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The liqueur d’expedition is the liquid used to top up bottle fermented sparkling wines after they have been disgorged to remove all the dead yeast from the bottle & before they are re-sealed ready for packaging and sale.

The composition of the liqueur depends on the style being made.

The base of liqueur is typically a wine, often the same wine that is being disgorged. The options for the base are limitless, some produces have a special solera or reserve wine that they use at this point to add complexity.

Sugar can be added, typically cane sugar, to balance acid or create a sweeter style like a demi-sec. This sugar is known as the dosage. Dosage ranges from nothing, with a low dosage anything below 5g/L. For the sweetest of the Champagne styles, the ‘demi-sec’ or half sweet between 30-50g/l of sugar is added.

  • Brut Nature or Dosage Zero = 0-3g/l – bone dry
  • Extra brut = 0-6 g/l – very dry
  • Brut = 0-12 gl – dry
  • Extra Sec or Extra Dry = 12-17 g/l – dry to medium dry
  • Sec or Dry 17-32 g/l – medium to medium sweet
  • Demi-sec or Rich 32-50 g/l – sweet

Sulphur may be added to protect the wine from oxidation.

Depending on where you are in the world a very small amount of cognac, sherry, or other secret ingredients may be added.

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