What is better: Prosecco vs Champagne?
One is a famous luxury wine mentioned in rap songs every day while the other is of modest popularity. We need not which of these two sparkling wine is a household name in the wine industry. I know you are wondering why compare these two then? Well by the end of the article, you will be well-informed about both wines that you will see a need for comparison.
First, what is Prosecco? Prosecco is a sparkling white wine made in Italy, specifically the Veneto region of the European country. The wine itself is made from Glera grape which is of course native to the Italian region. Recently, the wine has been made from other varieties such as Pinot Grigio, Pinot Bianco, Pinor Noir and Chardonnay. The name Prosecco was derived from the native village where the grape and wine both originated.
Champagne needs no introduction but the sake of comparison, we are going to justice to that. It is a sparkling wine that is native to the Champagne region of France. The luxurious status of Champagne not only stems from its meticulous system of production but also the legality surrounding it. It is the only legal sparkling wine coming from the Champagne region of France and it follows some rules which makes it the iconic white wine that is today. Some of the rules include secondary fermentation in the Champagne bottle to create carbonation, unique vineyard practices, and exclusive sourcing pf grape from select grapevine parcels.
Method of Production
The form of production, as well as the origin of wine, are the main differences between the two white wines. For Prosecco, the wine is usually produced using the unique and systematic Charmat-Martinotti method. This method of production is not as expensive as the production method of Champagne because the secondary fermentation takes place in stainless steel tanks. The production method follows the rule of the DOCG Prosecco Valdobbiadene.
Champagne is traditionally produced using the method known as Methode Champenoise. The method involves primary fermentation as well as bottling while the secondary fermentation occurs in the bottle. This is induced by adding yeast and rock sugar as well as secret recipe known to only makers of each brand of Champagne. An average bottle of Champagne requires at least one and a half years to fully develop with some heralded as single vintages requiring up to three years. Yes, good things take time. Just after the aging of the wine, the Champagne bottle is manipulated in a process known as riddling where the lees settle in the neck of the bottle. The bottle is then chilled, the neck frozen and the cap of the bottle removed. In some cases, wine from previous vintages or sugar are added to alter the sweetness of the matured and finished wine.
Uniqueness of Each White Wine
For lovers of Italian wine, Prosecco is undoubtedly the country’s most popular wine export. The wine can either be lightly sparkling. Known as frizzante, or fully sparkling known as spumante. Prosecco wine contain an amount of residual sugar which determines whether the ‘dryness’ or the ‘sweetness’ of the wine. There are four basic categories of Prosecco wines based on residual sugar; Brut (which is the driest), Extra Dry, Dry and Demi-Sec (which is the sweetest).
Champagne has a unique initial burst of effervescence that has been part of celebration culture of the world. It creates a bubble which is formed as a result of the content of the bottle touching the glass.
Prosecco comes with an active fruit and flower aromas which is a by-product of the Glera grape. The bubbles stemming from the pouring of the wine are lighter and has lesser persistence. This is because the wine is aged in a large stainless steel tank. The common taste that a typical Prosecco wine exhibits are banana cream, hazelnut and honeycomb.
Champagne takes longer period of aging, so it comes with a cheese-like flavor. The high pressure of the bottle also induces a bubble finesse both pleasing to the eye and characteristic of the Champagne blend. The typical flavor which champagne exhibits are orange zest and almond-ish flavors.
Prosecco is significantly sweeter and this makes the white wine a perfect pair with meat and fruit influenced appetizers. Asian cuisines also tend to go well with the wine.
Champagne is dry and highly acidic making it a perfect match with fried chicken and vegetable influenced appetizers.
Integrity and Etiquette
The Italian government has made significant changes in the production and manufacturing of Prosecco that has helped protect and increase the integrity of the drink. Laws have been put in place for the where and how Prosecco is being made. The standards have been raised and quality increased. For example, Prosecco name now officially only indicates the place of production of the wine and not the grape used for production. As such, only white wine produced in the zones established by the Italian authorities can use the name Prosecco.
Champagne was associated with the nobility and royalty of the 17th to the 19th centuries which only increased its luxurious status. Also, only wine that meet every one of the strict rules by the Champagne producing community can be officially labelled Champagne. Champagne etiquette demands you to serve champagne flutes. (you can purchase your champagne flutes at Crystal Decor by using the best-selling sorting)
In summary, the Prosecco Champagne argument will continue for as long as the two remain the dominant wines in the sparkling wine industry. Prosecco is indigenous to the Veneto region of Italy while Champagne is native to the eponymous Champagne region of France. Prosecco has always been considered a less expensive substitute to Champagne, but in its own right, it is more than just a substitute. It takes a complex production method (not as complex as Champagne) and would go perfectly at dinner or gala. Champagne is more expensive, illustrious, iconic and reverend than Prosecco, and deservedly so. It takes a lot to produce any wine, but it takes only a Champagne maker to produce Champagne.
Deciding on which is better is impossible because wine is relative to everyone. Each sparkling wine has its advantage over the other but the most important factor to consider is your budget.