Dublin: 5 °C Thursday 2 December, 2021

Prosecco, Champagne, sparkling wine: What is the bloody difference?

All the details on your favourite bottles.

Champagne Source: cyclonebill

SO MANY OF us celebrate big occasions/birthday parties/Thursday nights with some sparkling wine – but what is the actual difference between all those on offer?

Your three options are Champagne, Prosecco and sparking wine – and here’s what sets them apart:

Firstly, Champagne has to come from the Champagne region of France

Champagne in the snow Source: Simon Cocks

Obvious enough. No other sparkling wine is allowed to be called Champagne, no matter how good it tastes.

But Champagne also has to be produced using a costly technique called the Traditional Method – as Wine Folly explains. This process involves a longer fermentation period and extra processes compared to other sparkling wine.

Prosecco, like Champagne, can only be called that if it is produced in a specific region of Italy

I Love Prosecco! 010209 Source: vmiramontes

If it’s not produced in the Veneto region of Italy, it can’t be called Prosecco. It must be made with the Prosecco grape too.

The reason why a bottle of it is cheaper than Champagne is the process is quicker and cheaper, as Details explains:

A simpler method, called the Charmat process, works in such a way that the second fermentation occurs in large tanks and is produced quickly—as opposed to over several years. Prosecco is made in the Charmat method.

Also, when you see ‘Brut’ written on the bottle, this indicates the sweetness is regular. The next two labels are Extra Dry and Dry which means that the Prosecco is getting sweeter. The same goes for Champagne.

So, that leaves us with sparkling wine – which is a catch all term for any fizzy wine product

A Fine Sparkling Wine Source: fincher69

So, Champagne and Prosecco are types of sparkling wines – but other sparkling wines can not be called those terms. Sparkling wine also includes Cava, Crement and any other fizzy wine you can think of.

So now, we know exactly where the origins of each come from when we’re cracking into a bottle this weekend.

More Does putting a spoon in a bottle of Prosecco actually keep it fizzy overnight?>

More 8 burning questions about how long wine ACTUALLY lasts, answered>

About the author:

David Elkin

Read next: