I got a chance to ask Thomas Roberts, Wine Director at Veritas Vineyards and Winery, about the how sparkling wines are created: particularly about the term "dosage" and what it meant. He sent this to me as a response and I thought it would be helpful here as well:
Thomas: "Dosage" is a French word that refers to the sugar added to a bottle of sparkling wine after the disgorgement (removal of yeast) process. The sugar can and will add overall sweetness but can also affect body weight, roundness of acids, and perceived ripeness of the fruit in the wine. (More sugar = more body) In the region of Champagne, France, the wine laws are regulated and allow a certain amount of sugar to be added. The amount of sugar relates to the name on the label. (i.e. Brut, Extra Dry, Sec) I have listed the categories below.
Extra Brut: 0-6 g/l
Brut: 0-15 g/l
Extra Sec: 12-20 g/l
Sec: 17-35 g/l
Demi-Sec: 35-50 g/l
Doux: 50-150 g/l
I hope this will help in your enjoyment of Sparkling wines and Champagnes.
Keep the questions coming.
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year everybody.
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