Champagne or prosecco: are they really that different?

Both champagne and prosecco are popular drinks choices when there’s something to celebrate – but what is it that makes them different? With this guide, you certainly don’t have to be a wine connoisseur to be able to tell the difference between these two types of fizz.

Champagne Wine Region: the Vineyards

Champagne: the facts

champagne is named after the region in France where it is made, and while bottles are in as great demand as the cheaper prosecco, there are still differences that set champagne apart from other types of fizz. The costly method of production that leads to champagne is called the ‘Traditional Method’. This involves selecting a cuvée or a base wine. Expensive champagnes, such as Bollinger and Dom Perignon, are made from cuvées from the Grand Cru vineyards in the Champagne region and can be a pure grape variety or a mixture of several. The process then leads to blending, fermentation, aging, removing dead yeast cells, adding the correct amount of sugar and then corking the bottle. Phew! All of this creates a bottle of bubbly that provides a dry, toasty, biscuity taste with fine bubbles. So, why does champagne tend to cost so much more than prosecco? The answer is simply: market demand. Champagne is perceived as a luxury region of France, so bubbly from here can command higher prices. Still, you can pick up a good bottle of champagne for around £40.
Prosecco is a cheap - but good - alternative to champagne

Prosecco: the facts

The ever-increasingly popular prosecco is made in the Veneto region of Italy using a more affordable method of production than champagne. The ‘Tank Method’ differs from the production of champagne, in that instead the prosecco is fermented in steel tanks rather than in a bottle. This process is more efficient, meaning prosecco is less expensive to make and therefore less expensive for you to buy. When it comes to how it tastes, the fruit flavours in prosecco tend to shine through more, along with its flowery aroma giving it an all-round sweeter taste than champagne. Again, thanks to the Tank Method, the bubbles in prosecco are lighter and frothy in comparison to champagne. Prosecco has become a welcome alternative fizz to champagne with bottles for under £15. If you choose a more expensive bottle of prosecco, you might find hints of tropical fruit, vanilla and honeycomb.