Whether you like yours bone dry or sweet, here’s an easy guide to the different styles.
(0–3 g residual sugar per litre)
This is as dry as a sparkling wine can get without being overpowered by acidity.
(0–6 g residual sugar per litre)
Don’t let the name fool you – it’s actually not quite as dry as Brut Nature.
(0–12 g residual sugar per litre)
The sugar maintains balance but doesn’t sweeten the sparkling wine. Done well, it’s sublime.
EXTRA DRY/ EXTRA SEC
(12–17 g residual sugar per litre)
Another confusing term because we’re moving into sweeter territory here. But it’s not intense – there’s a lovely fruity character to these wines.
(17–32 g residual sugar per litre)
This works out to about one teaspoon of sugar per glass.
DEMI SEC/SEMI SECO
(32–50 g residual sugar per litre)
These wines are wellbalanced with a fruity sweetness similar to stone fruit, often with a hint of citrus.
(50 g residual sugar)
As sweet as sparkling wine gets. Dessert in a glass.
Related reading: the 9 rules of bubbly.