Looking for a Sweet Champagne Can Be a Bit Confusing

Champagne is a great drink. It's most often consumed in times of celebration. Champagne and joy naturally go together. But "Champagne" is often misunderstood. And splurging on a $100 bottle may result in disappointment.

First, let's take a step back. Champagne is a sparkling wine that is produced in the relatively small region of Champagne in France. Only those sparkling wines produced in this region are allowed to be labeled as 'Champagne.' 

There are also multiple styles of Champagne produced. It is most common to find Brut, Dry and Extra Dry Champagnes on store shelves.  These styles have a direct correlation with the amount of residual sugar (RS) in them. For those seeking a sweet Champagne, you're going to want to look for 'Dry' Champagne. This is a bit confusing since a dry wine typically has little or no residual sugar and will have no sweetness to it. But, in Champagnes, 'Dry' means that there can be 17% to 35% RS and be quite sweet on your tongue.

Here are all the styles of Champagne that are produced:

  • Extra Brut: 0-6% RS
  • Brut: 0-15% RS
  • Extra Dry: 12-20% RS
  • Dry: 17-35% RS
  • Demi Sec: 35-50% RS
  • Doux: Greater than 50% RS

So if you are looking for a sweet Champagne, look for the 'Dry,' 'Demi Sec,' or 'Doux' designations on the label.

Here's to raising a glass of Champagne at your next joyous occasion. Cheers!