Spumante vs Brut: What Are The 8 Important Differences To Know?

Spumante vs Brut
This is our comparison of Spumante vs Brut. Let's find out what the important differences are!

This is our comparison of Spumante vs Brut. We’ve extensively researched this topic to help you pick the best for you.

Let’s start by saying that while Spumante is a name used to denominate a series of sparkling wines in Italy, Brut is a sweetness level instead and not a wine per se. 

What the most famous sparkling Brut wine in the world? It’s Champagne of course. So our comparison will then be between Spumante and Champagne.

Spumante wines are produced at all level of sweetness. Asti Spumante Dolce DOCG is sweet and it’s the most exported DOCG in the world.

It’s known for its elegant sweetness, persistent bubbles, light body, peach, pear, and honeysuckle notes.

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 Spumante is Altaneve Prosecco Superiore N.V. and for Best Overall is Ca’ del Bosco Franciacorta N.V..

Our recommendation for Best Value Champagne is Veuve Clicquot Brut Champagne N.V. and for Best Overall is Louis Roederer Cristal Brut Champagne 2013

You’ll find below other recommendations for you. 

Let’s begin with the review!

Wine Selection Overview

Find below our Spumante vs Brut wine selection for you where you’ll find our recommendation for you.

Spumante Selection

Cinzano Asti Spumante Sweet (Dolce)
3.6/5

Cinzano is the most famous Asti Spumante brand in Italy, and for a reason. You can’t go wrong here.

It’s nicely sweet, bubbly, and very easy to drink. 

Pair it with sponge cake or pastries and you’ll be in heaven!

Altaneve Prosecco Superiore N.V.
4.4/5

Crisp character and unique, floral aroma features notes of peach, pear and honeysuckle.

The elegant bouquet, balanced acidity and sweetness are complex yet approachable, giving it great versatility.

Ca' del Bosco Franciacorta N.V.
4.1/5

It is clean and delicate on the nose. This wonderful sparkler is full-bodied and toasty on the palate.

Creamy and elegant, with a touch of vanilla and hazelnut on the finish.

Champagne Selection

Louis Roederer Brut Premier Champagne N.V.
4.2/5

The attack is ample and dense; a rich and winey fullness is refined by the sweetness and acidity.

The ensemble is perfectly integrated into a subtle texture.

Tasting reveals sparkling suggestions of candied fruits, almond paste, toast, white chocolate, and caramel.

Veuve Clicquot Brut Champagne N.V.
4.3/5

Good value for money. Similar wines usually cost 38% more.

Very Good. Light gold color; small bubbles. Straw on the nose.

Quick tanginess on the tip of the tongue initially, then a slow finish. Lemon acidity.

Louis Roederer Cristal Brut Champagne 2013
4.6/5
A precise, pure combination of flowers, finely toasted hazelnuts, and candied citrus fruits.
 
Silky, concentrated and flavorsome texture with an explosion of ripe fruit, red fruit, white chocolate and caramel.
 
A powerful and elegant wine with a crescendo of sensations that attains a true harmony of flavors and perfect integration.

Comparison

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

Spumante vs Brut: Where are they produced?

Here you’ll find a brief overview of Spumante vs Brut (Champagne) from regions and wine styles points of view.

Spumante is a name used to denominate a series of sparkling wines in Italy. Spumante wines are produced at all level of sweetness:
 
Asti Spumante Dolce DOCG is sweet and it’s the most exported DOCG in the world and it is produced in the northern-west part of Italy in the Piemonte region.
 
Other famous Spumante wines are:

  • Prosecco DOC & DOCG which is usually extra-dry and it’s produced in the northern-east part of Italy in the Veneto and Friuli Venezia Giulia regions.

  • Franciacorta DOCG and Trento DOC which are usually dry and are instead from Lombardia and Trentino Alto Adige regions in Italy respectively.

Read this article do find more about Spumante.

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

Read this article do find more about Champagne.

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

Spumante vs Brut: Which grapes are used to produce them?

Here you’ll find a brief overview of Spumante vs Brut (Champagne) from a grape point of view.

For Spumante wines, different grapes are used depending on the styles:

  • Asti Spumante is made with Moscato Bianco or Muscat Blanc grape.

  • Other Spumante styles like Franciacorta DOCG and Trento DOC uses Chardonnay, Pinot Blanc, Pinot Meunier, and Pinot Noir.

  • 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 to produce it 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.

Spumante vs Brut: What's their alcohol content?

Here you’ll find a brief overview of Spumante vs Brut (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.

Champagne’s ABV ranges between 10.5% to 12.5%, whereas Spumante’s ABV ranges between 6% to 10.5% depending on the style. 

