Champagne vs Prosecco

What is the Difference?

Let's embrace summer to the fullest and pop some of the finest sparkling wines this season. Whether it's Champagne or Prosecco,both are excellent choices to make any occasion special. Incredibly different from one another, and capable of being distinguished across a wide spectrum. Let's start with the most basic distinction: wines produced in the Champagne region of France are exclusively entitled to the appellation "CHAMPAGNE." Similarly, Prosecco is a sparkling wine from Northeastern Italy that is produced in the regions of Veneto and more rarely in Friuli Venezia Giulia.

Let's look at some key differences between Champagne and Prosecco:

Champagne is typically made from a blend of grapes that exhibit a variety of characteristics and terroir; however, a single varietal Champagne is also available. There are three main Champagne grape varieties: Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, and Pinot Meunier. But did you know there are four additional grapes that could also be used? Yes, Champagne AOC also permits the use of Arbane, Petit Meslier, Pinot Blanc, and Pinot Gris.

Prosecco is produced predominantly from 85% Glera, an Italian white grape variety previously known as Prosecco but renamed Glera in 2009.

Wine Making :

Champagne is made using méthode Champenoise (also called traditional method), a process where the wine has a secondary fermentation in the bottle. This process includes the addition of a liqueur de tirage- a mixture of sugar, wine and yeast to create bubbles (CO2) and further allow the lees (dead yeast cells) to remain in the bottle for a minimum period of 12 months. Finally, resulting in a winewith a creamy rich palate along with 'autolytic characteristics' of bread, toast, yeast and brioche. It is a long and time consuming process, thus, making a bottle of Champagne so expensive.

Prosecco, on the other hand, uses the Martinotti method (also known as Charmat or tank method). A second fermentation occurs in a pressurized vat by adding sugar and yeast to produce CO2, finally filtered to remove any sediments before bottling. Prosecco is an excellent value wine since this method is significantly simpler and less time consuming. A complex style of Prosecco is also available, that is made using the traditional method or undergone lees contact.

Tasting Notes:

Every bottle of Champagne is an opulent experience, bursting with persistent bubbles, refreshing acidity, and a bouquet of citrus, almonds, and orange zest. A rich and well-rounded mouthfeel is imparted along with aromas of bread, brioche, biscuit and toast, thanks to the prolonged lees contact process.

Prosecco is a fantastic sparkling wine that typically exhibits beautiful crisp notes of white peach, white flower, honeydew melon and pear, with varying levels of creaminess depending on the style. Brut style imparts larger bubbles with crisp acidity, while the Dry style imparts a creamy, soft mouthfeel.

Drinking Sparkling wines from a Flute or a Coupe

Now that you know your sparkling wine, lets sip in style to elevate the experience.

While the coupe glasses are undoubtedly stylish and exquisite, you may not enjoy every sparkling wine to its fullest. Since these glasses are wide and shallow, the bubbles tend to disappear quickly, leaving you with a softer wine. Flute glasses, on the other hand, are tall and narrow, giving the bubble more room to travel and last longer, enhancing the wine drinking experience.

Did you Know?

  • Champagne that is labeled as Blanc de Noir has either produced by blending black grape varieties Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier or 100% Pinot Noir. After pressing the grapes, the skin is removed to use only the juice in the wine-making process.
  • Hillside regions producing Champagne and Prosecco are recognized by UNESCO World Heritage Sites under the “Culture Landscape” category.