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What Is Prosecco? Prosecco vs. Champagne

Anyone for bubbles? With so many sparkling wines to choose from, it’s difficult to know which one to go for.

Torn between prosecco and Champagne? To most, they are one and the same, but they’re actually worlds apart. Discover the main difference between prosecco and Champagne, and why so many people choose the former, below.

So, What Is Prosecco?

Prosecco is an Italian sparkling wine – and its popularity has soared over recent years. As a cheaper “alternative” to Champagne, prosecco is often the first choice for most. But where is prosecco from? And what is the difference between prosecco and Champagne exactly?

Where Is Prosecco From?

Prosecco originates from the north-east of Italy, primarily made in the Veneto region, and in close proximity to Venice.

How Is Prosecco Made?

Prosecco is made from a white grape called the “Glera grape” that originated in Slovenia. It has quite a neutral taste, and is typically used in a variety of Italian sparkling wines due to its light flavour. But how is prosecco made exactly?

All sparkling wines go through a second fermentation to form the bubbles – but each method is slightly different. Prosecco is typically made using the “tank method”. To start the process, the grapes are picked and turned into a still wine by adding yeast and sugar. To add the bubbles, the wine is then moved into a large, stainless steel tank before adding more yeast and sugar and sealing the top. The liquid is then left to ferment, which is when bubbles begin to form as a reaction to the ingredients. But, because the tank is sealed, the bubbles dissolve into the wine to create the fizz that we all know and love. The wine is then bottled and sealed, ready for selling.

Is Prosecco Dry or Sweet?

The flavour profiles of sparkling wines vary depending on how much close contact they have with the yeast. So is prosecco dry or sweet? Due to the method of production, the flavours are fairly dry and brut. But, as a result of the Glera grapes’ fruity flavours of green apple, pear and honeysuckle, prosecco typically tastes sweeter than it is.

Is Prosecco Champagne?

In short, no. Both are made using different processes and grapes, and they stem from different regions (and countries!). Many people consider prosecco to be Champagne’s younger, more affordable sister – but price point isn’t the only difference between prosecco and Champagne.

What Is Prosecco Rosé?

Different to prosecco and Champagne, prosecco rosé is pretty in pink, deliciously fresh and fruity. Until 2020, it was only legal to produce white prosecco – but, in May that year, the Italian government approved the production of pink fizz. Throughout the year, SPAR worked closely with one of the best Italian sparkling wine suppliers to produce our own label Prosecco Rosé – making us the first convenience store chain in Britain to sell prosecco rosé to their customers.

What Is the Difference Between Prosecco and Champagne?

We’ve all been there – staring at the supermarket shelves trying to decode the difference between prosecco and Champagne before comitting to a bottle. And quite often, the main deciding factor in the prosecco vs. Champagne debate is price, but there’s so much more to it than that. We’ve answered your “what is prosecco?” questions, but what is the difference between prosecco and Champagne?

What Is Champagne?

To understand the difference between prosecco vs. Champagne, you need to understand the basics. So, what is Champagne?

Primed for celebrations and special gifts, Champagne is a sparkling wine that comes from the region of the same name in France. Many people are inclined to label their bubbly as Champagne, but unless it’s made in the Champagne region itself, it’s simply just another sparkling wine.

But how is Champagne made? And how does the process vary to that of prosecco? Find out more below.

How Is Champagne Made?

The Champagne process is quite complex, time consuming and regulated, all in order to produce high-quality results. The grapes are harvested between August and October, depending on how ripe they are. The harvesting in Champagne is governed by strict rules, and the grapes must be picked by hand, ensuring high quality and ruling out mechanical methods. The grapes are then carefully pressed to ensure that the juice is clear and fresh.

The juice is fermented in a tank or barrel, forming an acidic wine, removing all of the natural sugars and leaving it completely dry. The still wine is then combined (or “blended”) with reserved wines to form the Champagne base – Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and Pinot Blanc are mixed together.

The process then moves onto the second fermentation, where yeast and sugar is added before moving the wine into a thick glass bottle and sealing tightly. The bottles are then kept in a cool cellar to allow them to ferment slowly, forming the bubbles and alcohol.

After a few months, the fermentation process is complete, but the Champagne is left to age in the cellar for a few more years to create those complex flavour notes. Then, the dead yeast cells are removed through “riddling”. Finally, the Champagne goes through the disgorgement process, before adding a mixture of white wine, brandy and sugar to adjust the levels of sweetness – this is where the dryness of the Champagne is decided. Finally, the bottle is corked and ready to sell.

Prosecco vs. Champagne – Which Should You Choose?

Ultimately, your choice will come down to taste. With noticable differences in the flavour notes of prosecco vs. Champagne, it’s likely that most people will have a preference of one over the other. But, ultimately, if you’re looking for a more affordable option that still tastes good, prosecco is a great choice.

At SPAR, we have a great selection of prosecco and Champagne on offer – suitable for your future parties, celebrations and general bubbly needs! Our Prosecco Rosé is a particularly popular choice – and the prettiest pink fizz is now stocked in hundreds of selected SPAR stores. Head down to your local SPAR today to pick up yours, ready for your next special occasion (or cosy night in!).

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