How to decipher bubbly bottle labels

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7 bubblies to celebrate every occasion

Simply trying to decode the terms on the bubbly bottles is enough to drive you to drink.

Whether you like yours bone dry or sweet, here’s an easy guide to the different styles.

BRUT NATURE
(0–3 g residual sugar per litre)
This is as dry as a sparkling wine can get without being overpowered by acidity.

EXTRA BRUT
(0–6 g residual sugar per litre)
Don’t let the name fool you – it’s actually not quite as dry as Brut Nature.

BRUT
(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.

DRY/SEC
(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.

DOUX
(50 g residual sugar)
As sweet as sparkling wine gets. Dessert in a glass.

Related reading: the 9 rules of bubbly.

TASTE Article by: TASTE

The TASTE team is a happy bunch of keen cooks and writers, always on the look out for the next food trend or the next piece of cake.

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