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What is Brut Wine? Discover the Crisp Delight

Have you ever been to a fancy party or wedding and saw people drinking bubbly wine? That bubbly wine is most likely brut wine! Brut is a special type of wine that is very dry and fizzy. It’s made from grapes, just like regular wine, but goes through an extra step to get those fun bubbles.

What Does “Brut” Mean?

The word “brut” comes from the French language. In French, it means “raw” or “rough.” When it comes to brut wine, it means the wine is very dry with no sweetness at all. The opposite of brut is “doux”, which means sweet in French.

There are different levels of dryness for brut wines. The driest is called Brut Nature or Brut Zero, with no added sugar at all. Extra Brut is very dry, but a little less dry than Brut Nature. Classic Brut is very dry but not extremely dry. Extra Dry has just a hint of sweetness. Dry is slightly sweeter than Brut. Demi-Sec is noticeably sweet. And Doux is the sweetest type.

For brut wine, we usually mean the classic “Brut” level – very dry with almost no sweetness.

How is Brut Wine Made?

Brut wine starts out like regular wine. Grapes are picked, crushed, and fermented into a flat base wine. But then it goes through a special second fermentation process that gives it bubbles!

The best way to make brut is called the “traditional method.” First, a base wine is made from grapes like Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, and Pinot Meunier. Then a mixture of sugar and yeast is added to the base wine. The wine is bottled and sealed. The natural yeasts eat the sugar, creating carbon dioxide bubbles.

The wine is aged on its lees (spent yeast cells) for 1-3 years. After aging, the sediment from the dead yeast cells is removed through a process called disgorgement. A small dosage of more wine and sugar is added back. Finally, the bottles are corked and ready!

This traditional method takes a very long time and lots of labor. That’s why traditionally-made brut wines are usually more expensive.

Some brut wines are made faster through the “tank method.” The base wine undergoes its second fermentation in large, pressurized tanks. Carbon dioxide gas is injected to create the bubbles. The bubbly wine is filtered and bottled while still under pressure.

The tank method is much quicker than the traditional way. It allows for affordable brut wines to be produced in large amounts. However, many wine experts say you can taste a difference in quality compared to traditional brut.

The most common grapes used for high-quality brut are Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, and Pinot Meunier. Blanc de Blancs means the brut is made entirely from white Chardonnay grapes. Blanc de Noirs means it’s made from red Pinot grapes. Other grapes like Riesling, Chenin Blanc, Aligoté, or Melon de Bourgogne may also be used depending on the region.

Where Does Brut Come From?

Brut may have started centuries ago by accident! Winemakers tried to stop fermentation before all the sugar was converted to alcohol. This unintentionally created a dry, bubbly wine that they liked and kept making.

Today, France’s Champagne region is famous all over the world for its high-quality brut wines. The bruts from Champagne are made using the traditional method with Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, and Pinot Meunier grapes.

Other important regions that produce excellent brut wines include:

Spain (called Cava) Italy (Franciacorta, Asti, Prosecco) Germany (called Sekt) United States (California, Pacific Northwest) South Africa Australia New Zealand

Different countries may have their own names for brut like Sekt or Cava. But they all refer to a dry, bubbly, sparkling wine style.

What Does Brut Taste Like?

Because brut is so dry, it tastes very crisp and tart. The bubbles give it a fun, tingling, fizzy feeling in your mouth. You may taste flavors like:

Green apple Lemon/citrus Toast Almond Mineral/chalk Yeast

Bruts made from different grapes and regions can taste quite different. A Blanc de Blancs brut will taste zesty and citrusy, while one made from Pinot Noir grapes may taste like red berries.

The flavors are generally very fresh, acidic, and dry – not rich or sweet at all. This crisp dryness makes brut a very food-friendly, palate-cleansing wine.

What is Brut Wine

When Do People Drink Brut?

Brut is an extremely versatile, celebratory wine that can be enjoyed in many different situations:

  • At weddings (for toasts, drinking all night long)
  • On New Year’s Eve (the ultimate celebration wine)
  • With appetizers or light bites
  • With fresh seafood like oysters or sushi
  • During brunch (a morning sparkler)
  • Just for the fun of it – why not?

Brut’s dryness, high acidity, and bubbles make it great for starting a meal (called an apéritif). It can pair well with savory, salty foods. And it can reset your tastebuds between courses.

Many people enjoy drinking brut as a celebration wine for big milestones, anniversaries, weddings, and holidays. That crisp, fizzy texture just feels fancy and fun!

Fun Brut Facts

Want to really impress your friends? Keep these fun brut facts in your back pocket:

  1. Over 1.5 billion bottles of bubbly brut are produced annually around the world
  2. Brut wines from Champagne can age 20-30 years thanks to the cool climate
  3. It takes about 1 year to produce brut by the traditional method minimum
  4. An indent at the bottom of the bottle is called the “punt”
  5. Bubbles come from carbon dioxide produced naturally by fermenting yeast
  6. Always store brut bottles horizontally to keep the cork moist

Cheaper bruts may use the “transfer” tank method for quicker production


What does it mean if a wine is brut?

If a wine is labeled as “brut”, it means the wine is very dry with almost no sweetness. The word brut comes from the French word for “raw” or “rough”. It indicates a dry, crisp style of wine that is not sweet.

How sweet is Brut wine?

Brut wines are not sweet at all. They are considered very dry wines, with little to no residual sugar left from the fermentation process. On the sweetness scale for wines, Brut is at the dryest end of the spectrum.

Is brut the same as prosecco?

No, brut and Prosecco are not exactly the same. Brut refers to the dryness level of a wine, while Prosecco is a specific type of Italian sparkling wine made from Glera grapes. However, many Prosecco wines are produced in a brut or extra-dry style, making them very dry with minimal residual sugar.

Is Brut wine bitter?

Brut wines should not taste bitter. While very dry, quality brut wines have a clean crispness and vibrant acidity without harsh bitterness. However, some lower quality brut wines can taste slightly bitter or have bitter notes if not well-made.

Is Brut wine nice?

For those who enjoy dry, crisp, acidic wines, brut wines can be very nice. Their refreshing dryness and lively bubbles make brut wines appealing as an aperitif or pairing with foods. However, if you prefer sweeter wines, you may find brut too dry and tart for your taste. It’s a matter of personal preference.