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CHAMPAGNE vs PROSECO: The secret DIFFERENCES that you should know?!

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By: Tamar Tsikhelashvili

Champagne from the Champagne region in France, and Prosecco from Veneto in Northern Italy, why do they get compared all the time?

Who doesn’t enjoy a glass of some sparkling wine be it Champagne ? Today, we will be covering the topic of how different is Champagne and Prosecco different from each other.

Champagne region of France


Let’s start with the first one, Champagne is from France and Prosecco is from Italy.

Let’s point out the differences, the methods of production of these two are different, and champagne needs more time to be produced, thus resulting in its price to be higher compared to Prosecco’s. Even though champagne has been around for a longer period of time, both of today’s sparkling wines have been considered as part of UNESCO heritage.

As Prosecco is a more affordable sparkling wine, compared to champagne, high-end wine companies exist that produce exceptional products.

PROSECCO
Prosecco is mainly made in Veneto, Italy close to North of Venice. Prosecco is made from “Glera” grapes and it has some very fruitful and floral aromas. Prosecco is made by the tank method, which is a quicker and much more efficient process than the old traditional method that is used for Champagne. This process follows many of the same steps as the traditional method, but the tank method stores the wine in tanks during the second fermentation. The tank method got developed during the industrial era.

Base wines are poured together with the Tirage, which is a sugar and yeast mixture, into a large tank. As the wine goes through a second process of fermentation, the released CO2 causes the tank to pressurize. Right after that, wines are filtered and bottled without aging. Sparkling wine made via the Tank method has a much more characteristic of freshness.

Some argue that the tank method does not provide such a high-quality product as a traditional method. While the production is much more affordable it is still used for making fine sparkling wine. As wine ages in tanks and under less pressure, Prosecco has a lighter sensation and taste to it, different from Champagne, that doesn’t stay around for long. Aside from that, the aromas in Prosecco are absolutely amazing. You can sense some tropical fruits, banana cream, hazelnut, vanilla, and honeycomb.
Food Pairing with Prosecco is very diverse. In my personal opinion and my taste, Prosecco is a perfect pair for dessert.

Cropped shot of friends celebrating with champagne

Although it’s considered a sweet beverage with a lot of aromas, I think it can balance out the sweet and sour in delights. Prosecco can also be paired with a light dinner of soup and fish. Vegetarians love Prosecco with their dinner, and to pair Italian sparkling wine with some pasta, especially gnocchi, is perfection. Asian cuisine can be perfectly balanced, and the spiciness and sourness can be balanced out with it. Prosciutto and croutons, wrapped up with some melon can be a perfect match, and let’s not forget with the all-time favorite charcuterie board. This is why many adore Prosecco, who doesn’t enjoy some fine sparkling wine with dinner, and a nice drink at a party?

From my personal experience, I became a big lover of Italian sparkling wine at my university. In Switzerland, in a lot of bars that we visited, or even parties, Prosecco would always be a drink to start with. Light and bubbly, not that strong in sensation, fruitful and floral, Prosecco is favored by many. The equivalent of “Don Perignon” of Italian Sparkling wine is the famous “La Marca” Prosecco.

CHAMPAGNE


Champagne, a beverage to enjoy, to drink at celebrations and sprayed across during an event, a symbol of celebration. The famous French sparkling wine can be made from blends of wine or most commonly, from Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. Different from Prosecco, champagne is much stronger in sensation.

Champagne is made from the traditional method called “Méthode Champenoise”, which is a process of creating the base wine from which the sparkling wine is made, and the grapes are harvested much earlier. The producer and the expert add sugar and yeast. The yeast eats the sugar, which releases carbon dioxide that pressurizes into the container to carbonate the wine.

And because carbonation is performed under high pressure, as a result, champagne has persistent bubbles. The aging process gives off a result of unusual but pleasant smells and aromas. The aging process of champagne is either using lees or riddling. Lees are dead yeast cells that remain in the bottle or tank of fermented wine. Wines aged with lees will taste richer. Riddling is defined as the process of rotating sparkling wine upside down over time.

This will collect the dead cells of the yeast into the neck of the bottle. After this process comes disgorgement and dosage. During disgorgement, the neck of the bottle will be placed into liquid nitrogen to freeze the lees. Once the cap pops, they will come out the bottle and leave the sparkling wine.

Champagne vs. Proseco

And at last, a mixture of wine and sugar, known as dosage, will go into the bottle to fill it back to the maximum capacity and add the extra flavor. The older and finer, the longer the aging process takes place, vintage champagnes have aromas of biscuits, brioche, and toast.

Pairing Champagne with food is perfect for both vegetarians and meat lovers. Pair it with some shellfish, pickled vegetables, even with charcuterie and any sort of appetizers. In my personal opinion, just because champagne is so strong in sensation, I would personally recommend to pair it with much lighter food choices, such as appetizers.

Champagne associates with celebration for me, it’s a tradition to open a bottle and pour it when a pleasant event takes place, it’s common to shake it up and spray it across. And aside from generally speaking, who wouldn’t want to celebrate something big with a bottle of “Don Perignon”. The most memorable champagne from Switzerland was “Veuve Clicquot”, which is one of the most high-end and promoted champagnes around the world, and especially in Switzerland.

Champagne Vs. Prosecco

And now going in the biggest battle, Champagne VS Prosecco, there isn’t a winner. Both of them are unique and offer amazing diverse aromas and flavors. Champagne is made from grapes that contain higher acidity, and Prosecco is made from a unique microclimate, and as it rains more in Valdobbiadene, it differs from a more northerly climate of champagne’s regions vineyards. although both of them are sparkling wines, they are absolutely different and unique from one another, and delicious in their ways.

While Champagne may have its name as a high society staple and a celebratory beverage, Prosecco doesn’t come any less. For me, it’s just a difference in their individualities, production methods, and places of their origin. Whether you choose Prosecco or Champagne for the price or the flavor notes, it’s important to acknowledge their differences. You can’t be a wine enthusiast, if you won’t give sparkling wines a go!

Tamar Tsikhelashvili, is the Global Wine Editor for TheFutureOfPR.com. A wine enthusiast, and from a family of wine creators – she has always been interested in winemaking. She can be reached at tamuska.tsikhellashvili@gmail.com

Don’t miss Tamar’s other articles here!

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