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Wine Glossary: D

While tasting wine across Washington state, here are some terms you may come across:

Decant - To pour aged bottled wine carefully into a larger vessel, often a glass decanter for the purpose of leaving any accumulated sediment behind. Decanting also lets a wine breathe, and almost always pertains to red wine.

Delicate - Used to describe light- to medium-weight wines with pleasant mild flavor and fragrance. A desirable quality in wines such as Pinot Noir or Riesling. Sometimes pertains to well made wines produced from so called 'lesser grape' varieties.

Demi-Sec - Meaning "half-dry" usually pertaining to Champagne and relating to sweetness. Demi-sec sparkling wines are usually slightly sweet to medium sweet. - so half dry, half sweet.

Dense- Considered a favorable quality in young wines and describes a wine that has concentrated aromas on the nose and palate.

Depth - Describes complexity in a wine that fills the mouth with subtly changing flavours - subtle layers of flavor that go 'deep'.

Dessert Wine - (1) A Sherry or other fortified wine. (2) Sweet wine customarily drank with dessert or by themselves 'as' dessert, usually in small amounts or single portions.

Developed - A mature wine that displays flavors that emerge after aging for a period of time in the bottle.

Direct - Wines that come right to the point and reveal their entire personality immediately.

Dirty - Describes any of the undesirable, rank, off-putting odors that can occur in a wine, including those caused by bad barrels or corks. A sign of poor winemaking.

Disgorged - A step in the traditional process of sparkling wine or champagne production of removing frozen sediment from the neck of the bottle after secondary fermentation.

Domaine - French term meaning 'estate' and in Burgundy a domaine may incorporate numerous separate vineyards.

Dosage - The process of adding sweetened wine to champagne just prior to closure.

Dry - Description of a wine produced specifically to possess little or no sweetness, whereby the sugars have been almost totally fermented. Commonly defined as containing less than about 0.5% residual sugar.

Drying out - The fading of the fruit in mature red wines. Acid, tannin and oak begin to predominate over fruit flavors and at this stage the wine will not improve.

Dumb - Characteristic description typical of wines that are too young or possibly too cold that refuse to reveal much flavor or bouquet at all; closed.

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