Sparkling Wine Sweetness Levels


Are you interested in trying sparkling wine sweetness levels? With so many different types of sparkling wine, from extra dry to doux, deciding which variety best suits your taste preferences can take time. Learning about the sweetness levels of different sparkling wines is a great first step toward finding that perfect bottle or box! This topic will discuss prominent Champagne and sparkling wines available on the market and their respective sugar content levels. Besides, we want to provide information on each type’s characteristics and aromas to help you make an informed selection. Read on to find out more about sweetness levels in bubbly beverages.

Sparkling Wine Sweetness Levels

  • Brut Nature – Dry: 0-3g/L sugar
  • Extra Brut – Extra-Dry: 0-6g/L sugar 
  • Brut – Dry: 0-12g/L sugar
  • Extra Sec – Off-Dry: 12-17g/L sugar 
  • Sec – Medium-Dry: 17–32 g/L sugar 
  • Demi-Sec – Medium-Sweet: 32–50 g/L sugar 
  • Doux – Sweet: 50+ g/L sugar  


When it comes to sweetness, the words “brut” and “extra brut” refer to dry sparkling wines with low levels of residual sugar. Brut Nature and Extra Brut are the driest, with 0-3g/L and 0-6g/L sugar, respectively. Brut is the most common sparkling wine sweetness level, containing 0-12g/L of sugar, while Extra Sec is moderately sweet with 12-17g/L. Sec contains 17-32g/L of sugar, making it medium-dry. Demi-Sec has more sugar at 32-50g/L and is classified as medium-sweet. Lastly, Doux is considered sweet with sugar levels of 50g/L or more.

Adding sweetness to sparkling wines is to “round out” the flavor. Over time, producers realized that people’s sweetness preferences varied, which is why different sweetness levels were created. As you taste more sparkling wines, you’ll become familiar with the different styles and find your favorite. 

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Where does Champagne’s sweetness come from?

The term “Brut” refers to the level of sweetness in sparkling wine and is achieved by adding grape must or sugar before corking the bottle, known as “liqueur expedition.” The added sweetness is meant to balance the sourness of the wine, much like adding sugar to coffee to round out the flavor. Different producers have preferred sweetness levels that suit their desired taste profile.

When choosing the best sparkling wine for you, understanding the different sweetness levels is a good place to start. Whether you prefer your bubbly to be extra dry, dry, off-dry, or sweet – there is a sparkling wine for everyone.

How much sugar is in Champagne compared to other drinks?

When comparing sugar content in drinks, Champagne has one of the lowest sugar levels out of many beverages. For example, a can of soda typically contains up to 40g/L of sugar, while most Champagnes contain 12g/L or less. However, it’s important to note that sweetness levels vary between brands and types of sparkling wines, so be sure to check the label for sugar content. 

Sugar levels in grams:
  • Vodka & Soda: 0g/L
  • Champagne Brut Nature: 0-3g/L
  • Champagne Extra Brut: 0-6g/L
  • Orange Juice: 20g/L
  • Gin & Tonic: 14g/L
  • Starbucks 2% Milk Grande Latte: 17g/L
  • Champagne Extra Sec: 12-17g/L
  • Champagne Sec: 17-32g/L
  • Apple Juice: 27g/L
  • Cola: 35g/L
  • Jack & Coke: 33g/L
  • Champagne Demi-Sec: 32-50g/L

How come Champagne gives me a headache?

You don’t feel thirsty after drinking Champagne because it’s carbonated, which prevents you from feeling thirsty. However, the bubbles can be a bit harsh and irritate your stomach. Another potential reason for headaches is that some people are sensitive to sulfites, which are used in producing sparkling wines. If you get a headache after enjoying Champagne, try drinking sparkling wines with lower sulfite levels or opt for a non-alcoholic alternative. 

You drink more: The higher sugar content in some sparkling wines can make you drink faster without realizing it. Try to remember to take your time and savor the flavor. It’s important to stay hydrated while drinking alcohol and enjoy it responsibly. 

You drink later: Sparkling wine doesn’t have to be served cold, but some prefer chilled bubbly on a warm summer day. Make sure not to keep sparkling wine stored in the refrigerator or cooler for too long, as this can affect its taste and quality. 

Types of Grapes Used to Produce Sweet Sparkling Wines

Sweet sparkling wines can be made from various grape varieties, usually those with high levels of natural sugar. Champagne is typically made with Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, and Pinot Meunier grapes, while other sweet sparkling wines often use Muscat or Moscato grapes. Sweetness can also be achieved by adding sugar or liqueur expedition to a dry sparkling wine.

Tips on Choosing a Sweet Sparkling Wine

When choosing a sweet sparkling wine, you should consider the sweetness level. Sparkling wines can range from Brut (dry) to Doux (sweet), each with a unique flavor profile. Consider your preferences and the occasion for which you select a bottle of bubbly before making your decision. Additionally, it can be helpful to read tasting notes and reviews from experts or experienced drinkers before purchasing.

Finally, consider the food you will serve alongside your sweet sparkling wine. Sweet sparkling wines pair well with desserts or fruit-based dishes, while dryer varieties are better for savory items like cheeses and charcuterie.


Understanding the sweetness levels of sparkling wines can help you select the best bubbly for any occasion. Sweet sparkling wines range from dry to sweet and are made with different varieties of grapes or sugar additions. Consider your preferences, occasion, and food pairings before deciding which bottle of bubbly is best for you. After all, I hope the above information has provided all you need. Leave a comment below if you have any other questions!


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