You know the deal; the more some folks learn about a topic, the more shortcuts/slang/acronyms/initials/technical jargon can be tossed around. I’m here to help you understand those sometimes mysterious words and phrases, thus - Wine Words Demystified!
This week’s word is Dosage
According to Karen MacNeil‘s The Wine Bible:
The degree of sweetness of the LIQUER 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 on.
Dosage is the practice of adding liqueur d’expédition to replace the small amount of liquid lost during the disgorgement process when making Sparkling wine using the traditional method. The liqueur d’expédition used during dosage is typically a mixture of wine and sugar.
Some Champagne houses claim to have secret recipes for the liqueur d’expédition introduced during dosage. According to Wikipedia:
In the Traité théorie et pratique du travail des vins (1873), (“translates to Treaty of theoretical and practical works of wine”) Maumené lists the additional ingredients “usually present in the liqueur d’expédition”: port wine, cognac, elderberrywine, kirsch, framboise wine, alum solutions, tartaric acid, and tannins.
Wow! I sure that’s not happening these days!
Ultimately, the amount of sugar included in the liqueur d’expédition determines the sweetness of Sparkling wines.