Free Flashcards for DipWSET D4: Sparkling Wines   

DECK Number 2

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[h] DipWSET D4 SET 2

[i] DipWSET D4 – Sparkling WInes Flashcards



– Read the Term on the Card and give your answer
– Click on “Check the Answer” button to check your knowledge
– Click on “Got It!” if your answer was correct
– Click on “Need more practice” to review the card at the end of the deck and try answering another time
– Click on “Shuffle” button to change cards order


[q] Challenges of whole bunch pressing

[a] Much slower


(smaller amount of fruit in the press) 

[q] What are the 2 main reasons for doing malolactic in sparkling wine production

[a] – Reduce acidity
(highly acidic wines)

– Enhance texture 

[q] Reason for gentle pressing in sparkling wine production

[a] Minimize maceration and extraction
(particularly for black skinned grapes = tannins & colours)

Phenolic compounds not desired
(bitter taste, coarse feeling)

[q] The 2 most common selected yeast used for sparkling wine production

[a] Prise de Mousse (EC1118)

Lallemand (Epernay Strain)

[q] Disadvantage of higher acidity fruits in fermentation

[a] Higher acidity means a lower pH
(unfavorable environment for yeast)

[q] Primary fermentation temperature? Why?

[a] Between 14-20 degrees celcius


Retain fresh fruit flavours
(not too cold for the yeast = would stop fermentation) 

[q] The key attributes of free run juice

[a] higher acidity, more delicate flavours

[q] The key attributes of press juice

[a] Mature faster/good for early consumption, higher pH

[q] The 2 kinds of press fractions

[a] 1- Free run juice

2- Press juice 

[q] 4 different elements that help producers in creating different blends at the assemblage stage

[a] vineyards



vinification techniques

[q] Define Flocculation

[a] The process by which particles clumping together to form more complex and larger solids

[q] 5 factors that make secondary fermentation a stressful environment for yeast

[a] High alcohol level in the base juice 9.5-11% 

low pH (below 3)

low temperature (16C)

Nutrients will be very low
(already consumed)

High pressure
(fermentation continues in bottle)

[q] The name of the addition that starts the secondary fermentation in the traditional method?

[a] Liqueur de tirage

[q] Components of the Liqueur de Tirage

[a] wine and/or must


cultured yeasts

yeast nutrients

clarifying agent

[q] What is the most common sugar level in the Liqueur de tirage?
What does it creates?

[a] 24g of sucrose

Generates 6 ATM

[q] The level of sugar in the Liqueur de Tirage depends on?

[a] The level of effervescence desired in the finished wine

[q] Why a good quality of flocculation is necessary for the traditional method?

[a] Yeast cells must be large enough to fall and settle easily during the riddling process

This will facilitate easy removal at disgorgement

[q] What is the name of the secondary fermentation in Champagne?

[a] Prise de Mousse

[q] The 2 types of presses most commonly used in sparkling winemaking

[a] – Basket presses

– Pneumatic presses

[q] Advantages of using selected yeasts for primary fermentation in Traditional Method

[a] – Neutral strains that won’t compete with autolytic flavours

– better flocculation

– reliable and predicatble result

[q] Main advantage of using selected yeasts for primary fermentation in Tank Method

[a] Ability to select strains that highlight fruit flavours

[q] Common advantage of using selected yeasts for primary fermentation in both Traditional Method & Tank Method

[a] Fermentation to dryness in a low pH environment

[q] After completion of the secondary fermentation, what would a Tradition Method winemaker choose to do?

[a] – Aging on lees

– Various Timespans
(starting at 9 months)
(after 15-18 months autlytic characters dectectable in the finished wines)

[q] 8 reasons for blending in sparkling wine

[a] Balance





Minimisation of faults



[q] The disgorgement process in 4 steps

[a] Bottles are cooled to 7C

Necks immersed in frozen brine

A machine turns the bottle upright while the bottle is opened at the same time

The pressure pushes out the frozen lees 

[q] Why is the wine cooled and frozen when disgorging?

[a] To lose as little wine and pressure as possible
(while removing as much lees as possible)

Cool temperatures increase solubility of CO2
(limit gushing)

[q] Most common finishing options for base wines?

[a] For Traditional Method
= tartrates & proteins stabilized


For ALL sparkling
= clarified

[q] Name of the addition after disgorgement?

[a] Liqueur d’expedition

[q] Main components of the Liqueur d’Expedition

[a] – wine

– sugar/RCGM


[q] What is the purpose of the Liqueur d’Expedition?

[a] – Fill the bottle after disgorgement

– Determine the final level of sweetness

[q] Why is filtration generally NOT performed before fermentation?

[a] Because nutrients are needed for a healthy fermentation 

[q] relative time frames for hand-riddling compared to gyropalette

[a] Hand riddling = up to 8 weeks


Gyropalette = 3-4 days 

[q] Why only a small proportion of new oak is generally used in sparkling aging?

[a] Because the flavours of new oak are amplified by the effervescence of sparkling wines

[q] When was the transfer method invented and why?

[a] AIn the 1940s to avoid the costly & time consuming process of riddling
(while retaining autolytic characters)

[q] Why is whole bunch pressing advantageous for sparkling wine production? 

[a] 1/ It produces gentle, delicate juice that is low in solids and phenolics
(tannin & anthocynins)

2/ The stems create channels for the juice to flow through when pressing meaning less pressure is required
(stems need to be ripe)

[q] Benefits of the transfer method?

[a] Less costly than Traditional Method

Still get secondary characters

Increased consistency

Suitable for high volumes

[q] What is the main difference in the liqueur de tirage between ‘transfer method’ and ‘traditional method’?

