Champagne calls for the best moments in one’s life, whether it is birthdays, parties, weddings, New Year’s Eve, or more. But many of us are too picky when it comes to choosing the right bottle of Champagne. Brut and extra dry, the two most popular Champagne having unique notes, are the most preferred choices.
Champagne, in general, is a premier sparkling wine made in France region, including Vevuve, Moiet, Perignon, and Clicquot. These typically carbonated wines have bubbles that usually take the name of the area they are produced.
If you are wondering which wine is best for your next party, Brut vs extra dry, it is time to discuss their differences in detail. Without further ado, let’s add to our knowledge while learning about Brut and extra dry Champagne.
Table of Contents
- Brut Champagne or Extra Dry Champagne
- Considering the Levels of Sweetness in Champagne
- What Makes a Wine Dry?
- On What Factors does Your Experience of Dry Wine Depend?
- Brut vs Extra day: Best for?
- What to Consider While Deciding between Brut and Extra Dry Champagne?
- Brut vs Extra Dry: Food Pairings
- Recommendations for Brut vs Extra dry Champagne
- Frequently Asked Questions
- Final Thoughts
Brut Champagne or Extra Dry Champagne
How does Brut Champagne differentiate from Extra dry Champagne? The only difference lies in their sugar level. It might be difficult to believe, but Extra dry Champagne is sweeter compared to the Brut Champagne.
In French, brut translates into raw or dry. Therefore, it tastes dry because it has only 1.5 percent of sugar. If someone had never tried this wine before, he/she would not realize whether it contains sugar or not.
On the other hand, extra dry Champagne consists of about 2 percent of sugar. With a slight difference, champagne lovers can notice the difference.
Another difference is in the taste. Extra dry offers a rich taste with a sugary finish while Brut tastes crispier. Furthermore, Extra Dry wine is more a type of an after-dinner drink while Brut is a type of aperitif drink.
Neither of them, brut or extra dry, is sweeter than the other two champagnes, Doux and Demi-Sec. Nonetheless, if you are someone who likes their Champagne to be slightly drier instead of having balanced sweetness, Brut Champagne is the best option.
The choice may always change depending on the occasion or your sweetness preference.
Considering the Levels of Sweetness in Champagne
Champagnes are not the sweetest of drinks available in the market. Each one of the types differs in the amount of sweetness. Before moving to the comparison between Brut vs extra Champagne, let’s discuss their sweetness based on the champagne sweetness scale.
If you want to enjoy the sweetness in champagnes, below are your best options.
The Champagne has about 12-17 g l Residual Sugar that means about 3/4 teaspoon of sugar in a 150 ml glass. The minimum amount for extra dry is 12 g of sugar, which is the maximum for Brut Champagne.
Demi Sec or extra sec wine is comprised of sugar in abundance, where the bubbles are generally sweet. It consists of about two teaspoons of sugar per 150 ml glass and therefore, more calories.
The dry Champagne is comprised of 1 teaspoon sugar per 150 ml glass. It tastes sweeter than extra dry.
Doux is the sweetest Champagne of all the types. It consists of 50+g/l RS, which means it has more than two teaspoons of sugar per 150 ml serving.
If you like dry champagnes, which lack sweetness, below are your safest option.
Initially, the Brut has 0-12 g/l RS, meaning less than half a teaspoon of sugar per 150 ml serving.
Brut Nature comprises 0-2 g/l RS (Residual Sugar), meaning about 1/6 teaspoonful of sugar in a single 150 ml serving. Being the most driest champagnes, it is suitable for people who like dry beverages.
Extra Brut has below 1/4 teaspoon sugar in a 150 ml glass serving. Extra brut slightly drier and sourer compared to the brut one.
What Makes a Wine Dry?
It is important that you should know how sugar content impacts the taste of wine and how it is made to be dry. The yeast in the fermentation process consumes most of the sugar.
So, the sugar left after the fermentation process results in the sweetness of the wine. In other words, if the fermentation process is stopped sooner, yeast will not eat more sugar, and the wine will taste sweeter. Some people also add sugar to the fermented wine to make it sweeter.
On What Factors does Your Experience of Dry Wine Depend?
Your experience of dry wine depends on various factors. Apart from sugar levels, the alcohol levels, acidity, fruity flavor notes, and aging affects how each person experience dry wine varies accordingly.
- Aging of wine in oak. Aging improves notes like caramel and toasted oak for added sweetness.
- Low acidity levels make the dry wine taste sweet.
- Carbonation enhances the flavor.
- High sugary fruit notes make the taste sweeter, while fruits with low sugar content, such as lemon, make it taste drier.
- Higher levels of alcohol also improve sweetness.
Brut vs Extra day: Best for?
Champagne falling under the category of sparkling wines, are best to serve as dinner wines. Brut and extra dry go well with savory food. On the other hand, sweet wines like demi sec and doux taste delicious with cheese, desserts, and fruits.
