When talking about sparkling wine, the one that comes to mind are Italian cava, champagne and prosecco, especially from the region of Veneto. But, what makes this Italian wine and its French counterpart different? Here are some of the differences.
Origin, elaboration and price
While champagne is produced in the homonymous French region (in the north-east of France and around the city of Reims), prosecco is produced in Veneto, near the city of Treviso and north of Venice.
The grapes used in the production of champagne are chardonnay, pinot noir and pinot meunier, and in order to obtain the final product they use the traditional method or champenoise (the same used in cava, American sparkling wines and Italian Franciacorta), the costlier system among the ones used to add bubbles to wine.
As for the Italian sparkling wine, it is made from prosecco grapes, also known as glera, and following the Charmat or Italian method, in which the second fermentation takes place in stainless steel tanks, which makes its production cheaper.
Is this because champagne is more expensive? Partly yes, although the processing method alone does not explain why a good “inexpensive” champagne can cost about 40 Euros and a prosecco in the same category costs only 12-15 Euros. The higher price of champagne is also explained by the perception of luxury product that it has been able to generate over its history in consumers worldwide.
Champagne is aged longer, so it presents typical notes from a longer contact with the yeast, which can range from cheese rind to cake. The bubble is finer and more persistent and we can also find tastes of almonds, orange zest and white cherry.
In prosecco we can find more fruity and floral aromas, due to the grape variety, with thicker and less persistent bubbles and tastes of tropical fruit, hazelnut or vanilla.
By Marta Burgues, Uvinum