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Sparkling Wine: How Sweet or Dry is Your Favorite?

Updated on December 26, 2011

How sweet or dry is sparkling wine?

Time to celebrate and break out the bubbly? But wait! You don't know your brut from your demi-sec? You're just planning to drink as much as possible?

The labels on a bottle of sparkling wine will let you know whether you are getting a dry wine, a very sweet wine or something tasty in-between.

Below is a list of the sweetness range for sparkling wines to help you decide if you want to go very sweet or very dry.

Look for these labels the next time you shop:

But first - a definition - Sparkling wine is wine with a significant amount of carbon dioxide which makes it fizzy and bubbly. Carbon dioxide may come about as a result of the natural fermentation process in the bottle, in a large tank, or it may be injected. Sparkling wine is most often white or rose. There are, however, some reds.

The classic example of a fine sparkling wine is Champagne, from the Champagne wine region in France.

Sparkling wines ranging from the sweetest to the driest:

Sweet or Demi-sec - If the label reads Sweet or Demi-sec, they both mean the same thing. This sweet sparkling wine is made from grapes that contain the most sugar. Recommended as a dessert wine, the demi-sec goes well with lightly sweet desserts like berries or pound cake.

Dry or Sec - These sparkling wine labels also mean the same thing. "Sec" means "dry" in French. This type of dry sparkling wine is often recommended for mixing and making cocktails.

Extra Dry - Sparkling wines labeled Extra Dry are just a bit sweeter than wines labeled Brut. This extra dry sparkling wine works well as an aperitif and is often enjoyed when served with light appetizers.

Brut - The most popular sparkling wine, the Brut label means there is little or no sweetness. This sparkling wine goes well with most foods.

Extra Brut - An Extra Brut label means the sparkling wine is even drier than Brut.


For more beverage ideas, such as beer made with tea, and information about boxed wines, see the links below:

Sparkling  Wine
Sparkling Wine


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    • Veronica Allen profile image

      Veronica Allen 

      7 years ago from Georgia

      Thanks for this rundown...I had no idea what the difference was. Rated it up!

    • akirchner profile image

      Audrey Kirchner 

      7 years ago from Washington

      I love Brut too but there are some others that I must try now!

    • prasetio30 profile image


      7 years ago from malang-indonesia

      Good information, my friend. I never try drink wine before. Thanks for share with us. Take care!


    • BkCreative profile image


      7 years ago from Brooklyn, New York City

      Got it - I like knowing what the labels mean - but just never took the time to find out. Thanks for the list and I do like Brut too - no wonder it is so popular. I guess the bubbly sweet tastes too much like soda.

      Rated up!

    • CountryCityWoman profile image


      7 years ago from From New York City to North Carolina

      Oh good, because I really did know one label from another but do like the taste of Brut while many I know prefer a sweet. I feel soooo much more knowledgeable and sophisticated. Yay! Thanks a lot and rated up!


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