.
Why is it detrimental to sparkling wines to swirl them while making a sensory evaluation?
Swirling makes the dissolved CO2 leave the wine prematurely and makes a proper evaluation of the bubble display and mousse impossible.
Under appearance, the bubble display of sparkling wines is evaluated and tasters look for small bubbles that evolve from the wine over a long time and form a smooth, white foam on the surface of the wine.
Because they're called Blanc de Noirs, we expect all sparkling wines made from red grapes to be white, that is a very pale straw yellow to yellow color.
False, although some Blanc de Noirs sparkling (and still) wines are a very pale yellow, many are appreciated for their light bronze, peach, or salmon colors.
When the sparkling wine aroma wheel is compared to the more general wine aroma wheel, we find more spicy, floral, and fruity odors suggested for sparkling wines and fewer vegetative herbaceous odors.
Which spice would you not expect to find in sparkling wines but would be anticipated in (red) table wines?
Descriptive terms for champagne bouquet would be found in all but which of these categories on the sparkling wine aroma wheel?
If you came upon a group of winetasters uttering the descriptive terms, fresh bread, sour cream, burnt chocolate, cocoa, hazelnut and toasted grains, you probably stumbled upon a tasting of tank fermented sparkling wines.
False, the terms like champagnes bouquet and you've more likely come upon a sampling of bottle fermented sparkling wines.
Among the positive structural organoleptic elements of sparkling wines are tart acidity, soft finish, freshness, and dryness.