Understanding a Champagne Label
How to read a Champagne label, and actually understand it.
If you have ever looked at a Champagne label you’ve no doubt seen a variety of abbreviations. What do they all mean? These little abbreviations can tell you a lot about what’s in the bottle.
To help decode your next Champagne label we’ve pulled together a list of Champagne labeling terms. Cheers and happy sipping!
- A cuvée de prestige is a proprietary blended wine
- NV: Non Vintage. Blended across vintages to produce a specific house style.
- NM: Négociant manipulant. These companies (including the majority of the larger brands) buy grapes and make the wine
- CM: Coopérative de manipulation. Cooperatives that make wines from the growers who are members, with all the grapes pooled together
- RM: Récoltant manipulant. (Also known as Grower Champagne) A grower that also makes wine from its own grapes (a maximum of 5% of purchased grapes is permitted). Note that co-operative members who take their bottles to be disgorged at the co-op can now label themselves as RM instead of RC
- SR: Société de récoltants. An association of growers making a shared Champagne but who are not a co-operative
- RC: Récoltant coopérateur. A co-operative member selling Champagne produced by the co-operative under its own name and label
- MA: Marque auxiliaire or Marque d’acheteur. A brand name unrelated to the producer or grower; the name is owned by someone else, for example a supermarket
- ND: Négociant distributeur. A wine merchant selling under his own name
- Extra Brut (less than 6 grams of sugar per litre)
- Brut (less than 12 grams)
- Extra Dry (between 12 and 17 grams)
- Sec (between 17 and 32 grams)
- Demi-sec (between 32 and 50 grams)
- Doux (50 grams)
- Goût anglais (“English taste”, between 22 and 66 grams); note that today goût anglais refers to aged vintage Champagne
- Goût américain (“American taste”, between 110 and 165 grams)
- Goût français (“French taste”, between 165 and 200 grams)
- Goût russe (“Russian taste”, between 200 and 300 grams)