Prosecco bottle and Champagne – Differences Explained

Before we go into the main differences that exist between Prosecco and Champagne, if you are interested in finding out about our family produced Champagne, you can do so by clicking HERE.

Prosecco VS Champagne

Have you ever looked at your Prosecco bottle and noticed pricewise they are much cheaper than the typical bottle of Champagne? Why is there such a difference between Prosecco and Champagne, they are both sparkling wine so they should cost about the same, right? Is it all a big con or is there some science behind why top Champagne brands cost much more than a Prosecco bottle?

Different Sparkling Wine Types

Admittedly, here at Say it With Champers we try not to discriminate too much between a Prosecco bottle and Champagne as everyone has their preference. Whether you are looking at a bottle of Prosecco, a Cava, or sparkling wine or even one of the better-known Champagne brands from one of the great Champagne houses, ultimately they all have their place in the market and rightly so. But for your information we will try and clarify just what exactly is the difference between a Prosecco bottle and a Champagne bottle as there are some very important differences in the production process/

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Bottle of Champagne

Sparkling Wine

In basic terms a sparkling wine is quite simply grape juice than contains alcohol that has bubbles in it. This is obviously a catch all phrase that covers all the different drink types we have already mentioned in this article

A sparkling wine will typically be made from fermented grape juice, and essentially any bottle of bubbly that does not have an official classification of being a champagne or a Prosecco bottle will fall into this category.

Sparkling Wine Colour

By default, a sparkling wine will almost certainly be white in appearance as this is directly related to the colour of the flesh of the grape, which by and large will be clear in appearance. So, when it comes to a sparkling red wine, or a sparkling Rosé, the winemaker in question will need to allow during the fermentation stage for the skin to be in contact with the juice.

One distinction must be made clear, technically a Champagne bottle and a Prosecco bottle are both classed as a sparkling wine. However not all sparkling wines fall under the categories of being a Champagne bottle or a Prosecco bottle.

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Serving Champagne

When it comes to the production methods of making sparkling wine, numerous ways currently exist. Ashley Santoro, who is employed for Standard Hotels as regional beverage director, explains that the particular method for making a sparkling wine will change depending where in the world you are based.

Typically, the grapes used for a sparkling wine will either be Chardonnay or Pinot Noir, however nearly any grape can be used to make a sparkling wine.

Sparkling Wine Etiquette

When people drink their sparkling wine, you will normally see them drinking their Champagne bottle or Prosecco bottle from a flute. Although the flute looks better, and will almost certainly keep the bubbles longer, a wider glass that is in the shape of a tulip is the best in terms of maximising the flavour.

So, when you next have a Prosecco bottle, or see some Champagne deals and wonder why it was such an expensive Champagne, the above should help provide you with a bit more information.

Champagne Deals

A staple of any brunch in a hotel or trip away will be a mimosa, and who can’t resist a mimosa especially after a heavy night the night before? The traditional sparkling wine to go into a mimosa has always been Champagne, it doesn’t have to be a fine Champagne, but the ingredient of choice is always Champagne.

I mentioned casually that Champagne is a sparkling wine, and technically it is, but and a big but, Champagne is much more than a sparkling wine. It is Champagne and just Champagne, and there are some good reasons for this.

Champagne, just Champagne… it can only be called Champagne if it was produced in the part of France called Champagne. Strict laws exist protecting the Champagne name which forbids sparkling wines to adopt the Champagne name. Champagne deals with these issues that arise on a case by case basis.

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Glasses of Champagne

American Champagne does exist though, for example the Californian producer called Andre, Korbel and Cook’s have a special agreement in place with the EU which specifically allows them to call their sparkling wine Champagne.

Authentic Champagne

Authentic Champagne only comes from the Champagne region, and although in technical terms it can of course be made anywhere in the world following the same methods – in this case a Prosecco bottle made in this way just won’t have the name “Champagne” on it. If you select the correct grapes (which will be Chardonnay, Pinot Meunier and Pinot Noir), employ the correct form of fermentation (entitled Méthode Champenoise), then the result are some great Champagne deals and not a Prosecco bottle.

The traditional way of producing Champagne is very time consuming and laborious, but that attention to detail is why a fine Champagne can be an expensive Champagne and not just a sparkling wine. It is very different to a Prosecco bottle as the second round of fermentation actually occurs in the bottle and not outside of the Champagne bottle.

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A fine Champagne is typically associated with special occasions, although certain critics point out that it goes well with certain heavier proteins. Some people drink their Champagne deals all the way through the meal, and why not?

Certain critics also argue that when you are making a mimosa, whether it is a fine Champagne, a Prosecco bottle, or a sparkling wine that goes into it probably doesn’t matter too much, as the juice that is mixed into it will disguise a great deal of the flavour anyway. Putting a fine Champagne or a top quality Champagne from the best Champagne houses may not be worth your while as the favours will be masked. In this case you are better off using a Prosecco bottle, Cava or a sparkling wine.

Prosecco Bottle

A Prosecco bottle is also regarded as a sparkling wine, but the main difference from Champagne is that Italy is the country of origin.

A Prosecco bottle does have qualities, but many critics regard it is a inferior version of even low priced Champagne deals.

A Prosecco bottle is a bit like a can of Coke if we are looking for an analogy, as the bubbles are added at a later stage. Experts often don’t take a Prosecco bottle seriously compared to even low priced Champagne deals as the fermentation process is very different to that of a fine Champagne. The method that goes into a Prosecco bottle is the Charmat method.

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Personalised Champagne bottle label

Which With a Meal?

Certain critics say that unlike Champagne you would not have a Prosecco bottle with the main meal, but would largely drink it is as an aperitif before the meal. Even low priced Champagne deals are usually of a sufficient quality to have for the whole meal. Champagne is obviously a higher quality product, and that is why we use it for our personalised Champagne bottles. So next time you are look for a birthday drink you will be the wiser for it!