This week’s Wine Word of the Week is “demi-sec” and was suggested by our fabulous Facebook Fan, Michelle Olson-Rogers – thanks for the suggestion, Michelle!
Demi-sec is a French term which literally means “semi-dry” or “medium-dry” yet is used to refer to wines which are slightly to medium sweet. The term is usually used in association with wines from France’s Champagne and Loire wine regions. In Champagne, the dosage, a mixture of wine and sugar added to the bottle following disgorgement, determines the final sweetness of the wine. So for a wine to be labelled as “demi-sec” the amount of sugar added can be anywhere from 35-50 g/l or 3.5-5% which is dictated by vinous law. The scale from driest to sweetest is (1) brut nature or sans dosage where no sugar is added, (2) extra brut, (3) brut, (4) extra dry, (5) sec, (6) demi-sec, and (7) doux which is the sweetest level. In the United States the different levels of sweetness do not have any legal definitions like they do in France.
So next time you see a wine with “demi-sec” on the label, you know the wine in that bottle will be somewhat sweet. Oftentimes, especially with Champagne, the sweetness in the wine is balanced by a lovely acidity so the wine doesn’t feel cloying on the palate. These delicious wines are perfect for serving with moderately sweet desserts and make an elegant addition to a dinner party.
Thanks again for your suggestion, Michelle, and I hope that helps! If you’d like to suggest a word for our Wine Word of the Week segment please leave it in the comment section below or on our Facebook Fan Page which you can access by clicking here. If we use your word, your name will be entered into our monthly drawing to win one month of The Wine Atelier’s “Explorateur” Wine Club but remember – you have to play to win so make your suggestion now!