Wine Word of the Week: Dosage



By Kori ~ June 5th, 2012.

This week’s Wine Word of the Week is dosage.

Official definition from Jancis Robinson’s The Oxford Companion to Wine:
Dosage is the final addition to a sparkling wine which may top up a bottle in the case of traditional method wines, and also determines sweetness, or residual sugar, of the finished wine. …. Champagne is naturally so high in acidity that even wines with relatively high residual sugar can taste bone dry. Bottle age or extended autolysis are excellent substitutes for dosage, however, and, in general, the older the wine, the lower the necessary dosage to produce a balanced wine, and vice versa. Some champagnes are made with no, or zero, dosage.

Layman’s terms from Kori:
Dosage is the addition of the same or a similar sparkling wine mixed with a specified amount of sugar to replace the small of amount of sparkling wine lost during the disgorging process. The amount of sugar added at this point determines the sweetness of the finished sparkling wine. For a refresher on the sweetness levels of sparkling wine, please refer back to Sparkling Wine Tutorial: Helping You Avoid Confusion at the Store.


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