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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?

—Chiara, Italy

Dear Chiara,

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.

—Dr. Vinny

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