While brut and zero dosage are the most popular sparkling wines, sweet Champagnes is a highly underrated and delicious alternative. These pleasantly balanced bottles can be enjoyed all day, whether you’re having a weekend brunch with friends or enjoying a dessert meal after dinner. It is important to know which bottles you should be drinking, as it is crucial for everyone.
When purchasing Champagne (or sparkling wine), there are some keywords to remember. Champagne must be produced in the region of France. The wine may be labelled mousseux, which is simply sparkling if it is made elsewhere in France. The following scales measure sweetness: brut nature/zero dose, brut, brut extra dry, extra dry and dry, demi-sec, doux, and extra brut. Technically, “extra dry” and “dry” are sweeter than “extra brut” and brut”. We know it isn’t very clear, but that’s not the point.
Most sweet Champagnes will be classified in the demise or doux category. Doux Champagnes contain 50+ grams of sugar per liter. Demi-sec Champagnes are 32-50g in sugar. Despite sounding high, demise Champagnes have a lower sugar content than most other drinks such as Gin & Tonics or other alcoholic well drinks.
Best Overall: Billecart–Salmon DemiSec Champagne
- Region: Mareuil-sur-Ay
- ABV: 12%
- Tasting Notes: Apples, Cream, Brioche
We are confident that Billecart-Salmon’s Demi-Sec Champagne has a full-body, bright acidity and pleasant, balanced flavours. You will find creaminess, apples and buttery brioche flavours. This cuvée is made from 40% pinot Meunier, equal parts of chardonnay, and pinot noir. It’s similar to their brut reserve wine.
Best Budget: Jacquart Demi-Sec Mosaique Champagne
- ABV: 12.5%
- Taste Notes: Mango. Tropical Fruit. White Flowers
Jacquart’s Demi-Sec bottling is a great choice for sweet Champagne. The harmonious and long-lasting finish is aided by honeyed notes of tropical fruit and ripe mango. This bottle will delight your palate as well as your wallet.
Laurent Perrier Harmony’ Demi Champagne is the best for food pairing
- Region: Tours-sur-Marne
- ABV: 12%
- Tasting Notes: Stone Fruit, Grilled Almonds, Acacia Honey
This harmonious bottle of sweet bubbles, as the name implies, is perfect for enjoying your favourite meals. The wine’s bright and balanced palate reveals notes of fresh stone fruits, grilled almonds, honey, and acacia honey. This wine is a blend of 45% Chardonnay, 40% Pinot Noir, and 15% Pinot Meunier.
Pair it with Asian favourites, especially dishes with heat. DeFeo says that sweet foods with coconut, like many Thai and Indian recipes, pair well with ‘Harmony’ because the sweetness of the Champagne makes it round and flavorful without being overwhelmed by strong flavours and spices. DeFeo believes that demise Champagne makes a great pairing with sweet brunch foods like French toast and ricotta pancakes.
Best gift: Pol Roger Rich Demi-sec Champagne
- ABV: 12.5%
- Taste Notes: Yellow fruit, Baking spice and White flowers
Pol Roger’s Demi-Sec Champagne is a great gift idea. This soft, flavorful wine is full of notes of white flowers, cream, baking spice, yellow fruits, and cream. This is a great choice for serious Champagne enthusiasts. This wine is equal parts Chardonnay and Pinot Noir.
Piper Heidsieck Sublime Demi-Sec Champagne is best paired with dessert
- ABV: 12%
- Tasting Notes: Pineapple, Tree fruits, Marzipan
Piper Heidsieck’s delicate and fruit-driven Champagne is great for pairing with various desserts such as fruit tarts and shortbread cookies. This refreshing bottle contains flavours such as pineapple, vanilla, tree fruits, and marzipan. This wine is made from 50-55% Pinot Noir, Meunier 30-35%, Chardonnay 15-20%.