Prosecco vs Champagne: What Are The 8 Important Differences To Know in 2023?

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Prosecco vs Champagne
This is our comparison of Prosecco vs Champagne. Do you know what are the 9 important differences to know? Let's find out!

This is our comparison of Prosecco vs Champagne.

We’ve extensively researched these two popular sparkling wine styles, famous for their high acidity and light body, to help you pick the best for you.

Prosecco is more affordable than Champagne, that’s primarily because it is less time-intensive to produce.

Prosecco will have notes of apple, pear, citrus, white peach, honeydew melon, and honeysuckle. 

Champagne on the other side will have a more complex taste profile thanks to the aging process it undergoes in touch with the lees.

Champagne will have notes of apple, pear, lemon, strawberry, brioche, and toast.

Find below our wine guide on the most important differences between these two great wines.

Our recommendation for Best Value Prosecco is Ruffino Prosecco N.V. and for Best Overall is Nino Franco Rustico Prosecco Superiore

Our recommendation for Best Value Pierre Gobillard Brut Authentique Champagne and for Best Overall is Louis Roederer Cristal Brut Champagne 2014

Let’s begin with the review!

Wine Selection Overview

Find below our Prosecco vs Champagne wine selection for you where you’ll find our recommendation for you.

Champagne Selection

Bernard Remy Carte Blanche Brut Champagne
4.2/5

The three things that make this wine the best budget are:

1) It’s fresh, fruity and elegant and super easy to drink on its own or with a large variety of food.

2) Rated 93 points by Decanter as an evidence of its quality.

3) It costs ~$40 which is a good value for money.

Try it with seafood risotto, scallops, fish tartare, turkey, or Camembert cheese and it’ll be a delight!

Read our full review here.

Pierre Gobillard Brut Authentique Champagne
4.4/5

The three things that make this wine the best value are:

1) It’s more elegant and refined than the previous wine, which means you’ll have a better sensorial experience as you taste it.

2) The terroir: It’s made from grapes grown in the the Premier Cru village of Hautvillers, the birthplace of Dom Perignon.

3) It’s a great quality price-ratio. For ~$40 you get a high quality Champagne for a very reasonable price.

Try it with oyster, caviar, lobster, chicken with sesame, Brie cheese, or macaroons and it’ll be a delight!

Read our full review here.

Louis Roederer Cristal Brut Champagne 2014
4.7/5
There are at least three things that make this wine the best overall:

1) Unique blend: It is made from a unique blend of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay grapes sourced from the best vineyards in the Champagne region, that give the wine structure, finesse and elegance.

2) Long aging period: The wine is aged for six years in the cellars before it is released which allows the wine to develop a more complex flavor profile and a smoother texture.
 

3) Exceptional quality: This Champagne is produced in limited quantities, with only the best grapes from the best vineyards used in its production.

Louis Roederer Cristal Brut Champagne (Millésimé) 2014 is a champagne that is truly worthy of any special occasion or celebration.

Read our full review here.

Prosecco Selection

Mionetto Prosecco Treviso Brut
3.8/5

The three things that make this wine the best budget are:

1) It’s sparkling and dry and super easy to drink on its own or with a large variety of food.

2) It’s perfect for an apero as it pairs with a large variety of foods.

3) It costs ~$15 which is a good value for the quality you get.

Try it with salads, seafood, sushi, salads, creamy pasta and light desserts and it will be a delight!

Read our full review here.

Ruffino Prosecco
N.V.
4.1/5

The three things that make this wine the best value are:

1) It’s more refined and balanced than the previous wine, which means you’ll have a better sensorial experience as you taste it.

2) It’s the perfect everyday sparkling wine that delivers every time.

3) It’s a great quality price-ratio. For ~$16 you get a high quality Prosecco for a very reasonable price.

Try it with Parma ham, pizza, tofu, pork, chicken, grilled fish, or Parmigiano and it’ll be a delight!

Read our full review here.

Nino Franco Rustico Prosecco Superiore
4.4/5

There are at least three things that make this wine the best overall:

1) Exceptional quality: this Prosecco is made from high-quality Glera grapes grown in the Valdobbiadene region, which is known for producing some of the best Prosecco in the world.

2) Distinctive character: The wine has a unique flavor profile and complexity that sets it apart from other Proseccos.

3) Renowned producer: Nino Franco is a renowned winery that has been producing high-quality Prosecco for generations.

If you are looking for an exceptional Prosecco at a reasonable price, go for this one.

Read our full review here.

Comparison

Let’s now take a closer look at the difference between Prosecco vs Champagne so that you’ll have enough details to make an informed decision.

Prosecco vs Champagne: Where are they produced?

Here you’ll find a brief overview of Prosecco vs Champagne from an alcohol content point of view.

Prosecco is primarily produced in the northern-east part of Italy in the Veneto and Friuli Venezia Giulia.

Read this article do find more about Prosecco.

Champagne is named after the French region Champagne where the wine is produced. 

Read this article do find more about Champagne.

Both Prosecco and Champagne grapes grow best in cool climates where the grapes maintain a high level of acidity which is perfect for sparkling wines. 

Prosecco vs Champagne: Which grapes are used to produce them?

Here you’ll find a brief overview of Prosecco vs Champagne from a grape point of view.

For Prosecco, Glera is the main grape used representing at least 85% of the total. 

The remaining 15% can come from various other grapes among which there is Chardonnay, Pinot Bianco, Pinot Grigio, Glera Lunga. 

Pinot Noir generally used for the rosé version.

For Champagne, the grapes permitted are Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Pinot Meunier, Pinot Gris, Pinot Blanc, Petit Meslier and Arbane. 

