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Champagne 101: Different Styles and Levels of Sweetness

Champagne 101: Different Styles and Levels of Sweetness

This post is the second in our two part Champagne Series. You can view the first post here.

Styles of Champagne

Since the wines of Champagne may be produced from one type of grape or more, there are a range of styles from which to choose. Here are some common examples:

Non-Vintage (House Blend) - entry-level bottling produced from a combination of Chardonnay and/or Pinot Noir and/or Pinot Meunier

Vintage (Luxury Blend) - produced from a single harvest, and only in the best years from Chardonnay and/or Pinot Noir and/or Pinot Meunier

Blanc de Blancs - “white of whites,” produced from 100% Chardonnay

Blanc de Noirs - “white of blacks,” white wine produced from Pinot Noir and/or Pinot Meunier

Rosé - often a blend of white and red wine, though it can also be made solely from black grapes

 

Levels of Sweetness

Although Champagne was originally a sweet wine, today the dry styles are more fashionable to drink. The amount of sugar added during disgorgement determines how sweet a Champagne will taste. The labels of Champagne bottles will always indicate a sweetness level, which can be found bellow, along with their explanation:

Brut Nature - bone dry

Extra Brut - dry

Brut - dry to off-dry

Extra Sec - off-dry to medium-dry

Sec - medium-dry

Demi-sec - medium sweet

Doux - lusciously sweet

 

French Wines: 101

French Wines: 101

Champagne 101: The Region, The Method

Champagne 101: The Region, The Method