Deciphering Champagne Labels

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How should I open a bottle of Champagne?

Deciphering Champagne Labels

Here are some tips for deciphering Champagne labels: Brut - the most popular style of Champagne. The best blends are always reserved for the brut and is the mainstay of the business. It has less than 1.5 percent residual sugar and is very dry. The brands Extra Brut, Brut Sauvage, Ultra Brut, Brut Intégral and Brut Zéro are bone dry with less than .6 percent residual sugar per liter. Extra Dry, Extra Sec — sweetened with 1.2 to 2 percent residual sugar per liter. It goes well with desserts and wedding cakes. Sec — although it means "dry" in French, it means "moderately dry" or "slightly sweet" as it pertains to Champagne. It has 1.7 to 3.5 percent residual sugar per liter. Demi-Sec — this style is distinctly sweet or medium sweet and is rarely seen in the United States. It contains between 3.3 to 5 percent residual sugar per liter. Doux — this is the sweetest style of champagne. It is very sweet and is more of a dessert-style wine. It has a minimum of 5 percent residual sugar per liter. If you encounter a Blanc de Blancs, know that the wine is made exclusively from the Chardonnay grape and is the most delicate of champagnes and pretty expensive.

   

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