Choosing between prosecco vs Champagne when shopping for sparkling wines is easy when you know the key differences.
Prosecco vs Champagne: Tasting Notes
There are some major differences in terms of taste between these popular European sparkling wines. Before going forward, keep in mind that Italy and France have many different sparkling wines choices. Some wine producers will have a large amount of carbon dioxide, and some bottles will have relatively more sugar than other bottles.
Prosecco Tasting Notes
- Fruity Flavor. Expect to taste apple, peach, pear, and honeysuckle flavors in your glass.
- Sweetness Levels. The vast majority of Italian sparkling wines are made in a dry brut style. That said, Prosecco wines have a general reputation for being sweeter than French sparkling wines.
- Acidity Levels. Expect a relatively substantial amount of acidity. This factor is typically balanced by the
- Alcohol Percentage. On average, a bottle of Prosecco wine has 11-12% ABV.
Champagne Tasting Notes
Champagne producers have a long tradition of using the traditional method to create sparkling wines. Let’s take a closer look at what you can expect to enjoy in this classic drink of celebration.
- Fruity Flavor. As a champagne enthusiast, you will likely encounter apple, pear, and citrus fruit flavors in your wine.
- Sweetness Levels. Champagne producers make their wines at several different sweetness levels. Most champagne sales focus on brut Champagne, which has a hint of sweetness. For a sweeter experience, try a bottle of Extra Sec or Sec Champagne.
- Acidity Levels. Generally speaking, Champagne has relatively low acidity.
- Alcohol Percentage. Similar to Prosecco, Champagne typically has around 12% ABV.
The best way to learn more about Champagne producers, champagne grapes, and the region’s time-intensive methods is to plan a visit. Start planning your next wine trip today.
Prosecco vs Champagne: Food Pairings
Regarding food pairings, let’s look at some of the most popular options to enhance your next taste of bubbly wine.
Champagne Food Pairings
Many Champagne experts will recommend traditional food pairings like oysters, caviar, and steak. Those food pairings are classics for a good reason. The Champagne bubbles add much to those dishes.
Assuming you have a bottle of brut Champagne, there are additional food pairings to try to please your inner wine snob.
- Fried Foods. Fried potato and fried chicken are good food pairings.
- Pasta Dishes. A pasta dish featuring fresh cream or mushrooms goes well with brut Champagne.
- Cheese. Aged cheeses go well with a bottle of Champagne. Goat cheese is also a good choice, especially with Champagne’s “Blanc de Blancs” style.
- Fish and Seafood. You might not like oysters. In that case, try pairing your bottle of wine with lobster.
Prosecco Food Pairings
When you buy an affordable bottle of Prosecco, there are multiple food pairings options to consider. Set aside your wine snob nature for a while and try something different!
- Asian Dishes. Generally speaking, Prosecco is a bit sweeter than Champagne. Therefore, a bottle of bubbly from Italy works with Asian dishes the feature green curry, chili, ginger, and cardamom.
- Cheese Pairings. In your journey to learn about Champagne vs Prosecco tasting differences, cheese pairings are your friend. Try Prosecco with goat cheese, gorgonzola, mozzarella, or parmesan.
- Vegetables. Open your bottle of Prosecco and enjoy some stuffed mushrooms, avocados, or artichokes.
Prosecco vs Champagne: Which Is Cheaper?
No list of the major differences between these sparkling wines would be complete without covering the price. Prosecco is almost always cheaper than Champagne. You can find individual bottles of prosecco between $15 to $25 easily. In contrast, Champagne is almost always more expensive. Further, Champagne also has a better image because it is associated with the wealthy and powerful.
There is a good reason for the price difference. Champagne uses a more expensive production method that is difficult to scale up. In contrast, Prosecco is affordable because it is produced using the “bulk tank method.” The bulk tank method is cheaper than the costly method used in the Champagne wine region.
Prosecco vs Champagne: Which Wine Grapes Are Used?
Your understanding of the Prosecco vs Champagne wine debate will only be complete if you know about the grapes that go into these wines. Since we are referring to broad categories of wine, there are many variations. The following points are generally valid, but individual producers may choose a different approach.
Champagne Region: The Most Common Grapes
There are two sets of wine grapes commonly used in the Champagne region to produce Champagne wine.
The most popular wine grapes to use are Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, and Pinot Meunier. Most Champagne producers use a blend of these grape types. In addition to these popular wine grapes: Pinot Gris, Pinot Blanc, Petit Meslier, and Arbane. In total, there are seven types of grapes permitted in Champagne wine.
Prosecco: The Most Common Grapes
In contrast to France, Prosecco is typically made from the Glera grape variety. Most Prosecco wine grapes are grown in Vento, a wine region in northern Italy. Italy is the world leader in Glera grape production, with 99% of global production. The vast majority of wines made from the Glera grape are sparkling wines, though some are still wines. The Glera Grape offers a substantial amount of acidity, which makes it refreshing.
Prosecco vs Champagne: Making Wine Cocktails
Many of the most popular wine cocktail recipes list Champagne as an ingredient. The typical Champagne cost means that some people prefer to take a different approach. If you see a well-known Champagne cocktail recipe, experiment with substituting Prosecco. Of course, Prosecco should not be relegated to the category of champagne alternatives. You can use these 17 Prosecco Cocktails ideas if you are looking for something new to drink.
Want To Learn More About Champagne And Sparkling Wines?
Sparkling wines are one of the most exciting categories of wine. Yet, it is crucial to avoid overindulging. For additional information, click here to learn more about Champagne alcohol percentage. If you buy Champagne for a wedding or special event, you may need to know how many ounces in a Champagne bottle. That information will help you plan how many bottles to buy to serve all of your guests.