By Kori ~ December 22nd, 2010.
More than any other time of year, this is the season for bubbly. There are just so many opportunities to enjoy sparkling wines during the holidays. Whether you are looking for an aperitif to enjoy before Christmas dinner, celebrating your team’s big win in a bowl game, or ringing in the New Year, a good bubbly hits the spot.
Right now, your local grocery stores, wine shops, and liquor stores all have prominent displays of sparkling wines to enjoy for the many upcoming celebrations. However, the terminology used on sparkling wines can be confusing. For example, you might see a bottle labeled Extra Dry and wrongfully assume that the sparkling wine was literally extra dry, drier than what would normally be considered dry. But in fact, Extra Dry is actually sweeter than Brut (the dry standard for sparkling wines).
So, here’s a list of traditional sparkling wine terms to understand before you head to the store this holiday season:
- Brut nature, sans dosage — no sugar added
- Extra brut — extremely dry (less than 0.6 percent sugar)
- Brut — dry, the most common style (less than 1.5 percent sugar)
- Extra dry, extra sec — off-dry (1.2-2.0 percent sugar)
- Sec — slightly sweet (1.7-3.5 percent sugar)
- Demi-sec — sweet (3.5-5.0 percent sugar)
- Doux — very sweet (more than 5.0 percent sugar)
For specific suggestions of sparkling wines to try, check out these recent posts:
Tasting Group: Champagne
Wine Tasting Dinner: Sparkling Wine for the Holidays
Filed under: General Wine Information, Sparkling Wine