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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

 

A wine with intense colour (and/or flavour).

Degree

 

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

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

 

A wine with some aged character and maturity.

Dirty

 

A wine with an unattractive smell, often caused by hydrogen sulphide.

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.

DOC

 

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'.

DOCa

 

The highest quality wine designation in Spain. Rioja was the first DO to be promoted.

DOC/DOCG

 

Italian version of AC

DOCG

 

The highest quality wine designation in Italy. The promotion of DOCs to DOCGs has generally involved the imposition of more stringent rules on yield and grape varieties, for instance.

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 and Rioja was the first DO to be promoted. See also 'vino de la tierra', 'vino de mesa'.

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 and Rioja was the first DO to be promoted. See also 'vino de la tierra', 'vino de mesa'.

Domaine (Fr.)

 

Wine estate.

Dosage (Fr.)

 

Dose of sweetness added to Champagne (and other sparkling wines) just before the final cork is put in place. Almost all sparkling wines have some added sweetness, even if they are labelled brut.

Double magnum

 

Bottle of 3 litres equivalent to 4 normal (75cl) bottles. In Champagne this size is called jeroboam.

Dry

 

An absence of detectable sweetness. Many wines contain a little residual sugar, while still tasting dry.

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