WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE?
Champagne is from the Champagne region from the North-East of France. It uses Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Pino Meaner grapes in its construction. It dates back to the 17th Century made using a process called ‘Methode Champenoise’ where the grapes are fermented in steel tanks once then transferred to individual bottles. Combined with yeast and sugar, the second fermentation process is completed within the bottle for at least 15 months. It is then filtered of lees (dead yeast), and some of the sugar, depending on the sweetness of the wine being created. It is this second fermentation process that sees the difference in price of Champagne to Prosecco as the latter can be filtered in bulk, Champagne has to be attended to individually.
Prosecco is produced in the region of Veneto in the North-East of Italy. The Glera grapes used may have originated from the Prosecco region but have since been cultivated in the lower lying regions of Veneto and Fiuli. Although new to fame for some, Prosecco actually dates back as far as the 18th Century known for it’s ‘apple bouquet’. It is made using the ‘Charmat-Martinotti’ method where first and second fermentation take place in steel tanks rather than the bottle as with Champagne. Prosecco is fermented in this for a minimum of 15 days lending to it’s speedy production and lower price point. It can be produced as spumante (fully sparkling), frizzante (lightly sparkling) or tranquillo (still).
WHAT SHOULD I CHOOSE?
At Drinks21 we have a large selection from both regions. Our favourites are:
Taittinger Brut Réserve NV Champagne comes from one of the oldest cellars in Champagne featuring peach, white flowers, honey and vanilla pod on the palate and a elegant, dry finish. It has been aged for 3-4 years in cellars to achieve a well-developed but aromatic maturity. The wine is straw yellow in colour with a fine pearlage resulting in a discreet and persistent mousse. It has been created from more than 35 crus with a high level of Chardonnay grape unusual to a non-vintage cuve.
Sartori Brut Prosecco DOC was produced in the Treviso province using 100% Glera grapes. The wine has a nose of wild apples and acacia flowers with a dry nutty finish. It is straw yellow in colour with a fine spumante pearlage. The grapes have been harvested in the middle of September and softly pressed to ensure quality during production.
..AND THE WINNER IS?
Both have valid points in their favour but for us, Champagne pips the post every time, especially when celebrating or buying a gift for any occasion.