Select Page

The family of Pierre-Mary Bachelet has a long pedigree in the winemaking industry as the founders of Champagne Bachelet. This article will look at the various different types of champagne and how to choose between them. 

It is difficult to think of a wine more revered than champagne, the sparkling beverage that epitomizes luxury and celebration. Produced in the Champagne region in northern France, even the most basic champagnes require a 15-month aging period following a meticulous viticultural process known as the ‘champénoise method’. The attached PDF contains more information about the Champagne region.

Champagne is the source of inspiration for producers of sparkling wine all over the world, with many following the same technique to produce high-quality sparkling wines. The champénoise method requires viticulturalists to produce a still wine initially, implementing a secondary fermentation in the bottle in order to create the bubbles. 

To determine the sweetness level and flavor of the final product, a blend of wine and sugar cane known as a ‘liqueur de dosage’ is added prior to bottling. The attached infographic contains some interesting statistics about the champagne industry. 

There are numerous options and price points available on the champagne market today. Originally, champagne production was geared towards sweeter styles, containing a higher sugar content for many years.

Pierre-Mary Bachelet - Interesting Facts About Champagne

When pairing food and wine, sweetness is all-important. A dessert wine should be at least as sweet as the dessert, if not sweeter. Today, ‘doux’ ranks as the sweetest champagne style, starting at 50 grams of sugar per liter, followed by demi sec, which contains somewhere between 32 and 50 grams of sugar per liter. The higher sugar content culminates in a fuller-bodied, flavorsome sparkling wine that offers the richness and complexity called for when paired with a decadent dessert. 

It seems logical to assume that champagnes described as ‘dry’ or ‘extra dry’ are those with low sweetness levels. However, dry or ‘sec’ champagne boasts residual sugar levels of between 17 and 32 grams per liter, versus 12 and 17 grams in the case of extra dry. In reality, the reference point is distorted, since the term ‘sec’ originates from an era when sweeter champagnes were the norm. 

For someone seeking a slightly sweeter sparkling wine to serve with spicy food or a light dessert, a midpoint between doux or demi-sec and brut would be appropriate. Although these types can be challenging to track down, representing a small percentage of the market, Veuve Clicquot, Champagne Taittinger, Champagne Lanson, and Champagne Pommery occasionally release them. 

The embedded video takes a closer look at the ‘dosage zero’ champagne style.