Tasting Terms 

How to talk about wine

Dosage

A small amount of wine (usually sweet) that is added back to the bottle once the yeast sediment that collects in the neck of the bottle is removed....

Drying Out

This occurs when a wine has lost its fruit or sweetness to the extent that acid, alcohol or tannins dominate the taste. At this stage, the wine...

Drained Pomace

In a crush tank, the solids left over after the juice has been drained off. This pomace is primarily skins with a small amount of stem bits.

Drain Hopper

A crush tank fitted with a screen to make free run juice separate quickly from the skins and stems in freshly crushed white grape must. By closing...

Douro Valley

An area of Portugal known for producing the world’s greatest port wines.

Downy Mildew

A fungal disease of grape vines, which kills the affected tissue. The disease is native to eastern North America and has spread to Europe and...

Domaine

The French word for a wine-growing estate.

Dolcetto

Literally, means ‘little sweet one’, and likely stems from a quality of the grapes as the wine it produces is not particularly sweet. This red...

D.O.C. (Denominazione D’Origine Controllata)

The Italian system of laws regulating about 250 different wine zones. Italy’s D.O.C. regulations are roughly equivalent to France’s Appellation...

Disgorgement

A step in the traditional process of sparkling wine production wherein frozen sediment is removed from the neck of the bottle.

Dionysus

Greek god of wine and revelry. See Bacchus to avoid confusing the two Gods.

Diluted

A wine that has been watered down or mixed with water.

Deposit

In white wines, this is generally a trace of colourless tartaric acid which has no taste and is in no way dangerous. On the other hand, in red...

Dense

Describes a wine that has concentrated aromas on the nose and palate, desirable in young wines.

Denominacion Especifica

A classification in Spain that guarantees the production process for a wine. It does not guarantee the region of origin.

Demi-Sec

This is the French term for half-dry. In the language of Champagne, it can be misleading because wines are usually slightly sweet to medium sweet.

De Chanunac

A French-American hybrid grape named for a pioneer winemaker from eastern Canada. De Chaunac wines can be very, very good or easily forgotten,...

Dark Fruit

When a wine is described as having the taste of Dark Fruits it refers to flavours such as Black Berries or Black Cherry.

Dry Pomace

In a fermenter, these are the solids left over from draining the new wine off after fermentation.

Dessert Wine

Dessert wine has two meanings: 1) Fortified wine – eg: Sherry – where alcohol is added in the form of Brandy or neutral spirits. 2) Sweet or...

Decanting

A method by which cellar-aged bottled wine is poured slowly and carefully into a second vessel, usually a glass decanter, in order to leave any...

Delicate

Any wine demonstrating somewhat mild, but attractive characteristics. Occasionally used to describe well-made wines from the so-called “lesser...

Depth

Refers to a premium wine that demands more attention, it fills the mouth with a developing flavour, there are subtle layers of flavour that go...

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