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Brut vs Extra Dry Champagne – What is the difference?

To the uninitiated, it might seem like all types of sparkling wines are the same. But upon closer inspection, they really do vary a lot in terms of flavor, sweetness, acidity, and mouthfeel. Let’s examine two of the most popular types of champagne brut vs extra dry.

Comparing brut and extra dry champagne, brut Champagne is very dry with pronounced acidity, perfect for those who prefer a drier taste. Extra dry Champagne is slightly sweeter, offering a balance of sweetness and acidity.

Both have their pros and cons, allowing wine enthusiasts to choose based on personal preference and the desired level of sweetness in the sparkling wine.

This blog post will compare the nuances of brut and extra dry champagnes, exploring their flavor profiles, production methods, sweetness levels on the champagne scale, and how sparkling wine is made in different regions.

We’ll explore what makes brut champagnes unique and how they differ from their extra dry counterparts in terms of flavor profile and production methods. Additionally, we’ll discuss which type is sweeter on the champagne sweetness scale and explain how sparkling wine is made in various regions around the world.

Finally, you’ll learn about ideal food pairings for each type of champagne as well as recommendations for choosing between brut or extra dry when making mimosas or other cocktails. By gaining a deeper understanding of champagne brut vs extra dry, you’ll be better equipped to select the perfect bottle for any occasion.

Table of Contents:

brut vs extra dry champagne lg

What is Brut Champagne?

Brut Champagne is a type of sparkling wine made using the traditional method, or methode champenoise. It is made from a blend of grapes, including Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier. The level of sweetness in brut champagne is determined by the amount of sugar added during the second fermentation process.

Sweetness Levels in Brut Champagne

The term “brut” means dry in French, which indicates that this type of champagne has little to no residual sugar. According to the champagne sweetness scale, brut champagnes contain between 0-12 grams per liter (g/L) of sugar. This type of champagne is among the least sweet available.

Different Types within Brut Category

  • Extra Brut: With less than 6 g/L residual sugar, extra brut champagnes are even drier than standard brut wines.
  • Brut Nature: Also known as zero dosage or non-dosage, these wines have no added sugar and typically contain less than 3 g/L residual sugar after secondary fermentation.
  • Brut Sauvage: This style has minimal (

In general, those who prefer a dry wine with high acidity and minimal sweetness will enjoy brut champagne. It is often served in champagne flutes to preserve the bubbles and enhance the tasting experience.

Brut Champagne is a dry, sparkling wine that has very low levels of sugar. Its name comes from the French word for “raw” or “unrefined.” Moving on to the next heading, let’s explore what Extra Dry Champagne is and how it differs from Brut Champagne.

What is Extra Dry Champagne?

Extra dry champagne is a type of sparkling wine that has slightly more sugar than brut champagne. It typically contains between 12 and 17 grams of sugar per liter, compared to 1-12 grams for brut champagne. This makes it slightly sweeter than brut champagne but still considered a dry wine.

The term “extra dry” can be misleading, as many people assume it means the driest option available. However, in the world of champagnes and sparkling wines, extra dry actually falls in the middle range on the sweetness scale. The French word “sec” translates to “dry,” so you may also see this style labeled as “extra sec” or simply “dry.”

Despite its hint of sweetness, extra dry champagne remains a popular choice for those who enjoy a well-balanced flavor profile without being overly sweet or too tart. It’s versatile enough to pair with various dishes and can even stand up against some dessert options.

  • Main Difference: Extra dry has more residual sugar than brut (12-17 g/L vs. 1-12 g/L).
  • Sweetness Level: Slightly sweeter than brut but still considered a relatively ‘dry’ wine.
  • Taste Profile: Well-balanced with hints of sweetness; not overly sweet nor too tart.

If you’re looking for an alternative to traditional brut champagnes that offers just a touch more sweetness while still maintaining a dry and crisp profile, extra dry champagne may be the perfect option for your next celebration or special occasion.

Extra Dry Champagne is a type of sparkling wine that has slightly higher sugar content than Brut Champagne, making it sweeter and more accessible to many palates.

Confused about all the different types of wines?

Luckily in a recent article, I lay all of them out in a handy, easy-to-read wine chart. I break down flavor profiles, acidity, sweetness/dryness, and everything you need to know to help determine the best ones to buy for your preferences.

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To comprehend the distinctions between these two varieties of sparkling wine, let’s delve into what makes them distinct.

What are the Main Differences Between Brut and Extra Dry Champagne?

The main difference between brut and extra dry champagne lies in their sweetness levels. Brut champagne has less sugar than extra dry, making it drier and less sweet on the palate. On the other hand, extra dry champagne has more sugar than brut, making it slightly sweeter on the palate.

