Hello there! I'm Dr. Vinifera, but you can call me Vinny. Ask me your toughest wine questions, from the fine points of etiquette to the science of winemaking. And don't worry, I'm no wine snob—you can also ask me those "dumb questions" you're too embarrased to ask your wine geek friends! I hope you find my answers educational, empowering and even amusing. And don't forget to check out my most asked questions and my full archives for all my Q&A classics.
Dear Dr. Vinny,
What does “brut” mean in terms of Champagne?
—Deborah H., Chicago
“Brut” is one of my favorite words when it comes to sparkling wine, as it refers to the driest of bubblies, and my mouth is watering just thinking of it. After brut, in ascending order of sweetness, are extra dry (or extra sec), sec, demi-sec and doux.
Brut is sometimes broken down further into “extra brut” and “brut natural,” in which case “natural” is the driest of the dry, indicating that no sugar at all has been added, referring to dosage, or the addition of sweetened wine or spirit after the sediment is disgorged.