Decant: The act of pouring an older wine carefully from a bottle in which loose sediment would otherwise become stirred up. After carefully pouring off the clear wine into a pitcher until only the sediment remains behind, the sediment can be rinsed out of the bottle. Then the decanted wine can be returned to the clean bottle for serving. Decanting is most often done within 1 hour of serving. It is almost never necessary to remove sediment from wines that have been in bottle for less than three or four years.
Demi-sec: Champagne term signifying that the product is medium-sweet. See Extra-Dry.
Dessert wine: Any class of sweet wines, fortified or not to higher alcohol content, which are served with desserts or as after dinner drinks. Common dessert wines are Ports, Sherries and sweet wines like that of Sauternes or any wine made using the Botrytis Cinerea method.
Disgorging (Degorgement): In processing, disgorging is the act of removing the frozen plug of ice (containing spent yeast) from a bottle of Champagne or Sparkling Wine, after riddling. Disgorging takes place on a disgorging line just prior to adding dosage and the final corking of the finished bottle of champagne. See Dosage.
Dosage: The few ounces of wine, often sweetened, which is added to each bottle of Champagne after disgorging to make up for the liquid volume lost by disgorging. The sugar in the sweetened wine causes a second fermentation with the remaining yeast which causes the high pressure of CO2 (the fizz!).
Douro: A major river in northernPortugal flowing westward into the Atlantic Ocean at theport ofOporto. It passes through one of the most picturesque and dramatic river valleys in the world, which is the region of Port wines.
Downey Mildew: A fungus that affect the leaves and stems of a vine.
Dry: In the wine world, dry is never the opposite of wet. Whether in a fermentation tank or in a wine glass, dry means the complete absence of sugar in the wine. That's all that it means. (Do not confuse sugar, indicated at the tip of your tongue, with crisp acidity found in white wines, indicated by with a mouth watering affect on your lower outer gums.) The German equivalent is trocken (Dry) or halbtroken (Off Dry).