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Prosecco Brut, Extra Dry, Dry and Demi-sec: what’s the difference?

Prosecco DOC Spumante is produced in the versions of Brut, Extra Dry, Dry and Demi-sec. But what’s the difference? The difference between the four Prosecco versions is the residual sugar per litre, which determines whether the wine is dry or sweet. 

Without going into too much detail, the amount of sugar remaining in Prosecco is determined by the length of the fermentation period. Basically, the yeasts eat the sugar during the fermentation process, converting them into alcohol. The oenologist’s job is to follow the fermentation until the desired residual sugar level is obtained. This means that a longer period of fermentation is required to produce a dry Prosecco. Whereas, to produce a sweeter Prosecco, the fermentation is interrupted by cooling.

Therefore, it is important to know how much sugar each type of Prosecco contains, whether dry or sweet, in order to choose the most suitable food pairing and ensure to enjoy Prosecco at its best.

Prosecco Brut
Brut is the driest version of Prosecco, therefore it has a lower residual sugar, less than 12 grams per litre. To obtain this sugar level, the second fermentation is interrupted when the remaining amount of sugar is less than 12 grams per litre. Its lively acidity and freshness makes it ideal for aperitifs, and for serving with shellfish and raw or fried fish.

Prosecco Extra Dry
Contrary to what its name implies, Prosecco Extra Dry has a greater amount of residual sugar than Brut, so it has a smoother taste. The amount of residual sugar may vary between 12 and 17 grams per litre. Extra Dry is the classic version of Prosecco, and is the perfect choice for happy-hour buffets, thanks to its distinctive bouquet, freshness and moderate sweetness.

Prosecco Dry
Prosecco Dry is the third in the scale from the driest to the most sweetest, with residual sugar between 17 and 32 grams per litre. Sweeter than Brut and Extra Dry, the Dry is ideal as an after-dinner drink.  It pairs perfectly with dry pastries and biscuits that are not too sweet.

Prosecco Demi-sec
Prosecco Demi-sec is the sweetest version of the Prosecco wines, as well as the least produced. It has a sugar content between 32 and 50 grams per litre. Its sweet notes make it ideal for desserts.

The amount of residual sugar is not an indicator of quality, but is a matter of preference, taste and occasion. Prosecco Brut is better for some occasions, while Prosecco Dry is better for others. However, to choose the type that best suits your needs, it is useful to know how they are different from each other.

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