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2014联考英语阅读:香槟的糖度在降低

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2014年07月08日 【我要咨询】 】 来源:清华在线

  The beginning of March may not exactly be the start of spring but it does usher in that part of the year when, in the northern hemisphere at least, champagne or a variant thereon is routinely poured at social and nuptial gatherings. So many British residents regard champagne as the standard drink on any occasion at any time of year that the UK continues to be champagne’s leading importer by far.在英国,把香槟看作是在一年里任何场合任何时刻的不二之选的人如此之多,以至于英国继续着自己第一香槟进口国的地位,且位置遥遥领先。

  It is fashionable in professional wine circles to complain about the quality of champagne but I am delighted to report that, on the basis of my selfless tastings on your behalf, the quality and range on offer today seem to be better than ever. This is partly because, in key markets such as the UK and US, champagne lovers can now choose between the well-known, usually high-volume brands which strive for a consistent house style in every year’s new bottling, and an increasing number of “grower champagnes” made by much smaller outfits. In the latter camp, the tendency has been to provide individual lots of wine together with full details of their pedigree: which harvest(s) a bottling is based on; where grapes were grown; and when the bottle was disgorged (separated from the lees of the second fermentation in bottle).在葡萄酒专家圈子里对香槟的品质发牢骚是一件很入时的事情,不过我要很开心地宣布:基于本人为了大家的福祉才进行的各种无私品尝而获得的经验,如今市面上香槟的品质和可选类型看起来要比以前好。部分的原因是,在像英国和美国这样的重要市场中,香槟爱好者现在能够在两种类型中进行选择————一种是大产量的品牌型香槟,每一年的出品都有统一的风格;另一种是不断涌现出的“种植农香槟”,产自比前者在规模上小很多的机构。在后面这个阵营中,已经出现了一个趋势,那就是他们能够提供单独批次的葡萄酒,并且能够提供更多细节上的信息,如瓶中酒取自哪一次(或哪几次)采摘、葡萄的种植地点以及产品什么时候进行的吐泥(disgorge)(吐泥是指将二次发酵后产生的酒泥从香槟中去除)。

  This means that not only can we enjoy a much wider range of champagne flavours and styles, we are also being told much more about what is in the bottle. Even among the bigger brand owners, there is a tendency to give increasing amounts of information on the back label or via codes, albeit sometimes somewhat arcane. (The determinedly upmarket Krug, for instance, now gives a six-digit code on the back of all labels of its luxurious multi-vintage Grande Cuvée, although you arguably need a Bletchley code-breaker, as well as access to Krug’s website, to work out what it means.)这意味着我们不仅能够享受到更多不同风味和类型的香槟,还能够获知关于瓶中酒的更多信息。即便是在大品牌拥有者之中,也有越来越多的信息标注在了酒的背标上或者以编码来表示————尽管编码有时会有些晦涩难解。例如高档品牌阵营中的库克(Krug)目前在其所有奢侈级混合年份产品陈年香槟(Grande Cuvée)的背标上都增加了一个六位编码,不过你可能会辩驳称自己需要一个布莱切利解码员(Bletchley code-breaker)帮助自己,还得登陆库克的网站查明编码的意思。

  Another welcome development is that champagnes have been getting both older and drier. More sophisticated and curious consumers demand more of the ageing on lees that provides champagne quality, and dryness has come to be viewed as a virtue. To be labelled Brut, a champagne has to have a residual sugar level of less than 12g/l (it used to be 15g/l, although a tolerance of 3g/l is allowed). The non-vintage blend (the sort that constitutes more than 95 per cent of all champagne sold) of the biggest champagne brand of all, Mo?t & Chandon Brut Impérial, had a sweetness level of more than 13g/l when the current chef de cave Beno?t Gouez arrived in 1998. On his watch, not only has the wine become much more refined than it used to be but the residual sugar level has been steadily reduced (as it has at most of the big champagne houses) to about 9g/l today, which means that it definitely tastes dry.另外一个令人开心的发展趋势是香槟已经变得越来越老而且干。越来越老练和挑剔的消费者要求香槟经过更多的酒泥陈酿(ageing on lees),这个工序有利于品质的提高。不仅如此,更干的口感也已经开始被认为属于一种优点。如果酒标上标注天然(Brut),香槟的残留糖(residual sugar)含量必须低于每公升12克(这个指标本来是15克,并且允许有3克的浮动)。世界上最大的香槟品牌酩悦(Mo?t & Chandon)旗下的皇家天然(Brut Impérial)无年份香槟(目前整个世界香槟销量的95%都属于无年份类型),在现任调配师(chef de cave)贝奴瓦?古兹(Beno?t Gouez)于1998年加盟时,其含糖量曾超过了每公升13克。在贝奴瓦的任内,酩悦的香槟不仅比以前更加精纯,含糖量也在稳步降低(其他大型香槟厂也是如此),如今这个数值已经达到了约每公升9克,这意味着口感毫无疑问是干型的。

  In all wines, sugar is in a delicate counterbalance with acidity: the more acid a wine has, the less obvious its sweetness. Thanks to climate change, grapes in Champagne have been getting riper, which means that average acid levels in grape must have been falling. In the 1990s the average was 8.18g/l in sulphuric acid, whereas in the first decade of this century it had fallen almost 8 per cent to 7.52g/l. It is hardly surprising therefore that there is less need to add sugar to compensate for acid levels that have traditionally been relatively high this far north.在所有的葡萄酒中,糖分是一种微妙的酸度平衡剂:葡萄酒的酸度越高,甜度就越不明显。感谢气候变化让香槟地区的葡萄成熟度越来越高,这意味着葡萄中的酸度水平一定会有所降低。在二十世纪九十年代,酸度平均值为每公升8.18克(以硫酸计),而二十一世纪最初的这十年已经降到了每公升7.52克,降幅几乎达到了8%。像香槟这样靠北的产区一直以来需要通过往最终产品中添加糖分来平衡高酸度,而在全球气候变暖的背景下,加糖的必要性变得没有那么高便显得不足为奇了。

