Check out the new, mobile-friendly WineSpectator.com!
Hello there! I'm Dr. Vinifera, or "Vinny" for short. Ask me your toughest wine questions, from the technical aspects of winemaking to the fine points of etiquette. I hope you find my answers educational and even amusing. Looking for a particular answer? Check my archive and my FAQs. You can also follow me on Twitter: @AskDrVinny.
Dear Dr. Vinny,
I just came across a bottle of Champagne that says "Brut Sauvage." I am well aware of the scale from brut to sweet, but what does "Sauvage" refer to?
Sweetness categories in bubbly are so cryptic! To be clear, the order from sweetest to driest is Doux, Demi-Sec, Sec, Extra Dry and Brut. Just past Brut is an even drier style that can be called Extra Brut, Brut Nature or Brut Sauvage. So, a Brut Sauvage is one step drier than a Brut.
By the way, the word "sauvage" means "wild" or "natural" in French, and sometimes this word on a wine's label indicates that it went through fermentation with indigenous yeasts.
Do you have a question for Dr. Vinny? Ask it here...
Learn to taste wine like a pro, pull a cork with flair, get great wine service in a restaurant and more
Learn from the experts and get the most out of each sip. Take one of our online courses or take them all—from the ABCs of Tasting to in-depth seminars on Food Pairing, California Cabernet, Bordeaux, Tuscany, Sensory Evaluation and more.
Sips & Tips | Wine & Healthy Living
Video Theater | Collecting & Auctions
New! Ratings Flash | New! Unfiltered