You might think there’s little to no difference between bottles of sparkling wine all lined up on a shelf. They look similar, taste similar and are even served in similar-shaped wine glasses. How can one tell the difference?
The two of the most popular sparkling wines on the market are Champagne and Prosecco. Some confuse one for the other but there are actually a few distinct characteristics that set them apart:
They hail from different places
You can already tell where each kind of sparkling wine comes from based on their names. Champagne originated from northeast France while many can trace the roots of Prosecco from northeast Italy. These two regions take great pride in their terroir, which is the French word for the soil and climate of vineyards.
They are made from different grapes
Pinot Meunier, pinot noir and chardonnay are the three grapes that are often used in the production of Champagne while Prosecco is produced primarily from the prosecco or glera grape. The grapes used for each kind are set by their respective regions to ensure the authenticity of the sparkling wines.
They are made in different ways
Champagne is fermented using a time-consuming and labour-intensive process known as the Méthode Champenoise or Méthode Traditionelle. This method requires a secondary fermentation step that takes place in the same bottle it will be served from. For Prosecco, on the other hand, the secondary fermentation is called the Charmat method, which is a cost-effective process resulting in a competitively priced sparkling wine. The fermentation is done in a stainless steel tank and the wine isn’t bottled until the process is complete.
They have different flavour profiles
Prosecco is generally characterised by notes of white flowers, citrus and green apples. Wine enthusiasts describe its flavour as light, delicate and not overly rich. Since Champagne has longer contact with dead yeast cells during the secondary fermentation, there’s an added complexity to its flavour. The yeast cells give sparkling wines a slight bread dough or biscuit taste that complements their other fruity and floral flavours.
They work best with different dishes
The drier and tangier nature of Champagne is best paired with vinegary or pickled food as well as raw bar food like clams and oysters. The sweetness of Prosecco calls for something heartier and more savoury, such as carb-loaded dishes, cured meats and a slice of panettone.
The best bubbly?
In the ongoing ‘Champagne vs Prosecco’ debate, there is no winner. Both types of sparkling wine offer their own aromas, flavours, carbonation levels and tasting experience. To know what’s best for you, all you’ll need to do is try them both out.
At Bottled & Boxed, we have a selection of only the highest quality sparkling wines for any occasion. You can purchase a single bottle of champagne from us or order prosecco gift sets for next-day delivery in the UK. We also extend our delivery service to Europe and other parts of the world so you can enjoy a delicious glass of bubbly wine within days of confirming your order.
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