What is the difference between Prosecco and Champagne? Are they similar in any way? Should they even be compared?
Well first of all the similarities; both wines come from Europe, are effervescent, and tend toward a dry rather than sweet flavor. However there are a lot more differences than there are similarities!
The first big difference is the area of production. Prosecco is the name of both the grape and the wine and grows in the Veneto Region of North East Italy in protected DOC and DOCG areas . Champagne however is the name of the both the region the wine comes from and the wine, only sparkling wine that comes from the specific area of Champagne can be called as such.
The second difference is the fermentation process. Prosecco is typically fermented using the Charmat Method in which both fermentations take place in stainless steel tanks called autoclaves. Champagne, however, is fermented in the traditional method of ‘Champenoise’ in which the second fermentation takes place in the bottle.
The final main difference is of course is the taste! The flavour of Prosecco has been described as intensely aromatic and crisp, bringing to mind yellow apple, pear, white peach, apricot and even lilac and acacia flowers. Prosecco tends to be kept fresh and light and is generally drunk at a young age. Champagne veers towards rich and serious with complex secondary aromas, as opposed to the primary aromas evident in Prosecco.
These are the main differences between Prosecco and Champagne, there are many, many more, but perhaps we will go into the finer details another time!