What Exactly is Brut Champagne?

brut champagne

10 Nov What Exactly is Brut Champagne?

If you are a wine lover, you must have heard of Brut Champagne; but is there any difference between regular champagne and this?

Brut Champagne is very dry to the taste, and has low levels of sugar. However, this wasn’t always the case. There was a time when considerable amounts of sugar used to be added to the Champagne post the second fermentation. This was done to adjust the sweetness levels to match the sweet tooth that people had in that day and age.

It was only in the mid-1800s that Perrier-Jouët, the Epernay-based producer decided to produce Champagne without any added sugar. But this dry style of Champagne had a tongue-drying, crisp character and wasn’t quick to catch on. Three decades down the line Pommery the producer of Reims would give this brut-styled Champagne another go with much greater success in the market.

In the modern day, Brut Champagne is produced in a wide variety of styles ranging from incredibly dry to extremely sweet; and the label indicators make mention of what’s inside with specific references such as “sec”, “brut” and “extra brut” etc.

Different Brut champagne styles to be aware about

  • Extra Brut – This Champagne is made with low sugar levels, resulting in the bone-dry style that has only 0-6 grams of sugar/litre.
  • Brut – In French, this means “dry, unrefined and raw”; the Brut Champagne style tastes pretty dry on the palate as its sugar levels are less than 15 grams/litre.
  • Extra Dry – While this name seems to indicate that this particular Champagne style would taste even drier than the standard Brut Champagne, that isn’t always the case. Extra Dry is generally a little sweeter than the latter and its sugar levels lie in the range of 12-20 grams of sugar/litre.
  • Sec – This is French for “lean or dry” though Sec Champagnes often highlight a sweetish taste with sugar levels being in the 17-35 gram per/litre range.
  • Demi-sec – This literally means semi-sweet or half-dry in its tasting nature; these styles of Champagne have around 33-50 grams of sugar/ litre.
  • Doux – Doux means “Sweet” in French, which indicates that this style of Champagne is quite sweet (and pretty rare) and has 50 grams or more sugar/litre ; it can easily be classified as a dessert wine.

Brut champagne – flavours and food pairings

While the Brut Champagne style is dry on the palate, its flavouring and aromas lean towards citrus, apple, and pear, and can move towards apricot & peach in the warmer vintages. The fuller-bodied styles, creamy textures, and classic fresh-baked bread aromas, are a direct influence of the spent yeast that’s used during the 2nd fermentation.

The Brut Champagne is extremely versatile and pairs very well with exotic butter-sauce based sea foods and caviar as well as salty flavoured fare. The acidic nature of the Champagne cuts through fats and oils with distinctive palate precision; this makes dishes such as smoked salmon, savoury quiches and fried potatoes no less than a treat.

Brut Champagne producers

Some of the Brut Champagne producers you should give a try include Bollinger, Pol Roger, Pommery, Piper-Heidsieck, Laurent-Perrier, Veuve Clicquot, Charles Heidsieck, Louis Roederer, Henriot, Taittinger, Mumm, Nicolas Feuillatte, Billecart-Salmon, Dom Perignon, Perrier-Jouët, Cristal and Moet & Chandon and Krug.

For any more information about Brut Champagne how best to store it or custom wine cellar design and installation, you can call Signature Cellars on 02 9340 7515 or use this contact form to get in touch with us. We’ll be pleased to assist you and provide custom solutions that match your requirements.

Thanks for reading,
Neil Smallman
Signature Cellars
1300 570 636

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