There are hundreds of different types of champagnes, which is not helpful to know when choosing one to start with. So let’s break it down into larger categories.
There are several different categories of champagne, but there are also a few sub-types within each category, which means that there are even more categories of champagne to keep track of!
For this article, we’ll keep things pretty straightforward and break down the different types of champagne you’ll find on store shelves.
Types of Champagne
Champagne is a sparkling wine made in the French Champagne wine region.
Depending on the vintage, champagnes can range in sweetness from Brut Nature (which is extra dry) to Doux (which is almost as sweet as a marsala wine).
Winemakers can make champagne in the traditional categories or as blends.
After reading this article, you’ll be a little more informed about which is which and what to buy.
We’ll be discussing everything from Blanc de Blancs to Rosé. After that, you’ll be able to shop with a little more understanding.
Read More: Wine VS Champagne. We discuss the differences of these popular beverages and how to choose the right one for you!
A brut encompasses at least three different sub-categories, all of which are going to be middle-of-the-road champagnes in terms of how dry they are.
The subcategories are:
- Brut Nature
- Extra Brut
These categories are broken up according to the level of sugar that is in the wine.
As you will see later on in the article, some champagnes are dryer than brut wines (with no sugar in them) and some are sweeter.
Brut sugar levels vary between the three categories.
Brut Nature wines have no grams of added sugar, so they are considered to be the dryest of the brut wines.
The brut wines in this category are a little sweeter because they have no more than 6 grams of sugar added to them
Plain old brut wines have the most sugar of the three brut categories and so are considered to be the sweetest.
In Brut wines, you can expect to find as much as 12 grams of sugar added.
more about brut wines
The grapes used for this type of champagne are picked when they’re highly ripe so that there isn’t too much acidity in the wine, and it is easier on the palate.
This category of champagne is versatile and goes fantastic with seafood or chicken as well as heavier entrees like steak.
A quick note about terms: If a bottle is labeled “Brut,” it means that it’s dry, yet if a label says “Brut Non-Vintage,” then it’s not necessarily dry–it could also be Extra Dry.
Blanc de Blancs
Chardonnay grapes are the basis for this white champagne. Blanc de Blancs champagne ranges from a pale golden color to a brilliant crystal clear white.
Its aromas are exceptionally delicate, and you’re less likely to get strong fruit notes like berries and apples. Instead, you’ll find light citrus and floral scents.
While traditional champagnes don’t have a lot of flavor due to their higher levels of acidity, Blanc de Blancs is much sweeter than the other types because they have much less edge in them.
However, that does not necessarily make them any less crisp! They still go exceptionally well with shrimp and fish entrees since they aren’t overpowering you with extra flavors!
This type is also great for those who want something light but flavorful during hot summer nights out on the town!
Blanc de Noirs
Blanc de Noirs is a variation of Blanc de Blancs. It is white like Blanc de Blancs, but as the name suggests, it’s made from black grapes instead of white grapes.
The flavor is also very similar to Blanc de Blancs. You’ll get all the fabulous floral and citrus notes with only minor variations in taste.
Blanc de Noirs is gaining popularity because of its smoothness and structure.
It’s easier to drink than other champagnes because of its higher sugar and acidity levels, making it less bitter than different types.
That does not mean that it is any less crisp than other types – it has lower acids than most champagnes!
This makes it very versatile for drinking just about anywhere at any time!
It would go well with seafood dishes and would be great for drinking with aged cheeses if you want something light and refreshing to wash down all that richness.
Moving up in sweetness levels, Extra Dry champagne is not as dry as the brut levels of champagne we discussed earlier.
With 12 to 17 grams of added sugar, it has a fair bit of sweetness to it.
It’s such a classic. Extra dry champagne is the champagne you get at weddings or other special occasions.
The great thing about extra dry is that anyone can drink this one – from those who prefer sweeter wines to those who prefer dryer ones.
This is also an excellent choice for pairing with food because it doesn’t overpower your meal but will enhance the flavor instead
Demi-sec is sweet champagne. It’s not as light as Blanc de Blancs, but it’s also not as heavy and creamy as the other types.
The best types of Demi-Sec are moderately sweet with a light, crisp body that’s very refreshing!
The terms Demi-Sec and Doux are used in Champagne to denote the sweetness level of the wine with doux being the sweetest and Demi-Sec being less so.
But Demi-Sec is certainly not dry champagne with between 33 and 50 grams of sugar added.
This is why it makes for a fine after-dinner drink because it can be enjoyed by anyone regardless of whether they prefer sweeter drinks or more dry ones!
The closest champagne variation to rosé is rosé champagne.
Rosé champagnes are made from the same grapes as white and red blend champagnes, but the difference is that you’ll get more color from the skins when you make a rosé (hence its name).
However, unlike regular red wines, these champagnes are not fermented with their skins.
Rosé champagnes tend to be very sweet and so are preferred by those who like sweeter drinks.
Despite their sweetness, rosé champagnes are also crisp, thanks to their minimal residual sugar levels.
This makes them great for summer nights out with friends when you want to snack on fruit, duck, and cold cuts.
Amongst the different types of champagne, this one is by far the most aromatic–especially if it’s made in a region other than Champagne.
That’s a lot of information to take in, but we’ve broken down each type of champagne with you in mind.
We hope that this guide will help you in your next champagne purchase because now you’ll know exactly what to expect from each bottle!