Champagne vs Prosecco – A Guide by Hugo Chetcuti

As Hugo Chetcuti well knows, there’s nothing like a bottle of bubbly to kick off a celebration to celebrate with friends and loved ones. Whilst the majority seem to opt for the classic bottle of champagne, prosecco is fast catching up in terms of popularity. We’ve created a short but thorough guide that lists the differences between these two sparkling wines.

Where are they from?

France can lay claim to champagne (see what we did there?) seeing as the drink is produced in the region of the same name. It’s made from three types of grapes: Pinot Noir, Pinot Meunir and Chardonnay.

Prosecco hails from Northern Italy in the region of Veneto. 85% of the drink must be made from a grape called Glera, whilst the remaining 15% can be produced from Chardonnay, Bianchetta Trevigiana and Perera grapes.

How are they made?

Champagne’s method of production is more laborious and intensive and is known as Method Champenoise (the Traditional Method). It involves a second fermentation in the same bottle in which it will be served. Sugar and yeast are added to the wine, achieving the famous fizziness that the beverage is known for.

In contrast, prosecco undergoes its secondary fermentation in a tank made of stainless steel (the Charmat Method). The bubbles are created by closing off the tank thus preventing CO2 from escaping, after which the wine is filtered and put into bottles.

What’s the difference in taste?

The dominant fruity flavours in champagne are citrus, almond, peach, cherry and apple, coupled with toasty, brioche notes.
Prosecco is sweeter and more flowery, with essences of honeysuckle, green apple, cream and pear. The bubbles are also much lighter due to the wine being exposed to less atmospheric pressure in the steel tank.

Food pairings

Save shellfish like oysters, prawns or octopus for champagne, as most blends are quite dry and acidic. The more saccharine Prosecco is great as an aperitif, served on its own, or else matched with fruits or meaty dishes.

Make your evening sparkle at Bacco Sticks and Sum, owned by Hugo Chetcuti. Pair some steamed scallop and prawns with your favourite bottle of champagne for a particular occasion or pour out some prosecco to accompany some sizzling beef dumplings.

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