[a] No fining agents needed in Transfer Method

[q] Define the Maillard reaction

[a] The reaction of the sugar in the liqueur d’expedition with compounds formed during  the second fermentation
(yeast autolysis)

[q] What flavours is are produced by the Maillard reaction?

[a] roasted, toasted vanilla aromas

[q] What is the French word for riddling?

[a] Remuage

[q] What is the French name for hand-riddling pallets?

[a] Pupitres

[q] What is the name of the automated riddling machines?

[a] Gyropalettes

[q] 3 advantages of the tank method

[a] 1/ Process Large volumes

2/ Quickly

3/ Inexpensively

(no riddling, disgorging or long lees ageing)

[q] Difference between Ancestral method wines and Pet-Nat?

[a] Ancestral method wines = regulated by their appellation

Pet-Nat = Petillant Naturel wines = can be made anywhere
(no set regulations)

[q] What is the typical primary fermentation temperature for Tank Method wines? Why?

[a] 16-18°C


Keep fresh fruit flavours

[q] Describe the process for the ancestral method

[a] – Partly fermented wine
(Fermentation temporarily stopped)

– Bottled and the completion of fermentation in bottle creates CO2
(provide effervescence)

– The sugar levels of the must are monitored to result in the desired level of pressure in the final wine 

[q] Temperature for the secondary fermentation in traditional method?

[a] 10-12°C

[q] How long does the secondary fermentation usually take?

[a] 4-6 weeks

[q] How does the fermentation temperature relate to the final wine?

[a] The cooler the temperature the longer the fermentation

Some argue a longer, cooler fermentation leads to more complex wines 

[q] How and when is secondary fermentation stopped in the tank method?

[a] – Usually by chilling to 2-4°C

– When the desired level of pressure and Residual Sugar is achieved 

[q] Why aren’t the buttery flavours generally associated with malolactic fermentation usually found in sparkling wines?

[a] Because diacetyl (responsible for the buttery flavour) is metabolised by the yeast during the sencondary fermentation 

[q] What are the disadvantages of the tank method?

[a] Often seen as an inferior method typically used for inexpensive wines

[q] What does ‘sur pointe’ mean?

[a] Litteraly translation = ‘on the tip’

Refers to bottles being aged vertically, neck down after riddling so that the lees remain settled in the neck of the bottle 

[q] Describe the process taking place after secondary fermentation in the tank method

[a] Wine is cold stabilised

Yeast removed by centrifugation or filtration

Adjustments made
(sugar, SO2)

Sterile filtration

Bottling under pressure

[q] What is added to tank method wines before secondary fermentation?

[a] Sugar and yeast

[q] How are dosage, acidity and age related?

[a] Dosage = balances the acidity

Acidity = rounds up with age

The older the wine before disgorgement = the less dosage needed

[q] Producer options for handling base wines?

[a] 1/ Age on Lees

2/ Age on Oak

[q] What does “sur latte” mean?

[a] Translation = “on the slats”

Refers to the horizontal storage of wines after the additions of liqueur de tirage and bottling

[q] How producers inhibit malolactic conversion?

[a] Sterile filtration

[q] Why producers generally inhibit malolactic conversion?

[a] Avoid it to start once in the bottle which may give a hazy look to the wine

[q] Disadvantages of the ancestral method

[a] Mainly Bottle variations

3 main consequences:

1- Variability of their respective environments
(some dry, some off-dry, some off sweet…)

2- fermentation could start up at different points in time
(difference in effervescence and in haziness)

3- the level of sediments will vary between bottles

[q] CIte the different sweetness levels associated with each label

 [a] Brut Nature – 0-3g/L

Extra Brut – 0-6g/L

Brut – 6-12g/L

Extra Sec – 12-17g/L

Sec – 17-32g/L

Demi-Sec – 32-50g/L

Doux – 50+g/L

[q] Cite the 3 main closures used for sparkling wines?

[a] Classic closure = cork
(frequently DIAM)


Crown seal for Pet-Nat

Synthetic resealable closures for some mass-market wines

[q] Lees ageing in the tank method

[a] 1/ Wine is cooled to 2-4 C

2/ Paddles are used to stir the lees inside the sealed tank
(maximize contact)

3/ Typically for a short time (9 months) so that the economic benefit of tank method is not lost


[q] Italian sweetness levels

[a] Bruto Natural

Extra Bruto






[q] How does sugar level relate to effervescence?

[a] The more sugar available to be fermented, the more CO2 (effervescence)

[q] Composition of sparkling wine corks? Why?

[a] Agglomerate cork with two disks of natural cork on both ends

Almost impossible to cut a piece of natural cork to the appropriate size and shape
(31mm diameter) 

[q] Difference between the Tank method and the Asti method?

[a] Both are Tank Methods

The Asti method only has one fermentation

(The Asti method is basically Pet-Nat in a tank)

[q] Describe the steps happening after lees ageing in the transfer method

[a] 1/ Wines are chilled to 0°C

2/ The bottles are opened by machine

3/ Poured into a pressurised tank

4/ Dosage and SO2 is added

5/ Wne is sterile filtered

6/ Then bottled 

[q] How much alcohol level is generally added by the second fermentation?

[a] Between 1.5% and 2%

[q] How does lees ageing relate to effervescence?

[a] CO2 is usually lost during lees ageing

The mousse may appear less intense,

However long lees aged wines will have a longer lasting mousse 

[q] When would carbonation be used?

[a] For inexpensive, high-volume wines, typically using fruity or aromatic varieties

[x] GOOD JOB!! [restart]


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