Which sparkling wine is the sweetest?

Answered by James Smith

When it comes to wines, the sweetest style is known as Doux, Dolce, or Dulce, all of which mean “sweet” in various languages. This style of sparkling contains over 50 grams of sugar per liter, making it the sweetest option available.

As a sommelier and brewer, I have had the opportunity to taste and explore a wide variety of sparkling wines. The sweetness level in sparkling wines is determined by the amount of residual sugar left in the wine after the fermentation process is complete. Doux sparkling wines have the highest level of residual sugar, resulting in a lusciously sweet taste.

The sweetness in Doux sparkling wines balances out the acidity and effervescence, creating a delightful and indulgent drinking experience. The higher sugar content gives these wines a rich, honeyed character that can be immensely satisfying for those with a sweet tooth.

One of my personal experiences with Doux sparkling wine was during a celebration at a friend's wedding. The couple had chosen a Doux to accompany the dessert course, and it was a truly memorable pairing. The sweetness of the wine complemented the rich flavors of the dessert, elevating the entire experience.

It's important to note that Doux sparkling wines are not as commonly found as other styles such as Brut or Extra Brut. They are often produced in smaller quantities and may be considered more of a specialty or niche product. However, for those who enjoy a sweeter taste profile, Doux sparkling wines are worth seeking out.

To further understand the sweetness levels in sparkling wines, it can be helpful to familiarize yourself with the different categories. Here is a breakdown:

1. Brut Nature/Zero: These sparkling wines have no added sugar, resulting in a bone-dry taste profile. They are the driest style of sparkling wine available.

2. Extra Brut: Slightly sweeter than Brut Nature, Extra Brut sparkling wines have a very low sugar content, typically less than 6 grams per liter. They offer a crisp and refreshing taste.

3. Brut: This is the most common style of sparkling wine, with a sugar content of less than 12 grams per liter. It strikes a balance between dryness and sweetness, appealing to a wide range of palates.

4. Extra Dry/Extra Sec: Contrary to what the name suggests, Extra Dry sparkling wines actually have a touch more sweetness than Brut. They typically contain between 12 and 17 grams of sugar per liter.

5. Sec: Sec sparkling wines have a slightly higher sugar content than Extra Dry, ranging from 17 to 32 grams per liter. They offer a noticeable sweetness without being overly cloying.

6. Demi-Sec: A step up in sweetness from Sec, Demi-Sec sparkling wines contain between 32 and 50 grams of sugar per liter. They can be a wonderful choice for pairing with desserts or as a standalone sweet treat.

7. Doux/Dolce/Dulce: we have Doux sparkling wines, the sweetest of them all, with over 50 grams of sugar per liter. These wines are decadent and dessert-like, perfect for those who enjoy a pronounced sweetness in their sparkling wine.

Doux sparkling wines, also known as Dolce or Dulce, are the sweetest style of sparkling wine available. With over 50 grams of sugar per liter, they offer a lusciously sweet taste that can be truly indulgent. While they may not be as widely available as other styles, they are worth seeking out for those who appreciate a sweeter wine experience.