Learn About Wine

Champagne vs Prosecco: The Real Differences

Q: What are the differences between Champagne vs Prosecco

and why does one cost so much more than the other?

Answer: Champagne is from France and Prosecco is from Italy and they’re produced using different methods. the winemaking method is partially responsible for the price difference.

Technically speaking, Champagne is more expensive to produce than Prosecco. However, one of the biggest factors in the big cost discrepancy is market demand and positioning.

Because Champagne is perceived a luxury wine it commands higher prices. On the other hand, there are exceptional Prosecco wines in the Conegliano Valdobbiadene DOCG and Colli Asolani DOCG regions but they usually don’t cost more than $30 a bottle. (It’s a great place to hunt for value!)

Let’s explore the differences between Champagne and Prosecco

Champagne

Champagne is a sparkling wine made in the Champagne region of France around the city of Reims about 80 miles (130 km) Northeast of Paris.

  • Made with Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier grapes
  • Produced using a costly method called the ‘Traditional Method’
  • A standard pour of Brut Champagne has ~128 Calories (12% ABV)
  • $40 for a good entry-level Champagne

Prosecco

Prosecco is a sparkling wine made in the Veneto region of Italy around the city of Treviso about 15 miles (24 km) North of Venice.

  • Made with Prosecco (a.k.a. Glera) grapes
  • Produced using an affordable method called the ‘Tank Method’
  • A standard pour of Prosecco has ~121 Calories (11% ABV)
  • $12-14 for a good entry-level Prosecco

Champagne Taste Profile

Citrus Fruits, White Peach, White Cherry, Almond, Toast

Tasting Notes: Since Champagne is aged longer on the yeast particles (called lees), it will often have a cheese rind like flavor that in finer examples comes across as toasty or biscuity. Since the wines are aged in bottles under high pressure the bubble finesse is fine, persistent and sharp. Vintage-dated Champagnes often have almond-like flavors along with orange-zest and white cherry.

Food Pairing: Since most Champagne is intensely dry and has high acidity it works wonderfully as an aperitif matched with shellfish, raw bar, pickled vegetables and crispy fried appetizers. Sipping Champagne with potato chips may sound low-brow, but it’s an insanely good pairing


Prosecco Taste Profile

Green Apple, Honeydew Melon, Pear, Honeysuckle, Fresh Cream

Tasting Notes: Prosecco tends to have more present fruit and flower aromas which are a product of the grape. Because the wines are aged in large tanks with less pressure Prosecco bubbles are lighter, frothy and spritzy with less persistence. Finer Prosecco wines often exhibit notes of tropical fruits, banana cream, hazelnut, vanilla and honeycomb.

Food Pairing: Prosecco leans more towards the sweeter end of the spectrum and because of this it’s an ideal match with cured meats and fruit-driven appetizers like prosciutto-wrapped melon and middle-weight Asian dishes such as Thai noodles and sushi.


Champagne is a cooler growing region than Prosecco. This results in grapes that tend are leaner with higher acidity. The Valdobbiadene region in Italy where Prosecco grows is certainly still cool, but much less so than Champange. (Although it does rain a lot around Treviso!)


Great Champagne: In Your Budget

It doesn’t matter if you spend $10 a bottle or $100 a bottle. Find the best sparkling wine choices in your budget.

Find Out


Discover The Best Prosecco

The best Prosecco isn’t even called Prosecco! Find out more about Prosecco quality levels

Prosecco Guide

About Madeline Puckette

I'm a certified sommelier and creator of the NYT Bestseller, Wine Folly: The Essential Guide to Wine. Find me out there in the wine world @WineFolly