Winemaking: White, Red, Rosé & Sweet Wines Flashcards Preview

WSET ® Level 2 Wine > Winemaking: White, Red, Rosé & Sweet Wines > Flashcards

Flashcards in Winemaking: White, Red, Rosé & Sweet Wines Deck (63)
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Define crushing.

Breaking open grape skins so they release their juice.


Define pressing.

When crushed grapes are pressed to extract as much juice as possible.  This is done in a machine called a Press.


What is alcoholic fermentation?

The method used to create alcohol in wine.


What microorganism carries out alcoholic fermentation in wine?



What do yeasts eat during alcoholic fermentation?



What are the byproducts of alcoholic fermentation?

  1. Alcohol
  2. Carbon dioxide gas (CO2)
  3. Heat


Alcoholic fermentation is an exothermic reaction.

What does that mean?

Alcoholic fermentation creates and releases heat.


When does alcoholic fermentation stop?

When yeasts have eaten all the sugar.

The result is a dry wine (meaning, no residual sugar remaining).


What is the typical range of alcohol in a dry wine?

11.5% - 16% abv


What is the difference between storage and maturation?

Storage is for wines that are made for early consumption.  Meaning, once alcoholic fermentation is complete, the new wine is left to settle for a short while (usually just a few months) prior to bottling.

Maturation is when wines are stored longer than a few months to help develop flavor and body prior to release.  Maturation most often happens in barrel (but sometimes in bottle).


What color grapes can be used to make white wine?

White grapes are predominantly used to make white wine, although there are some white wines made from red/black grapes (e.g. Blanc de Noirs sparkling wine).

When making a white wine from black grapes, care must be taken to press the grapes gently so as not to extract any color from the skins.


List the order of processes when making white wine.

  1. Crushing
  2. Pressing
  3. Alcoholic fermentation
  4. Storage or maturing
  5. Packaging


When are grapes for white wines crushed and pressed?

Before fermentation (ideally, shortly after they're harvested and brought to the winery).


What is the optimum fermentation temperature for white wine?

Between 12°C - 22°C (54°F - 72°F)

Rosé wines are typically fermented at similar temperatures to white wines.


What effect does a lower fementation temperature have on a white wine?

Lower fermentation temperatures bring about fruitier aromas.


What are some commonly practiced must adjustment techniques?

(These can be used on all colors of wine.)

  • Adding sugar to increase alcohol
  • Adding acid (acidification)


What is the most common must adjustment made to white grapes from warm/hot climates, and why?


Warm climate grapes can have lower levels of natural acidity.


How does adding sugar to the must before or during fermentation change the final wine?

Adding sugar before or during fermentation increases the alcohol level in a wine. 

You don't need to know this for the exam, but beet and cane sugar are the most common forms of sugar used.


What is residual sugar?

Sugar that remains in a wine after fermentation.


What does "off-dry" mean?

Off-dry is when a wine's residual sugar is just-perceptible.


Name some ways sweet wines hold on to their residual sugar.

  1. Sugars so concentrated the yeasts can't possibly eat it all (e.g. frozen, extra-ripe or Botrytis-affected grapes)
    • e.g. Hungarian Aszú
  2. Removing yeast cells from fermenting juice
    • e.g. White Zinfandel
  3. Killing yeast cells by adding alcohol/fortification
    • e.g. Port


What are 2 additions a winemaker can use to sweeten up a dry wine?

Name 1 other way winemakers can make a wine sweet.

  1. Unfermented grape juice
  2. Concentrated grape juice

Other way: blend the dry wine with a sweet wine


What kinds of vessels are commonly used to ferment white wines?

  • Oak barrels
  • Inert vessels
    • Stainless steel
    • Concrete


What are the advantages of fermenting white wines in stainless steel?

  • Stainless steel is inert and doesn't add flavor to wine (helps maintain varietal character);
  • Stainless steel can be made airtight, preventing oxygen from coming into contact with the wine and changing its flavors.


What are 2 advantages of fermenting wine in oak barrels?

  1. Barrels add woody and toasty flavors straight into the wine;
  2. Barrels encourage flavor development due to the presence of oxygen.


What flavors will aging in new oak add to white wines?

  • Vanilla
  • Toast
  • Smoke
  • Coconut
  • Baking spice (clove, dill, nutmeg, anise)
  • Sweet spice (molasses, brown sugar, butterscotch)


What determines how much flavor an oak barrel adds to a wine?

  1. How the barrel was made (what was its level of toasting?)
  2. Age of barrel (if it's new, it'll impart more wood flavor than a used one)
  3. Size of barrel (smaller ones encourage more oxygen transfer, helping flavors evolve sooner)


Why are the effects of oak felt more so in small barrels vs. large barrels?

Because in smaller barrels there is a greater amount of wine surface area touching the oak.


Barrels that have never been used before are referred to as ___.

Barrels have have been used about 3 times or more are referred to as ___.

Never used: new oak

Used a few times: old or neutral oak


What less-costly methods may be substituted for oak barrels but still add desirable oak flavors to value-priced white wines?

The use of oak staves or oak chips.

The oak flavors will be less well integrated into the final wine as oak barrels do more than just add oak flavors, which is why this cheaper method is never used for premium white wines.