Definition - What does Demi-sec mean?

Demi-sec is a French wine term used to indicate the dryness of still or sparkling wine. Literally, it means "half-dry". In still wines, it indicates that a wine has a bit of residual sugar left after fermentation. Sparkling wines with demi-sec on the label are usually slightly to medium sweet; sec wines are a bit less sweet, with dry sparkling wines referred to as Brut, and Extra Brut or Nature as the driest.

WineFrog explains Demi-sec

Demi-sec refers to the slightly off-dry taste of a wine. In still wines, demi-sec wines will seem a touch sweeter than sec wines. It will have up to 12 grams per liter of sugar or, if balanced by the appropriate amount of acidity, up to 18 grams per liter.

In sparkling wines, demi-sec typically means a wine has 32 - 50 grams of sugar per liter. The taste I much sweeter than demi-sec still wines.

Each language has a different word for sec, which will appear on the label. Some of the common translations include:

  • abboccato - Italian
  • adamado - Portuguese
  • demisec - French, Romanian
  • félszáraz - Hungarian
  • gass - Persian
  • halbrocken - German
  • halfdroog - Dutch
  • halvtor - Danish
  • medium dry, off-dry - English
  • meio seco - Portuguese
  • nonycyxo - Bulgarian
  • nonycyxoe - Russian
  • polosuché - Czech
  • polusuho - Bosnian, Croatian,
  • polusuvo - Serbian
  • pólwytrawne - Polish
  • poolkuiv - Estonian
  • puolikuiva - Finnish
  • pusiau sausas - Lithuanian
  • pussausais - Latvian
  • semi-droog - Afrikaans
If you prefer off-dry wines, look for the above terms on the label.
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