Sparkling Wine Dictionary
Appellation—A geographic area that designates a particular wine-growing region.
Bodega – Spanish term for winery
Brut—A sweetness/dryness level of Cava wines that allows for between 0 and 12 grams of sugar per liter of wine, on a scale of 0 to 50, with 0 being no added sugar.
Cava—Sparkling Wine made in Spain in the same méthode champenoise traditional French double fermentation method used to make Champagne, using Xarel-lo, Macabeo, and Parellada grapes.
D. O. — Denominación de Origen, the Designation of Origin, is a classification system for Spanish wines, cheese, and other foods.
Disgorgement—The process of removing the sediment after the second fermentation of sparkling wines.
Dosage – base wine plus sugar added to sparkling wine just prior to sealing.
Enology – The study of wine production. Sometimes spelled ‘oenology’.
Fermentation – the chemical process where sugar becomes alcohol through exposure to yeasts.
Lees — Sediment remaining at the bottom of the wine barrel after fermentation, or in the wine bottle of sparkling wines during riddling.
Méthode Champenoise (Methode Traditionelle)– The double fermentation method used by winemakers to create carbonation in wine.
Muselet – The wire cage securing the cork on a bottle of sparkling wine or champagne.
Must — Crushed grapes that are ready to undergo fermentation.
Riddling — The process of turning each bottle of sparkling wine one quarter turn each day during fermentation as the bottles sit in angled racks, nose down, to encourage sediment to move into the neck of the bottle.
Sommelier — A person with extensive wine knowledge that has achieved a level of distinction, similar to an academic diploma.
Vintage — The year grapes were harvested.
Viticulture — The science of growing wine grapes.