Champagne 101: Don’t Let the Brut Phase You

When faced with an enormous array of Champagnes on offer, it can be confusing to pick the right one for you and your guests. The last thing you want is to find yourself with an expensive bottle of undrinkable filth, just when you’re trying to make a lavish gesture at a social gathering. Avoid the problem by understanding the labeling of Champagne so that you match your expectations with what is actually in the bottle.

Champagne

Champagne

Brut Zero/Nature

Zero or Nature Bruts are not for the fainthearted. The Champagne contains no added sugar, so the experience is dry–make that arid. Unless you want to cut the conversation dead in its tracks as each of your guests loses the ability to speak from a serious case of dry tongue, a sweeter bottle of Champagne is better for a standard social event. Zero and Nature Bruts are perfect for a Champagne connoisseur, but not for a “newbie.”

Brut

With a touch of added sugar, a Brut Champagne offers extreme dryness with a slight excitation of your sweet taste buds. Brut only contains up to 1.5-percent added sugar, so dryness is the dominant experience. A Brut Champagne suits a sophisticated palate and makes a great aperitif if you have gourmet diners as guests.

Champagne

Champagne

Brut Extra Dry

Contrary to what the label might suggest, Brut Extra Dry is sweeter than a standard Brut. Containing 1.5-to-2.5-percent added sugar, Brut Extra Dry is a good match for a mixed group of folks with both experienced and unsophisticated palates. The predominant taste is still dry, so it won’t offend a connoisseur, but it gently introduces a novice to the distinctive Champagne taste.

Sec

Sec-labeled Champagne comes in at 2-to-4-percent sugar content, so it’s the one to offer guests whose palates are not accustomed to the nuances of fine wine and dining. Being slightly sweet in taste, the dryness of Champagne is dulled to provide a balanced experience that will be appreciated by your guests.

Demi Sec

With 4-to-6-percent added sugar, Demi Sec Champagne is easy to drink. Suitable for all occasions when you want fizz, fun and frivolity, Demi Sec is the way to go. Make sure you keep an eye on your guests because Demi Sec is likely to be gulped rather than sipped, and you don’t want your guests to be drunk before your evening has really started.

Doux

At over 6-percent added sugar, Doux Champagne suits an after-dinner occasion to complement or prolong the sweetness of your dessert. Making it perfect for romantic moments to toast a special occasion or an acceptance to a proposal of marriage, Doux Champagne offers a memory of lingering sweetness.

Whatever the occasion, choosing the right Champagne for your guests is easy, once you understand the labeling. Providing Champagne to complement your social gathering gives you the opportunity to be an exceptional host that your guests will remember and appreciate.

 

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