Wine lovers will enjoy the dry characteristics of brut and extra dry wines. They provide intense flavors, which can be enjoyed alone and along with food.
What to Consider While Deciding between Brut and Extra Dry Champagne?
It can be tricky as well as challenging to decide between the two most popular drinks. As most of the time, people confuse Brut Champagne with being sweeter than Extra dry Champagne, when it is the opposite.
Brut can come under the category of either sparkling wine or Champagne. However, the production of the drink in the specific region of France can only be called Champagne.
If you talk about sparkling wines, there is no other option better than Brut. However, the sugar level in sparkling wines varies a lot. You cannot taste a hint of sweetness in Brut, which is quite visible in extra dry.
The acidity and sweetness levels will influence bubble formation. Both sparkling wines like Brut and extra dry Champagne have distinct carbonation and bubbles. The bubbles are more proclaimed when it contains fewer residual sugars.
You can go for Brut wines for a defined and sharper carbonation. Brut sparkling wine comes with a statement and crisp bubbles. On the other hand, there are subtle and soft bubbles in the extra dry ones.
Brut champagne boasts a fruit flavor with a hint of sourness, whereas extra dry Champagne also features a fruity flavor but with a trace of softness.
The change is experienced in tartness level and mildly sweet & mildly sour notes. Brut champagne gives crisp acidity and a dry finish, whereas the extra dry one offers more noticeable fruity notes.
Type of Sparkling Wine
If you want some fine Champagne, undoubtedly Brut is your best option. Champagne tastes luscious when it has acidic, crisp, and more defined bubbles. Prosecco is the best option for extra dry Champagne.
You can also find more fruitier sparkling wine or Champagne in both the options to enhance the sweeter notes and complement to offer a balanced fizz.
The Brut Champagne is costlier compared to the extra dry sparkling wines. If you are on a budget, you can save money and get a quality drink with extra dry Champagne.
Whether you want to choose Brut Champagne or extra dry Champagne, the occasion can make a lot of difference. If your guests prefer dry wines, Brut is your best option. However, for an appetizer and festive gatherings like New Year’s Eve, people prefer to have extra dry Champagne.
Brut vs Extra Dry: Food Pairings
The food pairings make a noticeable difference in how each Champagne will taste like. So, you need to be careful while choosing the Champagne between the two to have the best experience.
Because of the hint of sweetness, the extra dry is versatile in terms of food pairings. The smooth finish and sweetness suit best with Italian dishes like cream-based sauces, cheese, or pasta.
Additionally, the wines, when paired with delicate food like white seafood, tastes heavenly. You can also use the wine as an in-between appetizer, including fruit trays and cheese.
The lack of sweetness makes it best for savory dishes. Brut sparkling wine is often suggested to pair with heavy food such as vegetable kebabs, meat, chicken, smoked salmon, or battered fish. You can also pair the sparkling wine with food having high acidity levels like entree salad. Besides, aged or creamy hard cheese also goes well with Brut wines.
Recommendations for Brut vs Extra dry Champagne
Whether you go for brut or extra dry Champagne, you need to try and test with the best options in the market.
- Schramsberg Brut Rose 2016: You can always consider trying a Rose if Champagne is not what you like. It comes with warm cinnamon, hazelnut, and vanilla notes, along with a watermelon touch and some citrus notes of grapefruit.
- Taittinger Brut La Francaise: Featuring bright yet balanced citrus notes, the Champagne comes with a bundle of surprise is non-vintage. The Champagne is slightly expensive; however, you can also find it within a range of 30-50 dollars per bottle.
- Freixenet Extra Dry Cava Cordon Negro: Being extremely affordable, the wine comes with delicate flavors suitable for all kinds of appetizers. It’s a type of Spanish Sparkling wine, Cava which is also available in Brut style.
- La Marca Luminore Prosecco Superiore: Prosecco offers the excellent softness and acidity balance for all crowd varieties. Its distinct bubbles provide a taste of citrus, stone fruit, and white flowers. Also, the softer touch goes well with chicken, pork, and appetizer.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the healthier option: Wine or Champagne?
If you consume both drinks in moderate amounts, they are beneficial for your health. However, Champagne is a healthier option because it has a low sugar level compared to white or red wine.
Where are the Dry Wines Popular?
Both the wines are quite popular globally, especially in tropical and South American countries. That is because the climate makes it favorable to grow the ingredient fruits.
What Is the Common Misunderstanding Related To Dry Wines?
The common misunderstanding is that people believe dry wines leave a drying sensation in the mouth. The drying response is not connected with dry wines but tannins. Tannins provide the astringency and structure in wines.
Dry wines are refreshing and crisp, which contains sharper flavor notes.
Now you know what the best considerations are while choosing your first bottle of Champagne among the Brut vs extra dry category. Make sure that you do not forget to request shrimps, fruit dessert, sweet bread, or some triple cream cheese along with your Champagne.
Go on and lift your mood with a fine bottle of Champagne from France of your choice.