Last week we talked “Dosage” for #WineWednesday #Wordologie, and this week’s vocabulary word conveniently rhymes with it: Élevage. Just like last week’s, this week’s term is French in origin, which makes sense since champagne is French as well.
This means that you might want to work on your French accent and pronunciation in order to say the word properly. If you’re like me you may also want to put on a beret; tie a scarf around your neck; and hold a baguette while you say it for a more “authentic” French effect. What’s that you say? You’re not like me and have no intention of getting a beret, a scarf, and a baguette? That’s fine; I understand. Not everyone can be as committed to this as I am. But I digress.
Élevage is a term encompassing a series of processes that occur between fermentation and bottling. During this period the raw, fermented juice is clarified and stabilized, and it’s rough edges are softened. The process allows the wine’s quality to reach it’s full potential and make the final product ready to drink.
Some of the techniques in élevage include barrel aging, filtering and fining. To quote Wine Spectator, “Good winemaking decisions during élevage can help the juice achieve its full potential; bad decisions can leave it flawed.”
So what does this week’s vocab word teach us about champagne? It teaches us that good quality bubbly require skill, care, and work, so do yourself a favor: elevate your effervescent sipping experience by drinking wines with great élevage.
Wondering which wines have great élevage? No need to guess when I’m doing all the dirty work for you! All you need to do is check out the hashtag #TheBubbsWineReviews on Instagram for my sparkling recommendations.