Have you often wondered what the difference between champagne and prosecco is – apart from the price tag of course? Or have you been reprimanded by that wine snob at work for referring to prosecco as champagne?
In light of this much debated topic, here is your ultimate guide to the differences between both bottles of fizz:
Some Facts about Champagne:
- It is made with Pinot Noir, Pinot Meunier and Chardonnay grapes
- A standard glass of Brut Champagne has 128 calories
- Champagne is produced using the costly “Traditional Method”
- You will pay £25 ($40) for a good entry-level bottle of champagne
Some Basic Facts about Prosecco:
- It is made from Glera or Prosecco grapes
- A standard glass of prosecco has 121 calories
- Produced using the more affordable method named the “Tank Method”
- You will pay £7 ($12) for a good entry-level bottle of prosecco
The differences between champagne and prosecco
There are several key differences between champagne and prosecco which clearly sets them apart…
1. They are made in different places
The largest difference between both champagne and prosecco is where they are originally made.
The Champagne region of northeast France lends its name to the drink that originates there while prosecco comes predominantly from the Mediterranean coastline of Veneto in Italy. Both regions take great pride in the climate and soil where their grapes are grown in order to create both bottles of drink.
Champagne is also considered to be the birth place of sparkling wine, so, while champagne is sparkling wine; not all sparkling wine is champagne.
2. Method of being made
As mentioned above, the methods used to make both champagne and prosecco are incredibly different which is why their price tag also differs greatly. Champagne is made using the labour intensive process known as the “Traditional Method”, which entails the wine’s secondary fermentation process to take place in the same bottle it will be served in.
In contrast, prosecco is made from the quicker “Tank Method” where the secondary fermentation takes place in a stainless steel tank, meaning the wine is not bottled until after this process. This therefore means this is a much more cost effective method, thus lending to the fact prosecco is a great deal cheaper than champagne.
3. Their primary flavours differ
The primary flavours found in champagne are citrus, almond, white cherry, peach and toast. Prosecco flavours meanwhile are most commonly honeysuckle, honeydew melon, green apple, pear and cream.
4. Their tasting notes
While the primary flavours differ, as do their tasting notes. For example, as the yeast particles in champagne have been aged longer, you will normally find the bottle to have a cheese rind like flavour, while others will come across as almost tasting of biscuit.
In comparison to this, you will find that prosecco tends to have a fruitier and flowery taste due to the grape used. As the wines are aged in large steel tanks rather than bottles – as in the case of champagne – there is less atmospheric pressure, meaning the bubbles in the bottle are a lot lighter.
5. Differences in food pairings
The foods that pair well with both champagne and prosecco differ greatly. As most champagne is incredibly dry and contains high acidity levels, it works well with shellfish, pickled vegetables and fried appetisers. Prosecco however, will work best with sweeter foods and therefore is the ideal match for cured meats and fruit appetisers such as prosciutto wrapped melon.
6. Occasions and uses
Due to champagne and prosecco being at opposite ends of the price scale, prosecco is ideal for an everyday drink, with it being an affordable sparkling wine. It is a fantastic drink option when consumed alongside blinis and other appetisers during a meal. Moreover, because champagne is at a higher price point, it is often consumed during a special occasion as it is best savoured and enjoyed on its own.
Now that you understand the key differences between both bottles of fizzy stuff, you can be sure to show off to your friends just how in tune you are with all things sparkling. Whether you opt for prosecco or champagne will largely come down to two main things – the price and the taste. If you are more of a fruity lover then prosecco will be the one for you. However, if you are a fan of the “oaty”, mature taste, then check out the champagnes in your local wine store.
Both Prosecco and Champagne are gorgeous treats to be had once in a while, so team them with some fish or cheese and guarantee a taste bud thrill!