What does Sans Dosage mean?
10th November 2021
An important part in the making of sparkling wines globally is the sugar levels. We can today choose from those heavy in sweetness and then also the complete opposite with others being bone dry. From Champagne to Prosecco, we can select our sweetness levels to suit our preferences and requirements. In amongst the descriptions letting us know what sweetness to expect inside the bottle is sans dosage.
So, what does Sans Dosage mean?
The translation of sans dosage from French to English means without dosage.
Dosage translates as the added sugar in a wine. So sans dosage quite literally means no added sugar. When you see this written on your bottle of bubbly you can expect a much drier tasting experience.
As well as sans dosage, you might also see other terms used such as zéro dosage, brut nature and pas dosé.
The sugar levels for these wines will be set around zero with no more than 3 grams per litre and importantly no added sugars. Many people will prefer this style of wine where a better understanding of and an honest terroir expression is shared. When added sugars are used the truthful flavours of the wine region for some people are lost.
Almost all bottles of sparkling wine will let you know what the sweetness levels are and in most cases the terms below will signify what your tasting experience is likely to be:
- Sans Dosage (brut nature, pas dosé, zéro dosage): 0-3 g/l (grams per litre)
- Extra Brut: 0-6 g/l
- Brut: 0-12 g/l
- Extra Dry: 12-17 g/l
- Sec / Dry: 17-32 g/l
- Demi-Sec: 32-50 g/l
- Doux: 50 g/l +
What does Sans Dosage taste like?
There is no better way to explore sans dosage than by purchasing a bottle and tasting it! The only way you will find out if this style of sparkling wine is to your liking is by experiencing the aromas and flavours for yourself.
For this tasting, we decided to choose a trophy winning sparkling wine from Slovenia with the ‘Sans Dosage Selection’ from the winery Radgonske Gorice.
Radgonske Gorice – Penina Selection Sans Dosage – Slovenia: “Always a delight to taste and explore. Golden citrus character, touch of sweetless honey pastry, yellow fruits on the nose. Crisp and dry flavours with citrus and dried apricot slices, grapefruit, touch of welcomed saline.”
Why choose Sans Dosage?
There are plenty of reasons that a sparkling wine with no added sugars is a good choice including:
- Lower sugar thus less calories.
- A better understanding of the terroir of the wine region without added sugars to disturb the aromas and flavours.
- Better crispness and refreshing character especially for those preferring their citrus / grapefruit / mineral / saline style of wine.
- Ideal for certain food pairings especially fatty pastry foods and spicy dishes.
Co-founder of Glass of Bubbly. Journalist and author focused on Champagne & Sparkling Wines and pairing them with foods.