Dry: Having no perceptible taste of sugar. Most wine tasters begin to perceive sugar at levels of 0.5 percent to 0.7 percent.
Dry (Champagne): Has a dosage level that yields 17 to 32 g/l of residual sugar.
Dry (Sparkling): A misleading term, which designates a fairly sweet Champagne or sparkling wine. In Champagne, the scale from driest to sweetest is: Brut Nature, Extra Brut, Brut, Extra-Dry (or Extra-Sec), Dry (or Sec), Demi-Sec and Doux.
Dry Farming: Agricultural technique that prohibits irrigation; it is mandatory in some wine regions—and in most of Europe—and strongly encouraged in other drought-susceptible areas, such as California's Paso Robles, Sierra Foothills and Santa Barbara County.
Drying Out: Losing fruit (or sweetness in sweet wines) to the extent that acid, alcohol or tannin dominate the taste. At this stage the wine will not improve.
Extra-Dry: A misleading term, which designates a relatively sweet Champagne or sparkling wine. In Champagne, the scale from driest to sweetest is: Brut Nature, Extra Brut, Brut, Extra-Dry (or Extra-Sec), Dry (or Sec), Demi-Sec and Doux.
Extra-Dry (Champagne): Has a dosage level that yields 12 to 17 g/l of residual sugar.
Off-Dry: Indicates a slightly sweet wine in which the residual sugar is barely perceptible, usually 0.6 percent to 1.4 percent.
Dosage: In bottle-fermented sparkling wines, a small amount of wine (usually mixed with sugar) that is added back to the bottle once the yeast sediment that collects in the neck of the bottle is disgorged. Also known as liqueur d'expedition.
Residual Sugar: Unfermented grape sugar in a finished wine.
Irrigation: Watering the vines. Banned in some regions, yet indispensable to establishing and maintaining vineyards in arid regions, especially where soils retain little moisture. Two methods include drip irrigation and the less precise flood irrigation.