- Category: Sparkling Wine Sparkling Wine
- Published: 24 November 2015 24 November 2015
Part 2 of our visit to Hambledon Vineyard in Hampshire, southern England. Here, Ian from Hambledon discusses the English "terroir" and how it effects grape variety planting. We then travel with Aussie winemaker, Brendan Barratt to London's Chinatown to try out some unusual but very fitting food pairings!
Here are some of the "wine vocabulary" of terms that you will encounter in this film clip:
Acidity - a natural component of the wine giving zesty characteristics and making the a "mouthwatery" feel. Having good acidity is vital if a wine is to be balanced and have aging potential. In sparkling wine, acidity is a major component that people talk about. It can sometimes be countered by adding higher levels of sugar or, become a major feature of the wine by adding less sugar.
Body - How does the wine feel in your mouth? A bit like the difference between skimmed milk and full fat milk; the latter has more body. In wine the body is largely determined by the alcohol level. The higher it is then the more full-bodied it is likely to be.
Complexity - Complex wines are how we describe great wines with nuance and layers of character, giving contemplative pleasure.
Depth - Intensity and concentration of the wine. If there are layers of complex and intense flavours, we might describe it as having depth.
Lees - These are the dead yeast cells that are left usually floating to the bottom of a tank after fermentation. Leaving a wine "sur lie", literally on the lees, will add another layer of character and complexity.
Structure - This refers to how the components in the wine (such as acidity, tannin, alcohol, etc.) are working together. Good structure is what we look for when determining if a wine will improve in the cellar over time.
Terroir - "Terroir" is a French word with no exact translation into English, however, we use it to describe all the factors that may influence the conditions for growing the fruit in the vineyard. This includes, the soil and subsoils, geology, the climate (temperature & precipitation, etc.) and can also include the winemaker and what techniques they employ to nurture their grapes.