Whenever I am out with my friends someone is always asking our server, “How sweet is this {particular} glass of wine or glass of champagne?”   The reason for their question is partially because they don’t like sweet wines and partially because they are watching their sugar intake.

Since it happens so frequently,  I figured it was a good time to write all about it.  

Here’s the good news….sparkling wine contains less calories than red and white wine, so it’s the perfect drink to accompany your low sugar diet and not deprive yourself at the same time.

Winemaking Process

During the winemaking process, the winemaker has a decision to make on the sugar content of the wine.  Obviously, there are natural sugars in grapes and typically the grapes used for sparkling wine and picked the earliest in harvest because you need those high acidity for sparkling wine.

Sparkling wine goes through two fermentation processes (those made in the traditional method as they do in the champagne region of France).  The first fermentation process is when they create the base wine and let that ferment in either an oak barrel or stainless steel depending on the type of grape and flavor their going after.  Once the wine ages it’s time for the second fermentation.

The second fermentation is when the bubbly magic happens.  The base wine (which also could be a mixture of wine making it a cuvee or a blend) with sugar and yeast.  It stays in that bottle for however long the winemaker decides.  Could be as short as 9 months to as long as years.  

It’s after the second fermentation process, when the winemaker disgorges the wine, that he/she will decide if he needs to add dosage (a form of sweetness that could be wine and/or sugar (grams of sugar (g/l)) to make that perfect sparkling bottle of wine. This added sugar helps to balance the wine creating exactly the type of wine the winemaker strives for as the final product.

The level of sweetness is marked on the wine label with terms like Brut Nature, Brut, Dry, etc.  And trust me, I understand that reading a wine label can be confusing.  You will be reading “dry” on the label, but in reality, for a bottle of champagne or sparkling wine, that really means the liquid inside is actually sweet.

Types of Wine

It doesn’t matter if you’re enjoying wine with or without the bubbles.  All range from dry wines to sweet wines.  You will find dry white wines and sweet white wines.  Dry red wines and sweet red wines.  

This, of course, makes all wine lovers truly happy because you’re always going to find the best option to fit your palate or complement the food you’re serving or the cocktail you’re pouring it into.  

How much sugar is in a glass of sparkling wine?

Sweetness in wine is called residual sugar and is measured in g/l.  Here we did the math for you and drilled down just how much residual sugar is in each glass of sparkling wine or glass of chamapagne you’re enjoying.

The standard serving size of a glass of sparkling wine is 5 oz, so here is the general rule for your sparkling wine consumption. Just like with sweetness levels of wine, there is a range of how much residual sugar there can be to be considered the specific type of wine.  

Keep in mind 4 grams of sugar is equivalent to 1 teaspoon of sugar, so hopefully that helps you when you’re trying to decipher which glass has the least amount of sugar.

Brut Nature Sparkling Wine

A glass of brut nature sparkling wine will have less than 1/2 grams of sugar as it is the driest bubbly with a much lower sugar content than any other type of sparkling wine or champagne.  

Extra Brut Sparkling Wine

A glass of an extra brut sparkling wine will have less than 1 gram of sugar.  

Brut Sparkling Wine

A glass of brut sparkling wine has approximately 2 grams of sugar which is the equivalent of about 1/2 teaspoon of sugar.   

Extra Dry Sparkling Wine

A glass of extra dry sparkling wine can have up to 2.8 grams of sugar.  

Dry Sparkling Wine

A glass of a dry sparkling wine can have up to 5.3 grams of sugar which is a little more than 1 teaspoon of sugar. 

Demi Sec Sparkling Wine (Semi-Dry)

A glass of demi-sec has about 2 teaspoons of sugar as it can be as high as 8.3 grams of sugar.

Doux Sparkling Wine (Sweet)

This is your dessert wine with up to 10 grams of sugar in each glass.

How sweet is sparkling wine?  The sweetness levels defined.

Your Wine Label Cheat Sheets

We created these charts because reading the wine label can be so confusing if sparkling wine isn’t your go-to purchase.  Pull up this blog post or screenshot these as your roaming wine aisles and if you stick to the bubbly on the dry side, as it will have less sugar than the sweet side and will make sticking to your low sugar diet much easier.

How sweet is champagne?  The sweetness levels defined.

How Sweet is Cava?

How sweet is cava?  The sweetness levels defined.

How Sweet is Prosecco?

How sweet is prosecco?  The sweetness levels defined.

Is Sparkling Rosé Low In Sugar?

Good news!  The same rules apply to sparkling rosé to all other sparkling wines.  It all goes back to the type of bubbly you choose.  If you choose a sparkling rosé that is brut, then that 5 oz pour will have about 2g of sugar.  If you choose dry or extra dry, then it will be sweeter and have more sugar.

Bubbly Cocktails 

Just like with a “normal” alcoholic beverages or cocktails especially, it’s usually not the liquor that is the problem it’s the mixer that is.  And the same goes for a bubbly cocktail.  

We share a lot of bubbly cocktails on the blog and most of them are created with other liquors and topped with bubbly.  But the sugar culprit in those, of course, is the soda, juice, lemonade, etc.  If you want to cut back on the sugar and enjoy your bubbly, then take it straight up.  


If you are making mimosas, the juice will certainly add more calories and more sugar.  If you’re going to be using juice, you’ll want to purchase dry champagne or sparkling wine so choosing a bottle that says brut somewhere on the label.

This is one reason why we make mimosas with fresh fruit or boozy ice cubes because that sugar is much more welcome in the diet than sugar from juice or concentrate.  Of course, the flavor is not as powerful, but if you’re like me, you don’t want to see the fruit juice let alone taste it. 

Other Related Articles

I always get so many questions about nutritional information on sparkling wine probably because it’s not very common to put that information on the label.  One winery in Oregon, my favorite, Sokol Blosser is changing that though.  So we’ll see if others follow after.

To help answer your questions, we have other articles about just that, the nutritional information of sparkling wine.  If you’re curious how many wine calories or grams of carbs you’re consuming, you can check out our post all about that.  

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