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HomedrinksProsecco vs. Champagne: What’s the difference?

Prosecco vs. Champagne: What’s the difference?

Have you ever been reprimanded by a snooty sommelier or wine snob for referring to prosecco as Champagne — and you weren’t sure why? 

It was because while prosecco and Champagne both have bubbles, that’s just about all these sparkling wines have in common.

Champagne is the more expensive of the two beverages, with a more luxurious feel.

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With the extensive history of winemaking in the Old World, these regions take great pride in their “terroir” — the climate and soil where their grapes are grown. 

Champagne is considered the birthplace of sparkling wine, and its growers consider Champagne a “wine of place” that cannot be reproduced anywhere else in the world. 

Over the years, the Champagne name has been used indiscriminately for marketing purposes, and Champagne’s governing body has sued brands such as Perrier, Yves Saint Laurent and Miller beer over its use. 

Prosecco in barrels

The way prosecco and Champagne are made is another key difference between the two. (Stefano Mazzola/Awakening/Getty Images)

There are three main grapes allowed in the production of Champagne: chardonnay, pinot noir and pinot meunier. 

Prosecco is produced primarily from the prosecco or glera grape, which is native to the Veneto region of Italy.

3. They’re made in different ways 

Champagne and prosecco are made in different ways. 

The wine is not bottled until the secondary fermentation is complete, making it a more cost-effective method that results in a more affordable price for the consumer.

4. They have different flavor profiles 

Prosecco is generally characterized by notes of green apples, citrus and white flowers that are usually light and delicate and not exceedingly complex. 

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5. They represent different price points 

In addition to pairing wine with food, you should also pair the wine with the occasion. 

Prosecco is an affordable sparkling wine that is an excellent everyday option.

It’s also a great choice for sparkling wine-based drinks such as mimosas, bellinis or pomegranate-rosemary royales.

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Do make sure, though, that no one is too close, unless they’re OK with being soaked by the bubbly beverage. 

Stephanie Miskew contributed reporting. 

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