Previous Article: Part 1 – Types of Sparkling Wine


When buying sparkling wine, you may notice that the bottle comes labeled with a word like “brut,” “dry” or something of that nature. These words are referring to the dryness level of the particular bottle you are buying. This is measured by the amount of residual sugar (RS) in grams per litre (g/L) of wine. Because the terminology can be a bit confusing, we have explained the four main levels of dryness for you below and what they pair best with.


Extra Brut (0-6 g/L RS)

Extra brut is the driest form of sparkling wine with zero to six grams per liter of residual sugar. This means that during the fermentation process the yeast has eaten most, if not all of the sugar. Cava is a popular type of wine that can come in this form.

Extra Brut Sparkling Wines pair well with:

  • French fries
  • Oysters
  • Sashimi


Brut (0-12 g/L RS)

This is the most popular form of sparkling wine because it is dry with just a hint of sweetness; it has less than 12 grams per litre of residual sugar. Champagne is a sparkling wine that often comes in the brut variety.

Brut Champagne pairs best with foods like:

  • A cheese plate
  • Scallops
  • Mushroom risotto


Extra Dry (12-17 g/L RS)

While this bubbly drink is dry, it is not as dry as the two before it. It contains a slight sweetness left over from the fermentation process. When drinking this, do not expect a sugary sweet taste, but just hint of sweetness compared to the two above.

Prosecco is a type of extra dry sparkling wine that pairs best with appetizers like:

  • A charcuterie plate
  • Deviled eggs
  • Asparagus


Demi-Sec (32-50 g/L RS)

This is considered a sweet variety of sparkling wine that one would often drink with dessert. There is a noticeable amount of sweetness to the taste of this wine and it can have up to 50 grams per liter of residual sugar. Champagne can be made in this variety though it is not common.

Sweeter style Demi-sec sparkling wines pair best with foods like:

  • Strawberries
  • Dark chocolate
  • Cheesecake


Sparkling Wine Dryness Levels (in grams per liter)


Image Source:



(sparkling wine dryness scale Shared with permission from FTD)
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Next: Part 3 — Types of Sparkling Wine Glasses