Brut is the basic type of champagne and today the most popular one. This wasn’t always the case. In the 18th century people preferred the Demi-Sec.
The law dictates how much sugar the different types of champagne may contain:
zero dosage: contains only natural sugars from the grapes
Extra-Brut : up to 6 grams of sugar per litre
Brut: up to 15 grams of sugar per litre
Sec: up to 35 grams of sugar per litre
Demi-Sec: between 35 and 50 grams of sugar per litre
A Brut champagne from one producer can taste drier than a Brut from another producer, some Demi-Sec champagnes are sweeter than others. The right amount of sugar is very important for creating a typical house brand.
Only a few producers make a champagne with zero dosage. That type of champagne is the perfect companion for a tasty, raw oyster.
Just try it!
Sec means dry, but in champagne-terms a Sec is slightly sweeter than a Brut. Though the name suggests differently, a Demi-Sec is sweeter than a Sec.
Over the years the Sec lost popularity, even with producers. It seems that between the Demi-Sec and the very popular Brut, there’s no room for a Sec. This is a shame, for the Sec is somewhat sweeter (without tasting of sugar) and fuller than the Brut, which makes it the perfect companion for our “daily” meals.
Champagne used to be much sweeter than today. The “Doux”, even sweeter than the Demi-Sec, was the favourite drink of the Russian Tsars. Now we drink champagne as an aperitif, but the Tsars drank it with desert, hence the high sugar level.