Definition - What does Sec mean?

Sec, pronounced SEHK, is a French wine term used for dry wines. Dry wines are essentially just not sweet wines. In still wines, sec indicates a wine that has little, if any, residual sugar left after fermentation. In the production of sparkling wine, such as champagne, it indicates a relatively sweet wine, where demi-sec is even sweeter (dry sparkling wines are referred to as Brut, with the Extra Brut or Brut Nature as the driest.)

WineFrog explains Sec

Sec, or au sec, refers to the taste of a wine; these wines will seem dry and have the characteristics of a dry wine. Still, sec wines have 4 grams of sugar per liter; if there’s suitable acidity, it can have up to 9 grams per liter.

Just to confuse the everyday consumer, sec on sparkling wine labels means semi-sweet. It typically has 17 - 32 grams of sugar per liter.

Each language has a different word for sec, which will appear on the label.

  • asciutto - Italian
  • cyxe - Ukrainian
  • cyxo - Bulgarian
  • cyxoe - Russian
  • droog - Afrikaans, Dutch
  • dry - English
  • kuiv - Estonian
  • kuiva - Finnish
  • sausais - Latvian
  • sausas - Lithuanian
  • sco - Spanish
  • sec - French, Romanian
  • secco - Italian
  • seco - Portuguese
  • sek - Turkish
  • suché - Czech, Slovak
  • suho - Bosnian, Croatian, Slovenian
  • suvo - Serbian
  • talkh - Persian
  • torrt - Swedish
  • trocken - German
  • wytrawne - Polish

If you prefer dry wines, look for the above terms on the label.

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