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Winemaking Terms - D

Monday, April 03, 2006

I'm fiquring that most people that visit this site have a limited knowledge of making wine.  You'll hear people throwing around terms about making their wines and you have no clue what they are saying.  Hey, don't feel bad, I was in your shoes not too long ago.  So, to help you out, all of this week's posts will be on winemaking terms.

Deacidification:
The process of reducing the amount of titratable acid in must, juice or wine. This is usually done by chemical neutralization, cold stabilization and/or amelioration.
Decant:
To pour clear wine gently from a bottle into a serving container (decanter or carafe) so as not to disturb its bottle sediments and thereby leave them behind. Also, to allow a wine to "breathe" before serving.
Degasse:
The process of removing dissolved carbon dioxide from a wine to bring it to stillness. Vigorous stirring and applying a vacuum are the two most common ways of achieving this.
Demerara Sugar:
A light brown sugar with large golden crystals which are slightly sticky. While this sugar is often expensive, it has a unique, unmatched flavor.
Demi-Doux:
The French term denoting "semi-sweet" and indicating a wine as neither dry nor sweet, but closer to sweet than dry. Although usually reserved for sparkling wines, it is gaining frequent use describing still wines. A wine is usually perceived as demi-doux when its specific gravity is in the range of 1.004 to 1.007.
Demijohn:
A large-bodied, small-mouthed, long-necked wine bottle, usually covered with wicker, used to store wine or as a secondary fermentation vessel. Demijohns come in many sizes, including 5-, 10-, 15-, 20-, and 25-gallon (Imperial).
Demi-Sec:
The French term denoting "semi-dry" and indicating a wine as neither dry nor sweet, but closer to dry than sweet. Although usually reserved for sparkling wines, it is gaining frequent use describing still wines. A wine is usually perceived as demi-sec when its specific gravity is in the range of 1.000 to 1.003.
Dessert Wine:
A still wine type that is both sweet and high in alcohol and usually served after a meal or with a dessert. Dessert wines typically have 17% to 22% abv. Port and Sherry are the two best known dessert wines, but others include Madeira, Malaga, Marsala, Muscatel, and Tokay.
Diammonium Phosphate:
One of the major ingredients in almost all yeast nutrients and energizers, serving as their basic source of nitrogen. Also known as DAP.
Dinner Wine:
A still wine, usually light to medium in body, dry to semi-dry, low to moderate in alcohol (10% to 13% by volume), and often served with meals. Also called table wine.
Disgorgement:
The process of removing the sediment from the bottle during the méthode champenoise process of making fine sparkling wines. In the previous step, called remuage, sediment slowly collects around the cork as the bottle is positioned upside-down. The neck of the bottle is then placed in an icy brine, which causes the neck's contents to freeze into a solid plug. During disgorgement the cork or cap is carefully removed, and the pressure in the bottle causes the frozen plug of sediment to pop out.
Dosage:
A syrupy mixture of sugar and wine that's added to still wine, along with yeast, to fuel a secondary fermentation in the bottle to make champagne and other sparkling wine.
Doux:
The French word for "sweet," which in wine is usually perceived when residual sugar is at or above a specific gravity of 1.008.
Dry:
A wine lacking or deficient in residual sugar. A wine becomes dry when all or most of the sugar within it has been converted through fermentation into alcohol and carbon dioxide. A wine is usually perceived as dry when residual sugar is at or below a specific gravity of 0.999.
Source: Jack Keller


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