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GENERAL WINE TERMS

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D

Term Definition
Decanting

Process of separating a wine from any sediment that may have formed. This is essential for Vintage Port and for older reds (which naturally throw a deposit). Aeration is a by-product of decanting, though wine is most efficiently aerated ('allowed to breathe') by swirling in the glass.

Deep

Tasting term used to indicate a wine with intense color (and/or flavor).

Degorgement

French term for disgorgement (disgorging).

Degree

Alcohol content. 'Twelve degrees' means 12% alcohol by volume.

Degustation

French term for wine tasting.

Demi-Sec

French term for "medium-dry".

Denominacin de Origen (DO)

Spanish system for quality wines produced in a specified region (QWPSR). Each DO has a set of rules defining the region of production, permitted grape varieties and yields, and sometimes alcohol and sugar levels. For some DOs, a tasting panel must approve wines before they are sold. The system provides a guarantee of authenticity for the consumer while protecting the producer from competition. A higher level DOCa also exists (Rioja, Priorat, Ribera del Duero). See also 'vino de la tierra', 'vino de mesa'.

Denominacin de Origen Calificada (DOCa)

The highest quality wine designation in Spain. Rioja was the first region afforded this designation in 1991 and was followed by Priorat in 2003, and Ribera del Duero in 2008.

Denominazione di origine controllata (DO

Italian system for quality wines produced in a specified region (QWPSR). There are more than 200 DOCs, each with a set of rules defining the region of production, permitted grape varieties and yields, and sometimes ageing requirements. The system provides a guarantee of authenticity for the consumer while protecting the producer from competition. A higher level also exists, DOCG. See also 'vino da tavola', 'IGT'.

Destemmer

Machine used to separate grapes from their stems.

Destemming

Process of separating grapes from stems. Traditionally stems were included in the fermenting vat, but they tend to give a tough, bitter taste to the wine. Most good quality wines are now made without stems.

Developed

Tasting term indicating a wine with some aged character and maturity.

Dirty

Tasting term used to indicate a wine with an unattractive smell, often caused by hydrogen sulfide.

Disgorgement

The process of removing the yeast sediment resulting from the secondary fermentation in bottle of Champagne and other quality sparkling wines. This normally involves plunging the neck of the bottle into freezing brine, so that the sediment forms a solid plug that is ejected under pressure when the bottle is opened.

DO (Denominacin de Origen)

Spanish system for quality wines produced in a specified region (QWPSR). Each DO has a set of rules defining the region of production, permitted grape varieties and yields, and sometimes alcohol and sugar levels. For some DOs, a tasting panel must approve wines before they are sold. The system provides a guarantee of authenticity for the consumer while protecting the producer from competition. A higher level DOCa also exists (Rioja, Priorat, Ribera del Duero). See also 'vino de la tierra', 'vino de mesa'.

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