A new job. A new baby. A wedding celebration. An amazing life moment of any variety. These magical milestone moments call for the best, and in times past, you may have been tempted to reach for a glass of champagne, but in today’s market, prosecco is gaining ground as the new bubbly drink of choice to celebrate moments big and small. Although similar in nature, champagne and prosecco are made using different techniques and from different grape varieties. A critical difference in them is the type of bubbles created. But the price point is what really stands out for these two bubbly drinks. Delicious entry-level champagne is about $40, and prosecco only $20. This difference might be the most important of all, and if you need to celebrate, prosecco is your drink!
Champagne hails from the Champagne region in France, approximately 80 miles northeast of France, and Dom Perignon was the first person to create the bubbly masterpiece. The year was 1693. It wasn’t until 1868 that Carpene Malvolti created the first sparkling version of prosecco, and interest in prosecco has taken a while to catch fire. Prosecco was established in Veneto, Italy, 15 miles north of Venice, in a hilly region of the country.
Although the grapes used in Champagne and Prosecco are different and thus create the varying complexities of the beverages, they do have in common the type of terrain where the grapes are grown. With their steep, hilly terrain and cold and rainy temps, which help the grapes grow, both regions have been able to get more sun on the hills, adding to the flavor. These cold rainy conditions with a pop of sunshine create high levels of acid, and the grapes are often picked early to maintain those levels of acidity necessary for champagne and prosecco production.
Methods of creation
These bubbly drinks differ in their creation methods. The traditional method is the way champagne is created and calls for the second fermentation inside the bottle. An additional dosage of sugar is added, and there is more contact with the lees or yeast cells. This process is extremely laborious and takes many years. It’s the primary reason why champagne is so pricy. Workers need to be on hand more frequently, and adding individual doses of sugar to bottles is a lot more time-consuming than adding it to a vat, which is the way prosecco is created.
There is also a secondary fermentation to make prosecco, but using the tank method requires less hands-on fine-tuning and less time to ferment. Because there is less interaction with each individual bottle of bubbly, the bottle of prosecco will end up being cheaper. Some good bottles are even sold for around 15 dollars!
The type of grapes used affects the taste. Prosecco is created primarily using Glera grapes, which are known for their fruitiness. Prosecco offers a flavor palate of green apple, pear, cream, honeydew, and honeysuckle flavors. These bright and refreshing flavors are the perfect complement to the lighter bubbles created in the Prosecco and leave a delicate, spirited taste in your mouth.
Champagne, on the other hand, is a combination of three types of grapes. These delicious flavorings are a gift of the Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, and Pinot Meunier grapes, which blend together to create the champagne flavors you know and love. Champagne offers the flavors of almond, cherry, and orange rinds. And, when fermented longer, you might even taste toast. These flavors go well with the plethora of champagne’s “heavier” bubbles.
When it comes to champagne (or prosecco for that matter), the bubbles are the best part! And because of the way the two drinks are fermented, there are differences between the types of bubbles. The bubbles of prosecco are lighter and frothier because it is fermented the second time in a tank. Champagne features very fine and “heavier” bubbles, and there are a plethora of them. Bubbles in both beverages can be affected by the cleanliness of the glass, the temperature of the room, and the amount of time since the prosecco or champagne has been poured. Drink it quickly and from a soap-free glass if you want the best possible experience!
No matter what the cause for celebration, prosecco is the best drink with which to toast. With its lighter, frothier bubbles and lower price point, it makes a great celebratory drink that won’t break the bank. Although there are some similarities in the ways the grapes are grown, the laborious second fermentation of champagne makes it much more expensive, and the difference is just not worth the price.