The first three are used in nearly all Champagne and represent the majority.

All grape varieties are of the species Vitis vinifera.

Prosecco vs Champagne: What's their alcohol content?

Here you’ll find a brief overview of Prosecco vs Champagne from an alcohol content point of view.

Alcohol content or more precisely Alcohol By Volume, i.e. ABV, measures the alcoholic strength of a drink.

There is a direct relationship between the sugar left in the wine after the alcoholic fermentation has taken place, i.e. Residual Sugar or RS, and ABV.

During the alcoholic fermentation, the yeast transforms the sugar in the grape juice into alcohol. Grapes with high residual sugar will therefore produce dry wine with a high ABV.

Prosecco’s ABV is usually between 9% to 11%, whereas Champagne’s ABV ranges between 10.5% to 12.5% depending on the style. 

Prosecco vs Champagne: How are they made?

Champagne is usually produced using the Traditional Method or méthode traditionnelle in French.

Prosecco is instead usually produced using the Charmat Method (aka Tank or Martinotti Method).

The Traditional Method produces the highest sparkling wine quality albeit at the highest costs, and it’s considered the classic way of producing sparkling wines.  

One of the key differences between Champagne and Prosecco is the typical bread and biscuit flavors that the Champagne has and which is absent in Prosecco.

This is primarily produced by the at least 15 months aging in the bottle that Champagne endures in touch with yeast, aka the lees. 

Prosecco vs Champagne: What's their taste profile?

Here you’ll find a brief overview of Prosecco vs Champagne from a taste profile point of view.

Champagne will have notes of apple, pear, lemon, strawberry, brioche, and toast. Expect high acidity, light-body, saline, and creamy sensation on the palate.

Prosecco will have notes of apple, pear, citrus, white peach, honeydew melon, and honeysuckle.

Expect high acidity, light-body, and a slightly sweeter taste than Champagne, if you go for Extra Dry.

Prosecco vs Champagne: Are they sweet or dry?

Here you’ll find a brief overview of Prosecco vs Champagne in terms of sweetness level or residual sugar.

The sweetness level of a wine is expressed in grams of sugar per liter, aka g/L, or as a percentage.

10 g/L equals 1% which, if you are interested, represents 6 calories per 5 oz serving. 

There are typically three sweetness levels for Prosecco: Brut, Extra-Dry and Dry. Extra-Dry is the most common type.

Champagne is produced at all level of sweetness, but the most popular type is Brut.

Here are the sweetness levels for sparkling wines:

  • Brut Nature less than 3 g/l.
  • Extra Brut less than 6 g/l.
  • Brut less than 12 g/l.
  • Extra Dry between 12 to 17 g/l.
  • Sec/Dry between 17 to 32 g/l. Despite the name, it’s noticeably sweet.
  • Demi-Sec/Medium Dry between 32 to 50 g/l.
  • Doux/Sweet 50+ g/l. This is the sweetest level.

Learn more about wine sweetness level here.

Prosecco vs Champagne: Which are the recommended food pairings?

Here you’ll find a brief overview of Prosecco vs Champagne from a food pairings point of view.

The good thing about bubbles is that they are very versatile and go well with many dishes.

They also clean the palate very well, so you can pair them with greasy and creamy food too.

Classical pairing is French fries, mac & cheese, oysters, lobster, sashimi, fish & chips, fried calamari, and creamy cheese like Camembert for example.

Prosecco vs Champagne: How should you serve and store them?

Here you’ll find a brief overview of Prosecco vs Champagne in terms of serving and storing the wine.

Prosecco doesn’t need to be decanted. Serve it at 43 – 50 °F (6 – 10 °C) in a flûte glass.[1]

The recommended storage period is 1 to 2 years for normal bottles and up to 7 years for the finest bottles.

Champagne doesn’t need to be decanted. Serve it at 43 – 50 °F (6 – 10 °C) in a flûte glass.[1]

The recommended storage period is up to 4 years for Non Vintage and 5 to 10 years for Vintage Champagne. Certain type of Champagne can last 10+ years.

Prosecco vs Champagne: How much do they cost?

Here you’ll find a brief overview of Prosecco vs Champagne from a price comparison point of view.

We briefly touched on it, but you should expect a higher price for Champagne than Prosecco. 

The good news though is that you can have a wine made in the same way as Champagne with an amazing price-quality ratio even for vintages.

Cava or Franciacorta are great examples.

For Champagne expect up to $40 for Franciacorta and Cava, up to $50 for Champagne brand names, up to $100 for Champagne vintages.

If you are after the Premium selection expect to go over $100+.

For Prosecco expect $10-$20 for a good bottle and over $40+ if you are after Prosecco Superiore, Cartizze or Rive which are considered the premium selection.

Our Verdict

If you have been through the guide, by now you are a Prosecco vs Champagne expert!

You should have as well a good idea of what to expect from your glass of Champagne or Prosecco. 

Our recommendation is based on what you’d fancy the most at a particular given moment or event. 

Are you just after some refreshing bubbles in an informal event like an aperitif with friends or just for your own break?

Our recommendation for Best Value Prosecco is Ruffino Prosecco N.V. and for Best Overall is Nino Franco Rustico Prosecco Superiore

Do you prefer a more complex and sophisticated experience and want to treat yourself and your guests?

Our recommendation for Best Value Pierre Gobillard Brut Authentique Champagne and for Best Overall is Louis Roederer Cristal Brut Champagne 2014

We are sure that you’ll not be disappointed.

As always make sure to serve your Prosecco and Champagne at the right temperature and with the right glass so that you can enjoy them at their best.

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