  Makers of sparkling wine have an unusually high degree of control over how sweet their wines are because the last winemaking operation before the final cork goes into the bottle is the aforementioned “disgorgement”, which involves expelling the lees of the crucial second fermentation in bottle that gives off the carbon dioxide responsible for the fizz. This leaves a space in the bottle that has to be filled with what was traditionally a mixture of wine and sugar – the amount of sugar, or dosage, being at the winemaker’s discretion, according to how much was felt necessary to counterbalance the acidity while representing the style.对于一款起泡酒(sparkling wine)来说,酿酒人对最终产品的含糖量有很强的可控性,因为压塞前的最后一步工序是上面提到的吐泥(disgorgement),这个工序将产生气体的瓶中二次发酵(香槟生产中非常关键的过程)后所剩下的酒泥从最终产品中去除。经过这道工序后,瓶中酒的液面会留下一些空缺,依照传统,这个空缺必须用酒和糖的混合物来填补。此时,根据所需风格的要求,酿酒师会依据需要平衡的酸度来确定添加多少糖分(dosage)。

  Final residual sugar levels in the much sweeter Demi-Sec category being pushed by some champagne houses could be as high as 50g/l, but at the other end of the sweetness scale there has been a flirtation with adding no sugar at all so that the resulting champagne has a residual sugar level of less than 2g/l and qualifies as a Brut Nature, sometimes called Ultra Brut or Zero Dosage.半干型(Demi-Sec)香槟拥有更高的糖度,有些香槟厂所推出的半干型产品的含糖量甚至达到了每公升50克;在糖度标尺的另一端,有些香槟则完全不添加糖分,最终产品的残留糖含量低于每公升2克,可以被定义为天然绝干(Brut Nature),有时候也叫做超天然(Ultra Brut)或零添加(Zero Dosage)。

  At the large family house of Louis Roederer, sweetness levels have been plummeting. Chef de cave Jean-Baptiste Lécaillon reported recently at a presentation of no fewer than nine vintages of the jewel in their crown, the super deluxe Cristal, that average residual sugars have fallen by about 3-4g/l for all Roederer champagnes – although it is worth remembering that bottle age can compensate for sugar. The older the champagne, the less obvious the acidity and the less added sugar is needed. Beno?t Gouez, for example, has reduced residual sugar to 6g/l for the 2006 vintage Mo?t that will be launched in May – only two-thirds of the level in the younger blend that constitutes the non-vintage Brut Impérial. (A level below 6g/l may be labelled Extra Brut.) One of the reasons that dosage levels used to be so much higher was that non-vintage wines were released with less bottle age, so they needed the sweetness to make them palatable. Really young champagne plus no dosage can equal tartness and pain.对于大型家族式香槟厂路易王妃(Louis Roederer)来说,糖度已经降低了很多。在一场介绍会上(会上推介了至少九个年份的水晶香槟(Cristal),这个超奢华级别的产品系列被称为路易王妃产品皇冠上的宝石),调配师让-巴普蒂斯特?雷凯雍(Jean-Baptiste Lécaillon)称该品牌的香槟残留糖含量已经降到了每公升3到4克。不过值得注意的是,瓶中陈年有助于抵消糖分的不足带来的影响。香槟越老,其酸度越不明显,糖分的需求也就没有那么高。以贝奴瓦?古兹为例,他把2006年份酩悦香槟的含糖量降低到了每公升6克(这种香槟可以被标注为极天然(Extra Brut)),这个数值仅仅是调配皇家天然香槟的酒液含糖量的三分之二。糖分添加量曾经比较高的原因之一是无年份香槟并未经过很长时间的瓶中酒泥陈酿,所以生产者们需要一些甜度来让口感好一些,特别年轻的香槟如果不添加糖分的话,尝起来非常尖酸且有痛感。

  Dieters may wish to seek out wines with as little sugar as possible but in a champagne-making context, sugar is far from evil. A little bit of dissolved sugar not only counterbalances the high acidity, it helps to protect the wine from oxidation. Gouez experimented with reducing sweetness levels to 2-3g/l but found that the wines aged too rapidly. Furthermore, if a champagne is given further bottle age after the final corking, as many top-quality vintage champagnes are, sugars will usefully react with the amino acids in the wine, given enough time, to create even more complex flavours.节食人群总是希望能够挑选到含糖量尽可能低的葡萄酒,但是对于香槟来说,糖分绝对不属于恶势力。葡萄酒中溶解少量的糖分不仅能够平衡高酸度,还能起到抗氧化的作用。古兹就曾经尝试过将含糖量降低到每公升2到3克,但后来发现葡萄酒老得太快。此外,如果一款香槟在压塞后再进行一段时间的瓶储(很多顶级年份香槟就是这样生产的),糖分会有效地与葡萄酒中的氨基酸发生反应,如果给予足够的时间,将会产生更加复杂的风味。

  So the boring message is, as usual, moderation in all things. Even sugar.所以我想要表达的还是老生常谈的那句话:中庸就是硬道理,糖也不例外。

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