There are quite a few other terms that are thrown on sparkling wine labels that add to the confusion, like the terms for the different levels of sweetness in the sparkling wine. The only saving grace here is that they tend to be the same from country to country.
Brut Natural, Extra-Brut and Brut, The Dry Ones
Sparkling wines labeled “Brut Natural or Brut Nature” or sometimes “Brut Zero” have less than 3 grams per liter of residual sugar and are dry.
Oddly wines labelled “Extra-Brut” have more residual sugar up to 6 grams per liter. They still taste dry but are richer and fruiter than “Brut Zeros.”
Sparkling wines labeled “Brut” have up to 15 grams per liter of residual sugar and though producers generally keep Brut fairly dry, this is the most common style of Champagne you will see in Ireland.
Extra Sec, Sec, Demi-Sec, Doux, The Sweet ones
Sparkling wines labeled “Extra Sec or Extra Seco,” or ironically “Extra Dry” have between 12 and 20 grams of sugar per liter. These wines are in fact a bit sweeter as they usually have the upper end of residual sugar in them.
Sparkling wines labeled as “Sec or Seco” have between 17 and 35 grams of sugar per liter and are noticeably sweet.
Sparkling wines labeled “Demi-Sec or Semi-Seco” have between 33 and 50 grams per liter and are fairly sweet, though the bottom end of the range still produces wines that can seem dry to those with a sweet tooth!
Wines labeled “Doux or Dolce” have at least 50 grams of sugar per liter and are exactly what they claim to be, Sweet