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.« Back to Wine Words Index