The word Champagne has become synonymous with celebration and is the drink of choice for anniversaries, birthdays, graduations, retirements, and any other occasion that can be made better with the satisfactory pop of a cork. Although French Champagne is the undisputed king of sparkling wine, the trending request we hear the most often is for Italian Prosecco. So what is the difference between Champagne from France and Prosecco from Italy? The names are often used interchangeably but knowing the difference between these styles of wine can help you enjoy your bubbles that much more. Starting with the most recognizable, Champagne, we can see a clear difference in price. Champagnes can command prices well beyond hundreds of dollars a bottle. This is the result of a couple of factors, including the prestige of the name Champagne (The name of the region where these wines are produced). Another factor effecting the cost of Champagne is the labour intensive process used to make each bottle. Active yeast cells are left in the bottle to ferment the sugars of the grape juice into alcohol and during this fermentation processes, carbon dioxide is released resulting in the fine bubbles you expect when you pop a bottle of fine Champagne. The maintenance of the fermenting bottles as well as the process to remove the yeast once bottle fermentation is complete takes a lot of time and manpower which translates into the price of the finished product. These expensive wines are delicate and refreshing; in bottle fermentation creates very fine and pleasurable bubbles. The wines themselves boast beautiful flavors of apple, pear, and melon complimented by a toast or bread-like quality. This harmony of flavor and finesse is why people all over the world are willing to pay the money for fine Champagne.
Prosecco, in contrast, is fermented in large stainless steel tanks which allows the wines to retain their freshness and fruity qualities. Prosecco wines are more fruit driven, are slightly sweeter, and are refreshing and easy to drink. Without in-bottle fermentation, Prosecco has less toasty or bread-like notes than champagne, in favor of more approachable and fruit-driven flavors. When sipping on a refreshing glass of Prosecco you can expect crisp flavors of green apple and pear, or even passion fruit and melon. Whether you are in the mood to savor the delicate subtlety of Champagne, or enjoy the vivaciousness of a fine Prosecco, you can guarantee that bubbles will add the perfect pop to your next party!
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