Prosecco vs champagne: what’s the difference between these sparkling wines? Here’s what you need to know about these bottles of bubbly.

How to make a pineapple mimosa

Prosecco vs champagne: what’s the difference between these bottles of bubbly? These sparkling wines are customary for celebration and star in famous cocktails like Mimosa and Bellini. When should you use each one? Can you substitute one for the other? Here’s a breakdown including differences in flavor and cost.

Prosecco vs champagne: overview

What’s the difference between Prosecco vs champagne in definition? The two are types of sparkling wine from different countries made using different methods:

  • Champagne is sparkling wine made in the Champagne region in France. Technically wine cannot be labeled as “Champagne” unless it is made in this region. But many people use the term champagne to refer to all sparkling wines as a category. Champagne is made using a costly and time consuming process called méthode champenoise.
  • Prosecco is the most popular sparkling wine from Italy. It’s made with a process that’s costly and less time intensive called the “tank method.” Today good Prosecco is widely available, making it nearly as popular as Champagne.

Prosecco vs champagne: what’s the difference in price?

What’s a bottle of each of these sparkling wines going to set you back?

  • How much does Champagne cost? A good bottle of Champagne can cost between $40 and $200+ in the US. Because it’s made with the time and cost-intensive méthode champenoise, good Champagne costs more than a good Prosecco. While you can find it for cheaper, experts say not to bother with champagne below the $40 mark. Instead, grab a bottle of…
  • How much does Prosecco cost? You can find a good bottle of Prosecco for $10 to $15. Because the process for Prosecco is less intense, this sparkling wine is more economical. We even like the flavor better (keep reading).
Negroni Sbagliato

Prosecco vs champagne: what’s the difference in flavor?

The other main difference between these sparkling wines is the way they taste! Here are the major differences in flavor between Prosecco vs champagne:

  • What does champagne taste like? Champagne has very fine bubbles. It has a dry and yeasty flavor. Tasting notes include lemon, orange zest, cherry, and toffee.
  • What does Prosecco taste like? Prosecco has larger, looser bubbles and is sweeter than Champagne. Tasting notes include apple, pear, lemon zest, flowers, and vanilla.

Famous Prosecco and champagne cocktails

There are a handful of famous cocktails made using Prosecco and champagne! Here’s a list of the most famous sparkling cocktails:

Famous Champagne Cocktails

  • Champagne Cocktail This cocktail dates back to the 1800s! Sprinkle a sugar cube with bitters and Cognac, then pour the champagne on top to make a fountain of bubbles.
  • Mimosa This 1920’s Parisian cocktail stars orange juice and Champagne, and today has become synonymous with brunch. There are lots of fruity spins on this drink, like the apple cider mimosa, pineapple mimosa and cranberry mimosa.
  • French 75 Another classic cocktail, this bubbly drink stars gin, lemon juice, and Champagne. It’s a favorite around here!
  • Black Velvet Invented in 1861, this combination of stout beer and Champagne stands the test of time!

Famous Prosecco Cocktails

  • Bellini This Italian cocktail was invented in Venice in the 1940’s, made with peach puree and Prosecco.
  • Aperol Spritz Arguably the most famous classic cocktail from Italy, it stars Prosecco, Aperol and soda water.
  • Negroni Sbagliato This one’s a modern cocktail, but deserves a mention! It’s a spin on the Negroni using Prosecco instead of gin, and the bubbles are the perfect balance to bitter Campari.

About the authors

Sonja & Alex

Meet Sonja and Alex Overhiser: Husband and wife. Expert home cooks. Authors of recipes you'll want to make again and again.

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