Champagne Levels Of Sweetness - World Champagne Day | The Nibble Webzine Of Food Adventures - The Nibble Webzine Of Food Adventures Champagne Levels Of Sweetness - World Champagne Day | The Nibble Webzine Of Food Adventures
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This year, World Champagne Day will be celebrated on October 23rd. Plan ahead if you’re planning to celebrate!

Although New Year’s Eve is more than two-and-a-half months away, we can’t object to another “official” occasion to drink champagne.

First, an important thing to know: Champagne only refers to the sparkling wines of the Champagne region of France.

Everything else, by law, is called “sparkling wine,” no matter where in the world it is produced.

Champagne is made in seven styles, or levels, of sweetness. The first three, dry wines, are to be paired with savory foods.

The last four are to be paired with sweeter dishes, from lobster thermidor to desserts. Read the footnote* for Extra Dry.

The sweetness comes from a step in the secondary fermentation of Champagne, when the bubbles are created.

The process is called dosage (doe-SAZH): a small amount of sugar is added into the wine bottles before they are corked. The sugar also reduces the tartness/acidity of the wine.

  • Primary fermentation of Champagne: In the classic méthode champenoise used to make Champagne, Cava and American sparkling wines, the primary, or alcoholic, fermentation of the wine transforms the grape must (the pressed juice of the grapes) into wine. Natural yeast consumes the natural grape sugars, producing alcohol and carbon dioxide.
  • Secondary fermentation of Champagne: To create a secondary fermentation, the dosage is added to the wine. The the added yeasts eat the added sugar, again creating alcohol and carbon dioxide.
    Based on the amount of sugar in the dosage, the seven levels of sweetness based on residual sugar (what’s left after the secondary fermentation) are:

  • Brut Nature/Brut Zero: 0-3 g/l* residual sugar
  • Extra Brut: 0-6 g/l residual sugar
  • Brut: 0-12 g/l residual sugar
  • Extra Dry†: 12-17 g/l residual sugar
  • Dry: 17-32 g/l RS residual sugar
  • Demi-Sec: 32-50 g/l residual sugar
  • Doux: 50+ g/l residual sugar

  • How Champagne Is Made
  • How To Buy Champagne
  • Low Cost Champagne & Other Sparkling Wines
  • Holiday Champagne Alternatives
  • Cava, Spanish Sparkling Wine
  • More Champagne Alternatives
  • Rosé Champagne Alternatives

  • How To Pour Champagne
  • Why You Need A Champagne Recorker
  • …Or A Champagne Cap
  • How To Chill Champagne Quickly

  • Bellini
  • Kir Royale
  • Make Your Own Cold Duck“>Make Your Own Cold Duck
  • Red & Green Champagne Cocktails
  • Rosé Champagne & Grapefruit Mimosa Cocktail

  • Appetizers With Champagne
  • Berries In Champagne
  • Champagne Jell-O Shots
  • Champagne & Oysters
  • Champagne & Turkey
  • Champagne & Sorbet
  • Champagne Vinaigrette
  • Champagne With Chocolate
  • Drunken Fruit
  • Rosé Champagne With Turkey
  • Sorbet Champagne Desserts


    Moet Gold Bottle
    [1] During the holiday season, you can find bottles with special packaging. Stock up for gifting occasions throughout the year (photo © Moet et Chandon).

    Champagne  Bottle Top
    [2] Only wines grown and made in the Champagne region of France can be legally called Champagne. Everything else is “sparkling wine” (photo © Champagne Bureau).

    Champagne Flute
    [3] The ideal glass to showcase champagne is the flute (photo © American Club Resort).

    Rose Champagne
    [4] Rose champagne gets its color from allowing the just-pressed use “skin contact” with the red grape skins from which it is pressed. “Pink champagne” is an inexpensive product with color added (photo © Rocky Slims | NYC [permanently closed]).



    *It’s a paradox in the Champagne industry that “dry” indicates a sweeter wine; as do sec (which means dry in French) and demi-sec. Doux, the sweetest style of Champagne, does mean sweet.

    †Grams per liter.


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