We've all had a sip or two at rare occasions or as a celebratory norm, so many of us know these two similar sparkling beverages have a big difference in taste and in price tag. Why is champagne so much more expensive than a decent bottle of prosecco?
Let's take a look at some basic differences to start.
Champagne is made with various grapes including chardonnay, pinot noir and pinor meunier grapes. It is made in the Chardonnay region in France located northeast of Paris and uses a 'Traditional Method' to produce the final product. This method of production is much more costly than other methods (except the transfer method) which includes more steps in the process. Additional steps includes a longer aging time called, 'aging on the lees' (lees are dead yeast cells left in the bottle or tank after fermentation), something called, 'riddling' (rotating the bottle during the aging process so the lees settle at the mouth of the bottle) and removal of the lees before corking the bottle.
Prosecco uses prosecco grapes and is made in the Veneto region of Italy located north of Venice. Production includes the 'Tank Method', which takes less time and has fewer steps in the process.
The region from which Champagne originates is perceived as a much more luxurious region for luxury wines and can command a higher price. A decent bottle of Champagne starts at $40 whereas you can find a good bottle of Prosecco for $14. Palates for Champagnes versus Proseccos can differ greatly as well, where Champagne is intensely dry with high acidity where it pairs well with shellfish, raw bar, crispy fried appetizers and yes, even potato chips! Prosecco, coming forward with fruity and flowery aromas is much sweeter partially due to the grapes and partially due to production in large tanks with less pressure. They pair well with cured meats, noodle-y Asian dishes and fruit driven appetizers.
So there you have it! If your yacht owner has a tighter budget or a sweeter tooth, try Prosecco as a great alternative to Champagne. Want to try something new to pair with an appetizer-driven function? Your local liquor store may have a wonderful Champagne that meets your needs!