When you buy a sparkling wine, whether it is prosecco or champagne or Franciacorta (which, oh well, have now become just commercial names that mean everything and nothing, sometimes there is not even a difference), the eye fell on a wording for many obscure but which is instead of fundamental importance for the success of the evening.
On the label of these wines there are these words:
There would also be the “pas dosé”, but this is a treat for connoisseurs that deserves a separate article.
What is the difference between all these names?
Brut means nothing aesthetically (in Italian means “ugly”), just as dry has nothing to do with the humidity of the bottle.
The difference is all in the sweetness, or bitterness, of the wine. Basically how much sugar is left inside the bottle after the whole production process of this type of wine.
Sweet sparkling wine and bitter sparkling wine ?!
Extra brut is a sparkling wine that has the lowest sugar residue after fermentation, so extra brut is an acid and bitter sparkling wine. And so on to go down until you get to the sweetest sparkling wine which is called “sweet”.
So the brut will be a little sweeter than the extra brut, the extra dry a little more and the dry will be close to being in all respects a sweet sparkling wine.
I bought the dry sparkling wine because I wanted it dry!
Congratulations, you were completely wrong. We do not know why but dry in the language of wines, following my more or less free translation, means “practically it is very sweet almost to annoy you, on the contrary take the dessert that is at least sweet and you don’t care with the name”.
So what? What’s the best?
Noone. It depends on personal taste, these names have nothing to do with the quality of the wine. They are just an indication of how a sparkling wine is made and give an idea of what will be in the glass. There are excellent quality dry sparkling wines and extra brut sparkling wines to throw in the sink. Obviously the same is true vice versa.