#3 - Spumante vs Brut: What's their taste profile?

Here you’ll find a brief overview of Spumante vs Brut (Champagne) from a taste profile point of view.

For Spumante wines, these are the usual taste profiles you should expect:

  • Asti Spumante is primarily a sparkling dessert wine. It is known for its elegant sweetness, persistent bubbles, light body, peach, pear, and honeysuckle notes.

    Expect medium acidity, light-body, persistent perlage (4.5 bar), and an ABV of 5.5%.

  • Franciacorta and Trento have persistent perlage (6 bar), high acidity, light body, bread crumb, dried fruit, citrus fruit notes, and an ABV range of 10%-11.5%.

  • Prosecco is usually dry or extra dry, with notes of apple, pear, citrus, white peach, honeydew melon, and honeysuckle.

    Expect high acidity, light-body, persistent perlage (4.5-5 bar), and an ABV in a range of 6%-10.5%.

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

#4 - Spumante vs Brut: Are they sweet or dry?

Here you’ll find a brief overview of Spumante vs Brut 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. 

Spumante wines are produced at all level of sweetness.

  • Asti Spumante is primarily a sweet wine with 50+ g/l.

    There’s a Secco, i.e. Dry, version too, that despite the name, still means that it’s pretty sweet with a range of 17 to 32 g/l.

  • Franciacorta and Trento are usually produced as Brut Nature, i.e. less than 3 g/l, or Brut i.e. less than 6 g/l.

  • You can find Prosecco in various sweetness levels, however the most popular is extra-dry, i.e. between 12 to 17 g/l.

    Despite the name, Extra Dry is actually more sweet than Brut. I know, it’s confusing…

Champagne is usually produced in its Brut version with less than 12 grams of sugar per liter, aka g/l. 

Generally speaking, there are seven sweetness levels for sparkling wines. Their sweetness level depends on the amount of sugar added during the dosage.

Here are the sweetness levels:

  • 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.

Read this article to know more about wine sweetness level.

Spumante vs Brut: Which are the best food pairings?

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

For Spumante wines food pairings depend on the style:

  • Asti Spumante is less versatile than Prosecco, still, you can pair it with various dishes, including desserts.

    Classical pairings are Asian spicy dishes, clams, oyster, Cheddar, and Parmigiano cheese to name some.

    Dessert wise go for fruit tart except for orange, sponge cake, Panettone, Pandoro, and dried fruit.
  • Franciacorta, Trento and Prosecco are very versatile wines and can be paired with many dishes.

    This is primarily because of the bubbles, they clean the palate very well, so you can pair them with greasy and creamy food too.

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

Champagne is a very versatile wine too. Like Prosecco classical pairings are French fries, mac & cheese, oysters, lobster, sashimi, fish & chips, fried calamari.

Cheese wise go for creamy cheese like Camembert for example.

 

Spumante vs Brut: How do you serve and store them?

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

Spumante wines don’t need to be decanted and need to be served cold 43 – 50 °F (6 – 10 °C) in a flûte glass.[1]. Their storage period depends on the style and quality of the bottle:

  • Asti Spumante has a recommended storage period of up to 1 year.

  • Franciacorta and Trento, the storage period can go up to 4 years for non-vintage and up to 10 years for vintage bottles.

  • Prosecco has a 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.

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.

Spumante vs Brut: How much do they cost?

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

Spumante wines have a price range that varies depending on the style. They though generally offer a great value for your money! 

  • Asti Spumante is an affordable wine. You’ll find good bottles of Asti Spumante at around $10 – $20. 

  • For Franciacorta DOCG and Trento DOC you are in the $20-$30 range.

    Unlike Asti Spumante, these wines must spend at least 18 months in touch with the yeast which will add extra complexity to the wine.

    They are the Italian “Champagne” in a way, with a very good value for money.

  • 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.

For Champagne expect up to $50 for Champagne brand names, up to $100 for Champagne vintages, and $100+ for the Premium selection.

Our Verdict

If you have been through the guide, by now you are a Spumante vs Brut expert!

You should also have a good idea of what to expect from your glass of Spumante or Brut. 

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

Our recommendation for Best Value Spumante is Altaneve Prosecco Superiore N.V. and for Best Overall is Ca’ del Bosco Franciacorta N.V..

Our recommendation for Best Value Champagne is Veuve Clicquot Brut Champagne N.V. and for Best Overall is Louis Roederer Cristal Brut Champagne 2013

As always make sure to serve your Spumante and Brut at the right temperature and glass, so that you can enjoy them at their best.

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