The glossary of sparkling wine is a not so alphabetical list of terms explaining the world of bubbly. 101 means it is a “Basic introduction”. You won’t find any scientific essays.

If you ask yourself now what bubbly is? Bubbly used as a noun is another name for sparkling wine or champagne.

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A
Agraffe Metal clamp that seals and holds in place the cork on top of a bottle of sparkling wine.
Alcohol On average, Europeans consume 10,7 litres of pure alcohol per year. (WHO, Alcohol fact sheet – 2017)
AOC Appellation d’Origine Contrôlée, Protected Denomination of Origin
AOP Appellation d’Origine Protegée, Protected Denomination of Origin
Assemblage A blend of base wines from different grape varieties, crus (villages) and years in order to create a final cuvée.
Auxerrois A white Alsace grape

 

B
Balthazar a bottle size, content 12l, that is 16 conventional sparkling wine bottles
Blanc de Blancs White of whites. Blanc de Blancs sparkling wines are made exclusively from Chardonnay grapes
Blanc de Noirs White of blacks. Blanc de Noirs is a sparkling wine made entirely from red grapes. It can be Pinot Noir or Petit Meunier grapes, or a blend of the two
brut English and French term for sparkling wines with a sugar content of <12 g/l. German term: herb
brut nature Term for sparkling wines with a sugar content of 0-3 g/l. The most dry sparkling wines are brut nature. Also called brut zero (English), zéro dosage or pas dosé (French) or naturherb (German)

 

C
Cava Cava is a Spanish sparkling wine, which is produced with the bottle fermentation process. Similar requirements apply for making Sekt (Germany) or Crémant, Champagne (France).
Champagne Champagne is a French sparkling wine. It is grown and pressed only in the Champagne wine region according to strict rules. The second fermentation is done in the bottle. It’s called méthode traditionnelle or méthode champenoise. Many international sparkling wines are produced using this method, e.g. Vin Mousseux , Crémant, Cava, Spumante Metodo Classico, Winzersekt or Hauersekt. The French name “Champagne” is protected by trademark law.
Chardonnay Chardonnay is the world’s most famous white-wine grape.
Crémant “Crémant” is protected for French sparkling wines from certain regions since 1994. They have to be produced using the bottle fermentation process, similar to Champagne. German sparkling wine can also be called Crémant if the specific requirements for grape varieties, harvesting and fermentation are met.
Cap Classique a generic term for traditional-method sparkling wines produced anywhere in South Africa
Charmat Method The tank-fermented method of producing sparkling wine. Also known as tank method
CO2 Carbon Dioxide. As the yeast digests the sugar it releases carbon dioxide.
Cork Material most often used to close a bottle of sparkling wine
Cru A village, literally it means “great growth”
Cuvée A specific blend or batch of wine
Cuvée de Prestige The flagship sparkling wine of any house. It is usually special or vintage made from the very best grapes from the best vineyards. See: Prestige Cuvée

 

D
Demi A bottle size, content 0,375l, also called Filette
demi-sec French term for medium dry sparkling wines with a sugar content of 32-50 g/l. Also called halbtrocken (German)
Double magnum a bottle size, content 3l, that is 4 conventional sparkling wine bottles
doux French term for sweet sparkling wines with a sugar content of 50+ g/l. Also called mild (German)
dry Term for sparkling wines with a sugar content of 17-50 g/l. Also called sec (French) or trocken (German)
Dégorgement The lees removal process. See: Disgorging
Disgorging The lees removal process. See: Dégorgement
Dosage Sugar added to sparkling wine after disgorgement, the dosage controls the terminology used on the label (Brut Nature, Extra Brut, Brut, ….)

 

E
extra brut English and French term for sparkling wines with a sugar content of 0-6 g/l. German term: naturherb
extra dry Term for sparkling wines with a sugar content of 12-17 g/l. Also called extra sec (French) or extratrocken (German)
extra trocken German term for extra dry sparkling wines with a sugar content of 12-17 g/l. Also called extra sec (French)
extra herb German term for extra brut sparkling wines with a sugar content of 0-6 g/l. Also called extra brut (french)
extra sec French term for extra dry sparkling wines with a sugar content of 12-17 g/l. The sparkling wines are already slightly sweet. Also called extratrocken (German)

 

F
Flute Tall, slim, cylindrical glass
Fermentation The conversion of sugar into alcohol by yeasts. The process transforms sugar into ethyl alcohol, and CO2. Result are the sparkle and bubbles.
Franciacorta Franciacorta is an Italian sparkling wine. It is grown and pressed only in the Lombardy wine region in northern Italy according to strict rules. The second fermentation is done in the bottle. It’s called methodo classico.

 

G
Grand Cru A village, literally it means “growth”
Grüner Veltliner Austrian white grape
Gin Tonic It doesn’t always have to be champagne. How about a classic long drink made of gin and tonic water. Choose your mix ratio. 1:1, 1 4 or rather 1:3? With cucumber or pimento?
   

 

H
halbtrocken German term for sweet sparkling wines with a sugar content of 32-50 g/l. Also called medium dry (English), demi-sec (French)
herb German term for sparkling wines with a sugar content of <12 g/l. Also called brut (english and french)
   

 

I
Imperial Standard bottle ,content 0,75l.

