Deutscher Wein

German table wine, the humblest category of wine. Although the ALCOHOL content, acidity level, and origin of grapes are all controlled by law, Deutscher wein is usually so light, it’s often just a step above… Continue reading


Diacetyl is a buttery-tasting compound that is a by-product of malolactic fermentation, the process in which beneficial bacteria turn sharp-tasting malic acid in wine to softer lactic acid. Chardonnays that have gone through malolactic fermentation… Continue reading


A negative description of wines with chemical or microbial “off” odors and flavors usually resulting from faulty winemaking. The implication is that something is present in the wine that shouldn’t be.


Referred to in French as DÉGORGEMENT (see French glossary), this is the process used in during the making of Champagne or SPARKLING WINE by which yeasty sediment is removed from the bottle after the second… Continue reading

Diurnal Temperature Fluctuation

The difference in temperature from the coolest point in the morning to the warmest point in the afternoon. A large difference between these two temperatures is ideal for wine growing regions as it allows the… Continue reading

DNA Profiling

The practice of using DNA markers to identify the parentage of a vine. Also called DNA typing or fingerprinting.


Fully sweet. Italy produces countless sweet wines from many different grape varieties.


A wine-producing estate. Many wineries throughout France incorporate the word in their names, especially Burgundian estates, the most famous of which is the Domaine de la Romanée-Conti.


The degree of sweetness of the LIQUEUR D’EXPÉDITION, which is used to top up Champagne before its final corking. The dosage is what determines whether a Champagne will be BRUT, EXTRA DRY, DEMI-SEC, and so… Continue reading


Commonly used to describe any wine that doesn’t contain significant grape sugar. Technically, a dry wine is one fermented until less than 0.2 percent of natural (RESIDUAL) sugar remains. A wine can be dry and… Continue reading


Sweet. Spain has less of a reputation for making top-quality sweet wines than France, Italy, or Germany, although several styles of Sherry, Spain’s extraordinary FORTIFIED wine, can be sweet.