D

Débourbage
French word for settling.
Débourrement
French word for bud-break.
Decadent
A positive tasting descriptor for a wine that displays lots of fruit, with a huge bouquet and a plump, luxurious texture can be said to be decadent.
Decanting
The process of pouring wine from its bottle into a holding vessel (a decanter) to separate the sediment from the wine.
Décuvage
French word for devatting.
Deep
Same as concentrated. A positive tasting descriptor for a wine that gives you the perception that the flavors are strong and condensed.
Dégorgement
French for disgorgement. 
Dégustation
French word for wine tasting .
Delicate
A tasting term for a light wine in the positive sense. If a wine was described “light” as a negative tasting meaning, it would be branded “thin”.
Delicato
Italian word for delicate. A tasting term for a wine that presents distinctive balance. Another word to describe such a wine is “elegante”.
Demi-muid
French term for a wooden barrel that is typically twice the size of a Bordeaux style barrel (barrique).
Demi-sec
The sweetest of the Champagnes produced today (35-50 gr. of residual sugar).
Denominación de Origen
Spanish for “appellation of origin”; like the French AOC or the Italian DOC. As of 2006, 72 wine regions have EU QWPSR (Quality Wine Produced in Specific Regions) status in Spain.
Denominazione di Origine Controllata (DOC)
The Italian quality assurance label for wines (an appellation).
Denominazione di Origine Controllata e Garantita (DOCG)
They are sub territories of a DOC region. Products made under DOCG may be subject to more rigorous production and quality standards than the same products from the surrounding DOC region. To prevent later manipulation, DOCG wines are marked with a numbered governmental seal across the top of the neck of the bottle.
Depth
An impression of verticality (or thickness) in a wine that derives mainly from its acidity. Great wines have depth.
Dessert wine
Sweet wine typically served with dessert (although they are also consumed on their own).
Destemming
The process in which the stems (stalks) are removed from the grape bunches.
Devatting
The winemaking process in which the wine is separated from the pomace. It can happen as soon as the fermentation is over, or a few hours/days later if extended maceration is going to be performed.
Development
The change in the aromatic attributes of a wine while it “opens”.
Diacetyl
It is produced during malolactic fermentation as a byproduct and imparts a buttery or butterscotch aroma and/or flavor in the wine.
Diffuse
A negative tasting descriptor for wines that don’t have a well defined structure. Serve red wines too warm and there’s a good chance they will become diffuse.
Dilute
The opposite of concentrated. Other descriptions for these wines that concentration would be watery or thin.
Dirty
A very negative tasting description for a wine with off flavors (as if the wine had some dirtiness in it).
Disgorgement
The removal of sediment of sparkling wines produced in the Méthode Champenoise (second fermentation in the bottle). It can be done in two ways: 1) “à la volée” – The bottle is turned upside down and the cap is removed. Then the bottle is quickly brought back to an upright position. The internal pressure of the carbon dioxide gas causes the deposit (along with some precious liquid) to come flying out of the bottle. 2) “à la glace” (frozen disgorgement) – It is performed after the deposit has been frozen in the neck of the bottle that was placed upside down into a container of a brine solution kept at around -25°C. After a few minutes the bottle is brought back to an upright position and uncapped. The pressure forces out the ice plug containing the deposit.
Domaine
A wine estate in France.
Dosage
A mixture of sugar and old wines that is added to Champagne and other traditionally made sparkling wines. It decides the sweetness/dryness level of the wine (Extra Brut – Brut – Extra Sec – Sec – Demi-Sec).
Double magnum
Wine bottle with a capacity of 3 liters (or 4 bottles). See also Jeroboam (Jerobaum).
Doux
French for sweet.
Downy mildew
Also known as Peronospora. It is a vine disease that occurs mainly in warm and humid condition and results are unhealthy leaves and shriveled fruit. Bordeaux mixture is used to control it.
Drawing off
Devatting. The process of separating must from pomace (or marc), which occurs before or after fermentation.
Dry
A tasting term for a wine that is not sweet, with all (or most) of its sugar converted into alcohol by fermentation.
Dulce
Spanish word for sweet. A tasting term (sometimes bearing a negative connotation) that indicates that a wine has a high content of residual sugar and/or is unbalanced with its acidity.
Dumb
A negative tasting term for (generally, but not always) white wines that have been served too cold; therefore, having less to offer. It may also refer to a wine that is still young and needs heavy aeration to open up.
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