Although both are variants of sparkling wine, champagne and prosecco differ in region of production, production process, grapes used, and flavors present in the drink.
When it comes to sparkling wine, the varieties are endless. Consumers who prefer a little bit of bubbly have a wide range to choose from.
But it can be agreed upon that when it comes to celebration, it’s time to break out the champagne or prosecco. These two are perhaps the most common sparkling wines.
In taste, they are very similar to each other. However, prosecco is often the bubbly of choice because it’s almost always more affordable than champagne.
In reality, the difference between the two drinks goes beyond just their names and their price tag.
How can you begin to differentiate between prosecco and champagne? And how come they come in at such different price points? Well, let’s take a closer look.
What is the difference between champagne and prosecco?
1. Region of production
The first difference between champagne and prosecco is where they are made. If you’re familiar with champagne, you’ll know that sparkling wines can only be classified as champagne if they come from Champagne, France.
Any sparkling wine made outside of this region will simply be called “sparkling wine”. On the other hand, prosecco is primarily produced in nine provinces in Veneto, Italy.
Ironically enough, it was named after Prosecco village, which is located in the Trieste province, not Veneto.
Related Article: What is Champagne? Definition and History
2. Grapes used in production
When it comes to champagne, there are many rules dictating the production process.
One of those rules regulates the kinds of grapes used in production. Champagne can only be made of pinot noir, chardonnay, and pinot meunier grapes.
Meanwhile, prosecco is made of green-skinned grapes local to the regions of Veneto and Friuli in Italy. These prosecco grapes are also known as Glera grapes.
3. Production methods
The different grapes aren’t what make champagne more expensive than prosecco. It’s the fact that production regulations are in place to maintain the high quality of champagne.
Champagne is produced using a traditional method, which involves fermenting the drink two times before riddling and disgorgement to remove the lees from the bottle.
This method is costly and time-consuming, resulting in a higher price point in the market. With prosecco, production costs a lot less because it uses the tank method.
Although prosecco also goes through double fermentation, prosecco makers would use tanks to clarify the drink.
This takes much less time, and allows the prosecco to be bottled immediately after coming out of the tanks.
Related Article: Breaking Down Varying Types of Wine
4. Flavors present
While champagne and prosecco are both sparkling white wines, each of these drinks have their own distinct flavors, with the common thread being fruity.
Champagne boasts notes of peach, cherries, citrus, and almonds, with a hint of toast. Meanwhile, prosecco’s flavors are more sweet and mellow, featuring hints of honeydew, honeysuckle, pears, and green apples with a creamy feel.
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