What do all those terms used in a wine review mean in the world of wine? Follow along in Vic Harradine’s review of our new Bella Sparkling Wine and we’ll explain.

Pelee Island Winery Bella Pinot Noir Sparkling Rosé VQA Ontario wine.

Pinot Noir and Auxxerois

The varietal of grapes used to create the wine. Sometimes this will appear in the wine’s “title”.

Charmat Method

This is the type of wine making technique used to create the wine. You can read more about the Charmat method in our blog “The Difference Between the Bubbles”.


This is what the wine smells like. In this review of Bella, aromas of “freshly sliced strawberries” are noted. That doesn’t mean there are strawberries added, it’s simply what the aroma is reminiscent of. Other words commonly heard about aroma are – tropical fruit, earth, vanilla, dried fruit, floral and spice.

Mouthful of flavour

This refers to the substance of the wine, the body and mouthfeel. Meaning does it play off all the taste receptors in one’s mouth and offer a a full flavour experience.


Ideally, a wine should offer both fruit and acidity dancing off of each other. They should match intensity. If one overpowers, this is where a wine may fall flat. True balance demonstrates the art and science of winemaking.

Finish and aftertaste

Indicates how long the pleasant flavours hang out in your mouth. Bella, for example, leaves a slight fresh lemon finish and aftertaste offering tasters a refreshing mouth feel.

And now we move on to the food. Why does the pairing of “smoked salmon layered on a slice of baguette smeared generously with cream cheese and decorated with thinly sliced sweet onion, dill weed and capers” work?

The salt from the fish and the capers increase the perception of body and enhances the fruit characteristics of the wine. The acidity of the wine cuts through the richness of the cream cheese. The choice of sweet onion stays in balance with both and the bubbles of the wine cleanse the palette.


Pelee Island Winery BELLA Sparkling Wine – Available at the LCBO – $18.95 (11597) – Non-Vintage VQA Ontario 12.0% alcohol – Also available via Our Wines.

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