To better understand these differences, let’s take a closer look at how sweetness is measured in champagnes:

  • Brut Nature: Also known as “zero dosage” or “brut sauvage,” this type of champagne contains no added sugar during secondary fermentation. It typically has fewer than 3 grams of residual sugar per liter.
  • Extra Brut: This style of champagne contains very little added sugar (0 to 6 grams per liter) during secondary fermentation.
  • Brut: With an allowed range of up to 12 grams of residual sugar per liter, brut is considered a popular choice for those who prefer a drier wine.
  • Extra Dry (or Extra Sec): Despite its name suggesting otherwise, extra dry champagnes have more residual sugars compared to brut champagnes – usually ranging from around 12 to 17 grams per liter.

In addition to sweetness levels, another key factor that sets apart different types of champagnes is their grape composition. While both brut and extra-dry styles can be made from a blend of Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, and Pinot Meunier grapes, the specific proportions used can vary from one producer to another.

The main differences between Brut and Extra Dry Champagne are the sugar content, taste profile, and production method. Though both types of champagne can be appreciated in different contexts, it is worth noting.

Moving on from this topic let us now explore which one is sweeter – Brut or Extra Dry Champagne?

Which is Sweeter – Brut or Extra Dry Champagne?

The Champagne sweetness scale ranges from Extra Brut to Doux, with Doux being the sweetest. The scale is based on the amount of sugar present in the wine. However, there are also specific ranges of sugar levels allowed for each category, which can make it somewhat confusing when trying to determine which type of champagne is sweeter.

To help clarify this confusion, here’s a breakdown of the different categories and their corresponding sugar levels:

  • Extra Brut: 0-6 grams per liter (g/L) of sugar
  • Brut: up to 12 g/L
  • Extra Dry/Extra Sec: between 12 and 17 g/L
  • Dry/Sec: between 17 and 32 g/L

In terms of sweetness level comparison, you could have one Brut Champagne with no added sugar while another contains up to 12 grams per liter. This means that some brut champagnes may be drier than others within its own category.

If we compare brut and extra dry Champagne directly though, since an extra dry Champagne typically has more residual sugars (between 12 and 17 g/L) than brut Champagne (up to 12 g/L), it can be said that extra dry champagnes are slightly sweeter than brut champagnes. However, the difference in sweetness is not always noticeable to everyone.

It’s important to note that there are other categories of champagne that are even drier than brut, such as Brut Nature or Ultra Brut, which have no added sugar. On the other hand, there are also sweeter sparkling wines that are not considered champagne, such as Asti or Moscato d’Asti.

When it comes to choosing the perfect bottle of champagne, it ultimately comes down to personal preference. Some people prefer brut champagne for its dryness, while others may prefer extra dry Champagne for its slightly noticeable sweetness. It’s also worth exploring different champagne regions and grape varieties, such as Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, and Pinot Meunier, to find the perfect bottle for your taste.

When it comes to Champagne, the sweeter taste of extra dry can be more appealing than brut.

However, understanding how each type is made will give you a better appreciation for their differences and help you decide which one best suits your palate.

Now let’s delve into the manufacturing of champagne and sparkling wines to gain a better understanding of their distinctions, aiding in the selection of one that best fits your preferences.

How Is Champagne and Sparkling Wine Made?

There are three different methods used to make Champagne and sparkling wine, each contributing to the unique characteristics of these celebratory beverages. The most time-consuming and traditional process is known as the methode champenoise.

In this method, winemakers create bubbles in the wine during its second fermentation. This requires handling every bottle multiple times, ensuring that yeast consumes sugar within the bottle to produce carbon dioxide – which ultimately creates those delightful bubbles we all love.

  • Primary Fermentation: Grapes are harvested from vineyards in the Champagne region of France, then pressed and fermented into a still wine called “base wine.”
  • Blending: Base wines made from different grape varieties (such as Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, or Pinot Meunier) are blended together by skilled winemakers. Sometimes reserve wines from previous years are added for consistency.
  • Secondary Fermentation: A mixture of sugar and yeast is added to each bottle before it’s sealed with a temporary cap. As yeast consumes sugar inside the bottles over several weeks or months, carbon dioxide gas forms – creating pressure that dissolves CO2.

The result? A fizzy delight.

But remember: not all sparkling wines can be called “Champagne.” Only those produced using this traditional method within specific regions in France can claim that prestigious title. Other popular sparkling wines, like Prosecco and Cava, have their own unique production methods and characteristics.

The intricate process of fermentation, blending, aging, and bottling is what creates champagne and sparkling wines.

This knowledge can help you to better understand the difference between brut and extra dry champagne when it comes to choosing food pairings for each type.

What Are the Best Food Pairings for Brut and Extra Dry Champagne?

When it comes to pairing food with champagne, both brut and extra dry champagnes offer a range of delicious options. Their acidity and effervescence make them versatile companions for various dishes.

Brut Champagne

Brut champagne, known for its high acidity and dry taste, is perfect for cutting through rich flavors in foods such as:

  • Buttery seafood dishes (e.g., lobster)
  • Cheesy dishes like macaroni & cheese or fondue
  • Pasta with creamy sauces
  • Risotto

In addition to these savory pairings, brut champagne also works well in bubbly cocktails and punches.

