Dosage for champagne

The “dosage” is the last step in the complex elaboration of champagne. After resting for at least 18 months in the cellar, each bottle will be placed vertically, the neck down so that the deposit is concentrated in the neck. Thus, each bottle can be disgorged. Disgorging consists of removing the deposit in the neck of the bottle. The cellar master or winemaker will then replace this space left empty by what is called a dosing liquor or shipping liquor. It is this final step that is called the dosage.

Dosing process

The “dosage” consist in adding a tiny amount of liquor, champagne. This liqueur is composed of a mixture of pure sugar and reserve wines (wines from previous vintage). Each champagne house jealously keeps the composition of its liquor dosing secret. 

This step is decisive because it will determine the type of champagne you will enjoy. A very low dose champagne will have a low dose of sugar. The aromas and the intrinsic quality of the champagne are thus highlighted.

The different types of dosage of champagne

There are 7 types of dosages that corresponds to the amount of liquor added to the wine.

  • “Brut Nature”: no added sugar and less than 3 grams of residual sugar per liter
  • “Extra Brut”: between 0 and 6 grams of sugar per liter
  • “Brut”: less than 12 grams of sugar per liter
  • “Extra dry”: between 12 and 17 grams of sugar per liter
  • “Sec”: between 17 and 32 grams of sugar per liter
  • “Demi-sec”: between 32 and 50 grams of sugar per liter
  • “Doux”: more than 50 grams of sugar per liter

The majority of champagnes that you taste include this information on the label. This lets you know what kind of champagne you buy and it gives an indication of the type of food with which you can enjoy this champagne.

Here are some food-champagne association tips:

  • A semi-dry champagne goes perfectly with a foie gras or a dessert
  • An extra brut champagne is ideal for enjoying seafood
  • A “blanc de noirs” champagne will sublimate your meats … In this article we advice you some greats associations of champagne and meals. 

The dosage of champagne is a matter of taste and fashion

Indeed, in the 50’s, the semi-dry champagne was in vogue, and it was tasted especially for dessert. 

Currently, even if some Champagne houses like Moët and Chandon or Veuve Clicquot have created innovative cuvées to be tasted such cocktails with ice cubes (if you want to know more, we invite you to read this article here), the trend is clearly to the low dosage . Brut champagne accounts for 95% of sales, Extra Brut and Brut Nature champagnes are growing more and more. These are champagne purists, lovers of thrills because champagne is pure. Because when you dose a champagne you correct or hide more easily the acidity or the bad elaboration of this one.

We can mention The DRAPPIER house of champagne, which has been delighting us with its Brut Nature champagne for almost twenty years and which has become today one of their flagship champagne from this house. Other Maisons have chosen to dose the less possible their range of champagne is LARMANDIER-BERNIER house of champagne for example. This low dosage makes it possible to respect

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