Swiss Wine Regions

Glossary of D

Decanting

The process of pouring wine from its bottle into a decanter to separate the sediment from the wine.

Dégorgement

The disgorging or removal of sediment from bottles that results from secondary fermentation.

Delicate

Describes most light to medium-bodied wines with good, clear flavors. Desirable in wines such as Riesling, Sémillon or Pinot Noir.

Demi-sec

Moderately sweet to medium sweet sparkling wine.

Denominazione di origine controllata

In Italy, Denominazione di origine controllata (“Controlled designation of origin”), of which there are three:

  • DO—Denominazione di Origine (designation of origin, seldom used)
  • DOC—Denominazione di Origine Controllata (controlled designation of origin)
  • DOCG—Denominazione di Origine Controllata e Garantita (controlled designation of origin guaranteed)
Depth

Describes a wine that shows an excellent concentration of aromas and flavors.

Dessert wine

Varies by region. In the UK, a very sweet, low alcohol wine. In the US by law, any wine containing over 15% alcohol.

Devatting

The process of separating red must from pomace, which can happen before or after fermentation.

Diurnal temperature variation

The degree of temperature variation that occurs in a wine region from daytime to night.

DOC

The abbreviation for Denominazione di Origine Controllata, or controlled place name. This is Italy’s designation for wine whose name, origin of grapes, grape varieties and other important factors are regulated by law. It is also the abbreviation for Portugal’s highest wine category, which has the same meaning in that country.

DOCG

The abbreviation for Denominazione di Origine Controllata e Garantita, or controlled and guaranteed place name, which is the category for the highest-ranking wine in Italy.

Doux

The French word for sweet. Usually refers to the sweetest category of sparkling wines.

Downy mildew

Fungal vine disease.

Drawing off
Drip dickey

A wine accessory that slips over the neck of a wine bottle and absorbs any drips that may run down the bottle after pouring—preventing stains to table cloths, counter tops or other surfaces.

Dry

Wines with zero or very low levels of residual sugar.

Dry/Dryness

A wine that has completed fermentation and has less than 7.5 grams per litre of dissolved sugar remaining is said to have fermented to dryness. The absence of residual sugar (sweetness) in a wine leads to a dry rather than sweet finish.

Glossary by Letter

  • A (21)
  • B (36)
  • C (38)
  • D (17)
  • E (8)
  • F (24)
  • G (5)
  • H (7)
  • I (4)
  • J (2)
  • K (1)
  • L (10)
  • M (25)
  • N (5)
  • O (10)
  • P (23)
  • Q (1)
  • R (13)
  • S (31)
  • T (21)
  • U (2)
  • V (22)
  • W (11)
  • Y (2)
  • Z (1)

The Wine Grapes of Switzerland

Marsanne Blanche

Originally from the steep slopes of the Côtes-du-Rhône, the Marsanne blanche grape found its way up the Rhone to Valais in Switzerland, and is known here under the name of Ermitage (or Hermitage).

Cabernet franc

Cabernet franc, one of the Bordeaux grapes, is a bit like the little brother of the Cabernet sauvignon grape. Cabernet franc is usually used for blending.

Arvine

Another delivery from Rome, there are actually three Arvine grape varieties, only two used for wine production: Grand Arvine, with the larger berries, and Petit Arvine, with the, you guessed it, smaller berries. The unloved Arvine brune has faded from the scene. Grand Arvine gets criticized for displaying little character, whereas the Petit Arvine tends to have a fuller bouquet and lower acidity. In blind tasting, Petit Arvine generally kicks ass against its plumper brother. Arvine is also an excellent grape for late harvest wine, which can be cellared.

In vino veritas.

Pliny the Elder

Swiss Alps, cows, wine bottle and large clock face in Bern, Switzerland

Fine Swiss Wine

Discover Switzerland’s odd grapes, small producers, and eclectic tastes