While Champagne may have secured its place as a high society diet staple, prosecco has certainly given the bubbly a run for its money. Experts are predicting that prosecco will outsell champagne in the global sparkling wine market through the end of 2017, as the drink has been perceived as a sort of alternative to discount Champagnes. Whether you choose prosecco over Champagne for the price or the flavor notes, it’s important to recognize the distinct difference between the two types of bubbly.
Where do they come from?
Champagne, aptly named, comes from the Champagne region of northeast France. It’s made with Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, and Pinot Meunier grapes.
Prosecco originates in the Veneto region of Italy, just north of Venice. It’s made from Glera grapes, the use of which for wine can be traced back to the Roman era.
How are they made?
The method of producing bubbles in each of these wines differs. Both wines require two rounds of fermentation—the second round is intended for carbonation, which is the part of the process that differs between Champagne and prosecco.
Champagne requires a traditional method of carbonation in which the wine sparkles while it’s bottled. Prosecco, on the other hand, carbonates in stainless steel vats, a less time and money-intensive process.
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What are their flavors?
Taste notes for Champagne include: Citrus fruits, white peach, white cherry, almond, and toast.
Flavors for prosecco are sweeter: Green apple, honeydew melon, pear, honeysuckle, and fresh cream
How much are they?
The price points for Champagne and prosecco differ in part because of their methods of production. Because Champagne requires a more hands-on and money-intensive process, it’s generally more expensive than prosecco. A bottle of Champagne starts at around $40 whereas a bottle of prosecco can be as low as $12.
What should they be paired with?
Due the drier and tangier nature of Champagne, they’re best paired with raw bar foods like clams or oysters, and pickled or vinegary little bites.
The sweetness of prosecco calls for something heartier and more savory, like meats and sugary fruits.
What are some popular brands of each?
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Additional reporting by Hanan Haddad