Sugar and Champagne: Understanding Dosage



Understanding Dosage

What is dosage?

Dosage, pronounced /do-zaaa-ge/ refers to the amount of sugar present in your champagne, in grams per liter. The higher the dosage, the sweeter the champagne. 

Dosage is decided by the Head Winemaker after disgorgement: after years of ageing in the cellars, the bottle will be quickly opened to remove all deposits and add the 'liqueur de dosage', a mixture of pure cane sugar and reserve wine. This is the 'dosage'. The quantity of residual sugar in the bottled wine (the remaining natural sugar from the grapes, and any sugar that is added) determines the type of champagne (see below).

Brut Champagne

Probably one of the most used terms when talking about champagne is the word 'brut'. If it's brut champagne, it must be good champagne, right?

'Brut' translates into 'dry' and 'raw' in French, which is why a Brut Champagne refers to a dry champagne. Easy!

Let's get technical

Historically, champagne used to be a sweet drink, until Madame Pommery did a crazy thing and considerable reduced the amount of added sugar when making champagne. The result? Brut Champagne was invented, in 1874. We know who to thank for the champagne we drink now!

  • Champagne Doux more than 50 grams of sugar per litre
  • Demi-sec 32-50 g/L
  • Sec 17-32 g/L
  • Extra Dry 12-17 g/L
  • Brut Champagne less 12g/L 
  • Extra-Brut less 6g/L
  • Brut Nature less 3g/L
 

Our top champagne picks

Champagne Demi-Sec - A. Margaine Demi Sec $84.95

Brut Champagne - Louis Roederer Premier Cru $79.95

Extra Brut - Drappier Clarevallis $99.95

Brut Nature - Benoit Lahaye Brut Nature $109.95