Glossary: D

Débourbage
The settling of the solid matter in the wine. This is a specific period of rest that a wine undergoes to assist in clarifying the finished offering.

 

Dégorgement
A winemaking term in Champagne, France denoting part of the process where the dead yeast cells are frozen and removed from the wine.

 

Decanting

The process of opening and pouring a bottle of wine into a larger vessel for aeration and removal of sediment before consumption.

 

Demi-Sec

A medium-dry style of still or sparkling wine. Champagne has a specific set of regulations for Demi-Sec sparkling wines, and places like Vouvray in the Loire Valley have there own regulations for their off-dry wines.

 

DO (Denominación de Origen)
A high quality level for Spanish wine. The equivalent to the AOC system in France and the DOC system in Italy.

 

Denominação de Origem Controlada
A high quality level for Portuguese wine.

 

Denominación de Origen Calificada
The highest quality level for Spanish wine. Often abbreviated to DOC. Similar to Italy's DOCG.

 

Denominazione di Origine Controllata (Italy)
“DOCa” (DOCq in Catalonia). A high level of wine classification in Italy. Similar to the AOC system in France, the DOC designation comes with parameters regarding grape variety, yield and in some cases, alcohol by volume levels.

 

Denominazione di Origine Controllata e Garantita (DOCG)
The highest tier of wine classification in Italy, this is often the top designation is considered for the highest quality or most historically significant wines. This designation is sometimes dubious, as some wines have made this tier by pure historical significance, as the styles or products themselves aresometimes lackluster. However, when a wine enthusiast sees certain terms such as Barbaresco DOCG, Barolo DOCG and Brunello di Montalcino DOCG, they can most likely assume a higher standard of quality and a truly outstanding offering. 

 

Denominación de Origen de Pago (DO de Pago): A “Single Estate” designation given to a small number of wineries in Spain in which the wines are grown and produced on the estate.  

Dessert wine

A term that describes a sweeter style of wine, often meant to be consumed after the meal has been completed.

Destemming (AKA Egrappage)
The process of removing the stems/stalks from the grape bunches before fermentation. Unripe stems will result in a green, unripe taste in the wine.

 

Dolce
Term for “sweet” in Italian. Often used on the label of certain Italian offerings produced in a dessert wine style.

 

Domaine
A term for a wine estate, derived from the French language.

 

Dosage
A winemaking term from Champagne, France. This term describes the process where the dead yeast cells are removed, and before a new cap is put on the bottle, a solution of sugar and base wine is added to the bottle to inhibit the second fermentation.

 

Double magnum
Also known as a Jeroboam in some regions, this bottle is the equivalent of four 750ml bottles.

 

Doux
French term for “sweet’. (Dulce in Spain)

Downy mildew
A common vine disease favored by warm, humid conditions. It results in unhealthy leaves and shriveled fruit. May be controlled with the use of Bordeaux mixture.

 

Dry
A tasting term. Essentially this is the opposite of sweet, although a wine that tastes dry still contains sugar, perhaps just a few grams per liter. The term 'dry' can also be used to describe the tannins or mouthfeel, when it refers to the dry, puckering sensation the wine imparts.