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Wine Terms Starting With The Letter 'D'

D.O.
Abbreviation for Denominación de Origen, or "place name". This is Spain's designation for wines whose name, origin of grapes, grape varieties and other important factors are regulated by law. Also, it is the abbreviation for dissolved oxygen, the degree of oxygen saturation in a wine, which strongly affects oxidation of the wine and it’s ageing properties.
D.O.C.G.
Similar to D.O.C., with the “G” standing for “Garantita” or Guaranteed. This certification is also administered by the local producers, but is even stricter than the D.O.C. Traditionally considered the best of the best, the D.O.C.G. classification is reserved for a small portion of all wines from Italy.
DO
1. The abbreviation for Denominación de Origen, or "place name". This is Spain's designation for wines whose name, origin of grapes, grape varieties and other important factors are regulated by law.2. The abbreviation for dissolved oxygen, the degree of oxygen saturation in a wine, which strongly affects oxidation of the wine and its aging properties.
DOC
The abbreviation for Denominazione di Origine Controllata, or "controlled place name." This isItaly's designation for wine whose name, origin of grapes, grape varieties and other important factors are regulated by law. It is also the abbreviation for Portugal's highest wine category, which has the same meaning in that country.
DOCG
The abbreviation for Denominazione di Origine Controllata e Garantita, or controlled and guaranteed place name, which is the category for the highest-ranking wine inItaly.
Debourbage
Refers to a process in which the must of a white wine is allowed to settle before racking off the wine, this process reduces the need for filtration or fining.
Decantation
The process of pouring wine from its bottle into a decanter to separate the sediment from the wine.
Decanting
A technique that removes sediment from wine before drinking. After allowing the sediment to settle by standing the bottle upright for the day, the wine is poured slowly and carefully into another container, leaving the sediment in the original bottle.
Degree Days
A method of classifying the climate based on the number of days the temperature is within a range that vines can grow. In California, climates are rated from coolest (Region I) to the warmest (Region V). This classification can help winemakers determine where to plant which variety.
Delicate
Used to describe light- to medium-weight wines with good flavors. A desirable quality in wines such as Pinot Noir or Riesling.
Demi-Muid
A French term for 600-liter capacity oak barrels, typically used in the Rhône Valley.
Demi-Sec
A term describing sweetness in Champagne. It can be misleading; although demi-sec literally means "half-dry," demi-sec sparkling wines are usually slightly sweet to medium-sweet. The scale, from driest to sweetest, is: Extra Brut, Brut, Extra-Dry, Sec, Demi-Sec and Doux.
Demi-sec
Moderately sweet to medium sweet sparkling wines.
Denominatión de Origen Calificada (D.O.Ca.)
Spain’s highest quality classification, created in the early 1990s.
Denominazione di Origine Controllata (D.O.C.)
The Italian system for defining wine regions and wine names. In addition, the D.O.C.G. (Denominazione di Origine Controllata Garantita) covers regions willing to submit their wines to tougher requirements, including tasting approval.
Dense
Describes a wine that has concentrated aromas on the nose and palate. A good sign in young wines.
Depth
Describes the complexity and concentration of flavors in a wine, as in a wine with excellent or uncommon depth. Opposite of shallow.
Dessert wine
Varies by region. In the UK, a very sweet, low alcohol wine. In the US by law, any wine containing over 14.1% alcohol.
Destemming
The process of removing the grape berries from the stems once the grapes have been harvested and brought into the winery. The goal is to minimize the amount of astringent tannins that stems can add to wine.
Desuckering
The removal of young, non-fruit-bearing shoots from a vine.
Deutscher Tafelwein
A wine classification within Germany’s lowest level of wines, Tafelwein; indicates that the grapes were grown in Germany.
Devatting
Also known as délestage, the oxidative winemaking process in which, after the cap of grape musts, skins, seeds and stems forms on the top of a vat of fermenting wine, the wine is drained through a valve at the base of the tank into another vat and reserved while the remaining solids are allowed to drain for a few hours. The reserved wine is then pumped back into the original tank over the top of the drained skins, seeds and stems. Like punch downs and pump overs, the purpose of devatting is to increase the extraction of color, flavor, tannins and aromas from the solids, as well as aerate the fermenting wine.
Dirty
Covers any and all foul, rank, off-putting smells that can occur in a wine, including those caused by bad barrels or corks. A sign of poor winemaking.
Disgorgement (or dégorgement)
When making sparkling wine, this technique is used to remove frozen sediment remaining in the bottle after the second fermentation. Sediment settles in the bottle neck and the neck is then dipped into a brine solution and frozen. Working quickly, the bottle is turned upright and the crown cork removed. The plug of frozen sediment is ejected by the pressure of the carbon dioxide.
Disjointed
Describes wine with components that are not well-knit, harmonious or balanced. The timing of the components may be off; upon tasting, a disjointed wine might first reveal big fruit, followed by a blast of screeching acidity and finishing off with a dose of tannins.
Diurnal Temperature Difference
The difference between daytime and nighttime temperatures, which can affect the speed of ripening and grape quality. Shifts can be considerable; parts of Napa Valley regularly experience a 40-degree difference.
Doce/Dolce/Doux/Dulce
Portuguese, Italian, French and Spanish terms for a sweet wine
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Dosage
In bottle-fermented sparkling wines, 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.
Drip Irrigation
An irrigation process associated with grape growing. Hoses with individual spouts for each vine deliver precise amounts of water, drop by drop. This saves water and allows grape growers to carefully control the water vines receive in dry areas.
Drip dickey
Trademarked name for a cover that slips over the neck of a wine bottle and absorbs any drips that may run down the bottle after pouring, preventing stains to table cloths, counter tops or other surfaces. The generic term is drip cloth.
Drying Out
Losing fruit (or sweetness in sweet wines) to the extent that acid, alcohol or tannin dominate the taste. At this stage the wine will not improve.
Dumb
Describes a phase young wines undergo when their flavors and aromas are undeveloped.
Dégorgement tardive
French term for a Champagne that has been aged sur lie for an exceptionally long time (far beyond the usually 5-10 years of vintage Champagne) before going through degorgement.
Délestage
French term for racking and returning a wine back to the tank. Wine is pumped out of the fermenting tank and back over the cap to facilitate extraction of color and flavor.

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