 

J
Jeroboam A bottle size, content 3l, that is 4 conventional sparkling wine bottles, double Magnum

 

K
Kerner Grape variety with white grapes. A Riesling-like new variety from LVWO Weinsberg, Germany. Named after the Swabian poet Justinus Kerner, who had lived in Weinsberg.
Klassische Flaschengärung German Term. The traditional method of using a second fermentation in a bottle to make sparkling wine. See: Traditional method or Méthode Traditionnelle

 

L
lactic term for wines with a lactic acid taste, i.e. they taste like milk, butter, yogurt or cheese.
Liqueur de tirage The blend of wine, yeast, and sugar to create the second fermentation within the bottle

 

M
Magnum a bottle size, content 1.5l, that is 2 conventional sparkling wine bottles
Medium dry term for sweet sparkling wines with a sugar content of 32-50 g/l. Also called halbtrocken (German), demi-sec (French)
Méthode Champenoise Exclusively for Champagne — a secondary fermentation inside the bottle — this creates the bubbles.
Méthode Traditionnelle French Term. The traditional method of using a second fermentation in a bottle to make sparkling wine. See: Traditional method
Melchior a bottle size, content 18l, that is 24 conventional sparkling wine bottles
Methuselah a bottle size, content 6l, that is 8 conventional sparkling wine bottles
Melchizedek a bottle size, content 30l, that is 40 conventional sparkling wine bottles
mild The sweetest temptation since bubbly was invented. German term for super sweet sparkling wines with a sugar content of 50+ g/l. Also sweet (English), doux (French)
Millésime French term for vintage year or sparkling wine. It indicates that there is no blending of different years.
Mousseux Cava is a Spanish sparkling wine, which is produced with the bottle fermentation process. Similar requirements apply for making Sekt (Germany) or Crémant, Champagne (France).
   

 

N
naturherb German term for very dry sparkling wines with a sugar content of 0-3 g/l. Also called brut zero, brut nature (English), pas dosé, zéro dosage (French)
Nebuchadnezzar a bottle size, content 15l, that is 20 conventional sparkling wine bottles
Non-vintage Champagne with a blend of grapes from several vintages and/or several years of growth, with varying levels of quality.

 

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P
Piccolo A bottle size, content 0,1875l, also called Quart
Prosecco The name „Prosecco“ is protected for Italian sparkling wines or white wines from Veneto und Friaul-Julisch Veneto. There are strict requirements to ensure quality. Contrary to German sparkling wines, Prosecco is often made by tank fermentation. Bottle fermentation is more complex and expensive.
Perlwein  German term for a semi-sparkling wines made by carbonating a still wine.
Petit Meunier Pinot Noir is a black grape, with a heavy, black skin and plenty of sumptuous, rich juices and flavours.
Pinot Blanc Pinot blanc is a white wine grape. It is a point genetic mutation of Pinot noir. It is called pinot bianco in Italy, and Weissburgunder in Germany and Austria
Pinot Gris Pinot gris, pinot grigio or Grauburgunder is a white wine grape variety. Its colour can be grayish-blue, brownish pink to black and sometimes even white.
Pinot Noir Pinot Noir is a black grape, with a heavy, black skin and plenty of sumptuous, rich juices and flavours.
Prestige Cuvée The flagship sparkling wine of any house. It is usually special or vintage made from the very best grapes from the best vineyards. See: Prestige Cuvée

 

Q
   

 

R
Rehoboam A bottle size, content 4.5l, that is 6 conventional sparkling wine bottles
Remuage Hand riddling bottles to collect deposits thrown off the second fermentation in the neck. The sediment can be removed by the act of disgorgement.
Residual sugar  The sweetness of a wine expressed in grams per litre 
Rosé Pinkish sparkling wine. Red wine is added to the white blend to achieve the flavours and colour required for it to be sold as rosé.

 

S
Salamanzar A bottle size, content 9l, that is 12 conventional sparkling wine bottles
sec French term for dry sparkling wines with a sugar content of 17-32 g/l. This is medium sweetness. Also called trocken (German)
Secco Secco has less pressure than sparkling wine. The carbonic acid may be added. Secco is not subject to the sparkling wine tax. Therefore they are cheaper than e.g. Sekt or Champagne.
Sekt Sparkling wine is commonly known as ‘Sekt’ in German. The sparkling wine must have at least 3.5 bar internal pressure.
Sovereign A bottle size, content 26,25l, that is 35 conventional sparkling wine bottles
Sparkling wine Wine in a processed, refined form. By adding sugar and yeast, the wine is fermented a second time. The fermentation produces carbon dioxide gas and alcohol. The sparkling wine must have at least 3.0 bar internal pressure.
sweet Term for sparkling wines with a sugar content of 50+ g/l. Also called doux (French) or mild (German)

 

T
Tirage French for Bottling
Traditional Method A sparkling wine that has undergone a second fermentation in the same bottle in which it is sold.
Trésors de Champagne Trésors de Champagne is a french organization of 28 champagne winemakers (as of January 15, 2020). Certain criteria have to be met to be accepted. Special vintages are offered in so-called “special club” bottles.
trocken German term dry for sparkling wines with a sugar content of 17-32 g/l. Also called sec (French)

 

U
   

 

V
Verschluss s. auch Agraffe

 

W
Winzersekt Vintners Sekt. The name „Winzersekt“ is protected by the EU sparkling wine regulation. Winzersekt can only be made of German wine from the vintner’s vineyard. Sugar and yeast are added to start the secondary fermentation. The classic French méthode traditionelle has to be used to create Winzerssekt.

 

X
Xarel-lo Spanish grape. One of Cava’s three traditional varieties

 

Y
Yeast Microorganisms that transform sugar into alcohol and carbon dioxide through fermentation

 

Z
zéro dosage French term for sparkling wines with a sugar content of 0-3 g/l. The most dry sparkling wines are brut nature. Also called brut nature (English), pas dosé (French) or naturherb (German)

 

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