What’s the Difference Between Prosecco & Champagne?
The answer to this question on the most basic level is that Champagne is from France and Prosecco is from Italy. However, as I’m sure you’re aware, it’s a little more complicated than that.
Champagne is a sparkling wine made in the Champagne region of France around the city of Reims. It’s made with Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier grapes, produced using an expensive method called the ‘Traditional Method’. A standard pour of Brut Champagne has about 128 Calories and you’ll pay about £30 for a good entry-level bottle.
Prosecco is a sparkling wine made in the Veneto region of Italy around the city of Treviso. It’s made with Glera grapes, produced using a cheap method called the ‘Tank Method’. A standard pour of Prosecco has approximately 121 Calories and you’ll pay about £10 for a good entry-level one.
Since Champagne is aged longer on the yeast particles, it will often have a cheese rind like flavor that in expensive examples tastes toasty. Since the wines are aged in bottles under high pressure the bubbles are very fine, steady and sharp. You’ll notice that older Champagnes often have almond-like flavours. Most Champagne is intensely dry and therefore works wonderfully as an aperitif when matched with appetisers.
Prosecco has more present fruit and flower aromas, thanks to the grape.
Because the wines are aged in large tanks with less pressure the bubbles are lighter, frothy and much less stubborn. The more expensive Prosecco wines often exhibit notes of tropical fruits, hazelnut, vanilla and honeycomb. As it leans more towards the sweeter end of the spectrum it’s an ideal match with antipasti and fruity starters like prosciutto-wrapped melon.
As Champagne is more expensive to make than Prosecco, one of the biggest factors in the cost discrepancy is of course, market demand. Because Champagne is perceived as a region for luxury it can command far higher prices. Plus we aren’t used to spending more than £15 for a bottle of Prosecco!