The difference in the various classifications of champagne is their sugar content. Champagne classified as brut has a maximum sugar content of 1.5 percent. Extra dry Champagne can have up to 2 percent sugar content.
In all there are six classifications of Champagne: Ultra Brut, Brut, Extra Dry, Dry, Demi-Sec and Doux. Ultra Brut contains no added sugar. Doux can have a sugar content of up to 10 percent.
Generally, Champagnes are made from two types of grapes: Chardonnay and Pinot noir. Those made with Chardonnay grapes are known as blancs de blancs. Those made from Pinot noir grapes are know as blancs de noir. Strictly speaking Champagne refers only to those products produced in the French region of the same name.
Champagne dates to the 17th century; it is rumored that a blind Benedictine monk named Dom Perignon accidentally invented champagne when bubbles formed in bottles of fermenting wine. Rather than trash the wine, Perignon kept it and began to improve upon it. Despite the association of France and Dom Perignon with the origins of Champagne, however, an English scientist actually produced the first bottle of Champagne three full decades before the first recorded history of the beverage in France.