Wine Talk

Snooth User: Lara at Oriel

Champagne vs. Prosecco

Posted by Lara at Oriel, Jun 24, 2009.

Last night at the Oriel office we had a side-by-side comparison of our 365 prosecco to a particular champagne with a bright yellow label (I'm sure you know the one). Here are our thoughts:

In terms of food, we had fresh summer strawberries and Murray's hooked us up with a triple creme and a 'hock ybrig' (cow's milk cheese from Swiss mountains). Everyone agreed it was a really nice pairing.

Danielle: "Smaller bubbles in the prosecco, more refreshing. The champagne has a heavier mouthfeel, and while it's tasty, it feels a little clunky next to the 'i wish i was back on my front porch in georgia' prosecco."

Lara: "I think there is a slight cork taint in the champagne; its borderline but im taking it into consideration, the nose comes across as one-note and musty. The palate is nice though-- I like the structure of the champagne, likely attributed to the Pinot Noir content. The prosecco is much lighter and therefore smoother, and I think the aromatics are nice-- white flowers, orange peel, maybe a little brioche?"

Rob: "Ok, I am a big fan of the yeasty-ness and minerality of the champagne; the 365 doesnt hold up to the same yeasty-ness but the fruit and minerality of the 365 puts it as a tough competitor. Both wines really stood up well next to the rich cheeses and to the delicate strawberries."

So I know that we might be biased, but its still a fun comparison. What are your thoughts on proseccos vs. champagnes?


Reply by Gregory Dal Piaz, Jun 24, 2009.

Hi Lara,

I'm a prosecco guy myself. Interesting notes you posted and a great idea for a tasting, except loose the yellow, it's really orange isn't it, label stuff!

Reply by Bele Casel, Jun 24, 2009.

Ciao Lara
I ve been attracted from this post as I am Prosecco's producer so I will try to say what I think about this matter being fair. Lots of people compare these two wines. I believe that they are two sparkling so different from each other that it is difficult to decide wich one is better than the other. Prosecco is fresh, easy to drink ( lets say from morning till nite), light and generally less expensive :) Champagne has more body with a stronger and complex bouquet particularly if made with Pinot noir. The important thing is to choose good products in both cases. Ciao Luca

Reply by dmcker, Jun 24, 2009.

I assume we're not talking this one, which I happen to like... ;-)

Reply by Eric Guido, Jun 24, 2009.

I love Prosecco, in fact I start almost every dinner out with a glass as well as most of my tastings. Verse Champagne is a hard comparison for me because I just relate Champagne to people acting silly, headaches the following day and... oops, whose that sleeping next to me?

Maybe I just haven't been to the right Champagne events.

Reply by dmcker, Jun 25, 2009.

Or maybe you have? ;-) (Sorry, Eric, couldn't resist the opening you provided...)

Reply by Lara at Oriel, Jun 25, 2009.

I agree with Luca on appreciating champagne for champagne and prosecco for prosecco. They are each great in their own respects. I love champagne but I find myself reaching for prosecco more often.

Reply by Degrandcru, Jun 25, 2009.

And we should not overlook Spanish "Cava" or German "Sekt". Both offer excellent choices as well. And for something more exotic but a great choice as well, Cava made in Mexico:

Reply by Piccolo161, Jul 1, 2009.

As someone who lived and worked in Champagne for many years, you won't be surprised to hear that champagne is my preference, but having said that I entirely agree with everyone who has said that they're just different.
Prosecco ( I will be guided by Lara on this ), is meant to be a light style sparkling wine which is fabulous with certain light foods and on certain occasions, but it's not made with the same grapes or in the same way as champagne, so it's not going to be the same.
It's a bit like asking which is better Shiraz or Carbernet Sauvignon. There is no " better" but only different

Reply by ChipDWood, Jul 2, 2009.

They're different creatures as well as different producers in different regions with different audiences... and pose different goals in their production.

I love Prosecco. K? Served it at the wedding, etc. It's crisp, refreshing, and a tad bit decadent. Everyone and their mamma's Uncle wanted to know "just what WAS that delicious champagne?"

The other sparklers (like the Joel Goet, Blanc de Blanc) are fantastic too, and easily carry their own merit.

What separates it for me is that Champagne, Cava, and any other number of sparklers (Iron Horse, etc.) tend to get caught up in things that Prosecco seems to just "float above".

Ever had a Rebuli? Lotsa delisciousness in there... and while things like the Palm d'Or Rose offer gems wrapped in bottles- their price can make them prohibitive.

Mmmmmmmm..... yummy Prosecco ;).

Reply by Chris Salvatori, Jul 24, 2009.

Some interesting thoughts above on champagne. But I'm glad others have mentioned about champagne alternatives, such as its Spanish equivalent: cava.
Despite their strict production rules, like those for champagne, there are so many types of cavas that really demonstrate their diversity - from brut to rose to natural. Am personally a huge fan of the rose.

Reply by afinta, Jul 24, 2009.

I agree that the only thing they share are the bubbles. And I love both - :)

Reply by George Parkinson, Jul 24, 2009.

This is apples to oranges and both, for me, have a place at the table for different reasons.

Reply by tylercanada, Jul 24, 2009.

Hey Lara,
I'm in with the prosecco is prosecco... but don't forget Franciacortas... awesome values, very underrated quality, and so worldly to pronounce to your friends...

Reply by Mattia Moretto, Jul 13, 2011.

I'm From Prosecco Area. I could say that prosecco is very close ( or sometimes even superior ) to Champagne.

To confirm it, don't drink commercial prosecco but try to get local producer from valdobbiadene. I suggest these unknown producers: Bortolomiol and "Le coulture", expecially for their "Cartizze"

Reply by dmcker, Jul 13, 2011.

Welcome to Snooth, Mattia.

Would be great to hear in more detail about how and when prosecco can be better than champagne. I have a much deeper experience with champagne, but unfortunately most of the prosecco I've had outside of Italy has been better suited to Bellini use than head-to-heads with other than the cheapest champagnes. In Italy I have been pleasantly surprised on multiple occasions and I've enjoyed extremely pleasant uplifts with antipasti at the beginning of meals in warmer weather, and in other contexts.

Please introduce more of the prosecco world to us...

Reply by Stephen Harvey, Jul 13, 2011.



I am from Adelaide in South Australia and we have a very large portion of our local population with Italian heritage.  Interestingly Italian cultural influence is significant with Coffee, pasta, pizza, northern italian cuisine and cheese all having significant impact on life in Adelaide.  But the one thing that has not impacted our culture until very recently was Italian wine, particularly Prosecco.

However that has changed in the 2-3 years as a number of Italian restaurants and specialty shops have started to have some excellent Prosecco's on offer.

My wife has taken quite a liking to Prosecco and we have tried many.  To me the style of Prosecco is very different to Champagne and seems to be generally made in a more acidic and fresh style which provides a very different drinking experience to champagne.  We both think it is great that the two are different as it broadens the sparkling experience.

We would certainly be very keen to get your reco's for the best Prosecco's and I can try and get my local italian wine importer to trry and source some for me.

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