Champagne vs. Prosecco vs. sparkling wine?
I know, keeping up with all the nuances of bubbly can be confusing. That's why you need this guide that will answer your burning (and bursting) bubbly questions.
One quiet afternoon while popping a new vegan, organic, sparkling wine I was sampling for an article I was writing, it hit me: What’s the difference between Champagne and Prosecco? Should I be embarrassed that after all the bottles of bubbly I’ve popped, dinner and wine-pairing events I’ve been to, and beverage research I've conducted that I didn’t know the difference between the two? Let there be confusion no more. Here's a refresher on all the bubbly variants so you are a mini bubbly encyclopedia on Champagne vs. Prosecco. vs. sparkling wine. Plus, some tasting notes so you choose a bubbly that is perfect for your unique palette.
Champagne is a type of sparkling wine that comes from the region of Champagne, in northern France. In addition to regional requirements, it also must be made from specific grapes to constitute as Champagne.
What about Prosecco? It's sparkling wine from Veneto, Italy. Prosecco is made predominantly from the Italian white grape variety called Glera. (It must consist of at least 85% Glera to be considered a Prosecco.)
And that brings us to sparkling wine: Any sparkling wine not from Champagne, France (Champagne) and not from Veneto, Italy (Prosecco) is just sparkling wine!
So, all Champagne and Prosecco are sparkling wines, but not all sparkling wines are Champagne and Prosecco.
There you have it. Now you are bubbly woke on the basics. (Oh, and one more thing: NOT all wines are vegan if that matters to you. Many use egg whites and other animal-based agents to create a certain clarity, color, etc. For more on that, and a deep dive, visit this guide HERE.)
Some bonus bubbly knowledge for you:
Champagne Food Pairing
Pair Champagne with salty and savory dishes and flavors, like pickled vegetables, and crispy fried appetizers and even a salty crisp and a plant-based cheese that leans on the more sharp and pungent side.
Champagne Brut is the most dry (not-sweet).
Champagne Extra-Dry is moderately sweet.
Champagne Dry on the sweet side.
Prosecco Food Pairing
Prosecco tends to be a tad sweeter than Champagne. So, its a great match with fruit-driven appetizers or on a fruit-forward charcuterie board with fruits, jam and a mix of sweet and savory veg-friendly fixings.
But is all Prosecco sweet? No.
Prosecco Brut is the most dry (not-sweet) and
Prosecco Extra-Dry is moderately sweet.
Prosecco Dry is sweet.
*Photo diagrams courtesy of Wine Folly.
The naming conventions (Brut, Dry, Extra-Dry) to demote sweetness (which represents how many grams of sugar each has) is counterintuitive, so just remember this: Brut = Not Sweet and Dry = Sweet.
There you have it. Now you are bubbly woke. (And note, that NOT all sparkling wines are vegan. Many use egg whites and other animal-based agents to create a certain clarity, color, etc.