Extra Dry Champagne

Slightly sweeter than brut, extra dry champagne pairs wonderfully with lighter fare. Consider serving it alongside:

  • Fresh fruit platters or fruit-based desserts (e.g., tarts)
  • Light seafood dishes (e.g., shrimp cocktail)
  • Salads with vinaigrette dressing
  • Sushi or sashimi

While extra dry champagne has noticeable sweetness, it still falls on the drier end of the champagne sweetness scale.

If you prefer brut champagne, you may also enjoy extra brut or brut nature sparkling wines, which have even less residual sugar. These wines are made with minimal dosage (sugar added after secondary fermentation) and are the driest of all sparkling wines.

When it comes to champagne, brut means “raw” or “unrefined” in French. It refers to the fact that brut champagne has not been sweetened with extra sugar. The term “brut” can also be used to describe other dry wines, both white and red, that have little to no residual sugar.

Champagne is made from a blend of base wine, typically made from Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, and Pinot Meunier grapes, and undergoes secondary fermentation in the bottle.

This process creates the bubbles and gives champagne its signature effervescence. Champagne can only be called “champagne” if it comes from the Champagne region of France, which is divided into several sub-regions known for their unique terroir.

Whether you prefer brut or extra dry champagne, there is a perfect bottle out there to complement your meal or celebration.

When pairing food with Champagne, it is important to consider the flavor profiles of both brut and extra dry champagnes. When combining food with Champagne, both brut and extra dry varieties can bring out distinct tastes in a dish.

Now let’s take a look at what type of Champagne is best for mimosas – brut or extra dry?

What is Better for Mimosas – Brut or Extra Dry Champagne?

If you’re planning a brunch and want to serve the perfect mimosa, choosing between brut and extra dry champagne can be confusing. The key lies in understanding your personal preference for sweetness levels.

Brut champagne, with its low sugar content, offers a crisp and refreshing taste that complements the natural sweetness of orange juice. If you prefer mimosas on the drier side, brut would be an excellent choice. A popular option among brut champagnes is Dom Perignon.

On the other hand, if you enjoy your mimosas slightly sweeter, opt for extra dry Champagne.

Despite its name suggesting otherwise, it contains more sugar than brut varieties. This added hint of sweetness pairs well with fruity juices like orange or pineapple. One delicious example of extra-dry champagne is Moet Imperial.

  • Note: Remember that “dry” does not mean less sweet – it’s actually sweeter than “brut.”
  • TIP: You can also experiment with Prosecco (an Italian sparkling wine) as an alternative to traditional French champagnes.

In addition to selecting the right type of bubbly based on your desired level of sweetness, consider offering guests a variety of fresh fruit garnishes such as strawberries or raspberries to enhance their mimosa experience further.

To sum up: Choose brut champagne if you prefer drier mimosas, and extra dry champagne if you enjoy a hint of sweetness.

Don’t forget to have fun experimenting with different fruit juices, garnishes, and even champagne cocktail recipes for the ultimate brunch experience.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is Brut Champagne the Same as Extra Brut?

No, Brut Champagne and Extra Brut are not the same. While both are considered dry champagnes, Extra Brut contains even less residual sugar than regular brut.

Should Champagne be Extra Dry?

There’s no definitive answer as it depends on personal preferences and occasion. Some people prefer their champagne to be extra dry due to its subtle sweetness and balanced acidity; however, others may enjoy different levels of sweetness like demi-sec or sec champagnes.

Is Extra Brut Drier than Brut?

Yes, Extra Brut is indeed drier than regular Brut champagne. With lower residual sugar content, it has a more pronounced dryness and crispness.

When it comes to the champagne sweetness scale, Extra Brut is at the driest end, followed by Brut, Extra Dry, Sec, Demi-Sec, and Doux.

Brut means “raw” or “unrefined” in French, and it refers to the base wine that has undergone secondary fermentation in the bottle. Brut Champagne is made from a blend of white wine grapes, including Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, and Pinot Meunier, from the Champagne region in France.

Extra Dry champagnes have a noticeable sweetness that makes them a popular choice for those who prefer a slightly sweeter taste. They are made from the same blend of grapes as Brut Champagne but with a higher dosage of sugar added after the secondary fermentation.

Other types of sparkling wines include Brut Nature, which has no added sugar, and Sec, which is sweeter than Demi-Sec. The perfect bottle of champagne depends on your personal taste and the occasion.

Whether you prefer Brut or Extra Dry, there’s a Champagne out there for everyone.


After reading this post, you should now have a better understanding of the differences between champagne brut and extra dry.

While both are types of sparkling wine, they differ in sweetness levels and food pairings. Brut is drier and pairs well with seafood and cheese, while extra dry has a touch more sweetness and complements spicy dishes.

Planning on serving wine or sparkling wine to guests who don’t normally drink wine?

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Here are a few quick takeaways:

  • Brut Champagne is drier than Extra Dry Champagne.
  • The main difference between Brut and Extra Dry Champagne is their level of sweetness.
  • Champagne can be paired with various foods depending on its type.
  • The Grocery Store Guy offers great deals on all kinds of wines including champagne brut vs extra dry!

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