“Optimism is a mindset. Prosecco contributes to it. Champagne defines it.” (me)
Tradition is such a great thing. It gives us a sense of our past as well as setting the tone for our future. At this time of year there are so many traditions that we call on to do that. Midnight mass, Christmas trees, holly and mistletoe, gifts given and received. Add to that food, food and then maybe, more food. New Year celebrations. With that comes the traditional toasts with wine and champagne. Hey! How about something different. Something new. Something BOLD!
Champagne is a New Year’s Eve tradition. That toast at midnight is really like the starting gun at the Kentucky Derby. The New Year is here so let’s get it going. Not being a fan of champagne myself, I will usually just take a small sip, put the glass down somewhere and pretend I lost it. But the holiday can take a slight turn with a small substitution. Maybe something different from champagne. Ahhh…PROSECCO. Champagne’s Italian cousin. Different, but pretty close. Bold, but not too crazy. So, a little discussion about the difference.
Champagne is a sparkling wine produced under very strict regulations in the Champagne wine region of France. There are specific vineyard practices to be met along with fermentation and sourcing of grapes. One crucial aspect you have to know is that it is made from a blend of largely under ripe red and white grapes, giving champagne a bit less of an alcohol content than wine, but less of a sweet and more of an acidic taste. Understand too that red grapes, before they fully ripen produce a clear juice and add to the complexity. Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier grapes are blended, but it is the Chardonnay that really brings the flavor and the character. Now, some champagnes are 100% Chardonnay, they are called the Blanc de Blanc. These have more finesse and elegance and also a heftier price tag.
Prosecco is an Italian wine produced in an area of nine provinces in the Veneto and Friuli Venezia Giulia regions. It is named after the village of the same name in the Trieste province from the Prosecco grape, which had its name changed to Glera in 2009 throughout the European Union. Again, there are very specific regulations to be met. The most common Prosecco is normally classified as Extra Brut or Brut, but there is also a lesser produced variety, Tranquillo which has no bubbles. Prosecco can also be a little confusing because if it is only classified as DRY, it is the sweetest of all the products. Following this so far?
Basically there is very little difference between Champagne and Prosecco as far as taste. It is the method of fermentation that sets them apart. The Italian method, called “Charmat” is done in large airtight tanks. Sugars and yeast are added and Prosecco is bottled when this second fermentation is complete. The French method, called “Method of Champenoise” where the second fermentation takes place in the bottle. Both have advantages, and both are steeped in history and tradition.
So, which is better? That all depends on your taste, as with most food and wine. Whichever you like is the better one. Although Prosecco does tend to be a little less expensive on average, you can easily find more expensive brands, just like with champagne. Consider your own comfort zone, because that will greatly affect your palate. If you spend too much and expect great things, you may be very disappointed. Don’t be swayed. Stick to your guns and hold the line. And welcome the New Year happily, with hope.
Yesterday is a canceled check. Tomorrow is a promissory note. Today is all we have. So, enjoy it!
Happy New Year everybody!! (Take that lampshade off your head. You look ridiculous!)
5 thoughts on “Prosecco vs Champagne, a Battle Royale”
My champagne is in the refrigerator as we speak!
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a toast to all this new year!
So right! I actually prefer Prosecco to Champagne. Thank you for this.
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As a short story writer, reading this blog post about the tradition of toasting with champagne on New Year’s Eve brings back memories of my own celebrations and the excitement of ringing in the new year with friends and loved ones. The comparison between champagne and prosecco also sparks my creativity, making me wonder about the different histories and traditions behind each type of wine and how they could potentially be incorporated into a fictional setting or character. Overall, this post has left me feeling nostalgicically joyful and ready to embrace the new year with optimism.
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My friend, you will never know how much your response means to me. Thank you for taking the time and thank you for your kind words.
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