What's the difference?
The folks over at WineFolly provide a pretty good, summary answer in the form of an infographic. Here's the breakdown:
- made in the Champagne region of France around the city of Reims about 80 miles northeast of Paris;
- made with chardonnay, pinot noir and pinot meunier grapes;
- produced using a costly method called the "methode champenoise" (the "traditional method")
- a standard pour of brut champagne has ~128 calories (12% ABV); and,
- a good, entry-level champagne costs ~$40.
Champagne is aged longer with the lees (i.e., yeast particles) than is proseco, giving champage a sharper flavor. Since most good champagnes are aged in bottles under high pressure (methode champenoise), the bubbles are tiny and the taste is persistent and sharp.
For big events and celebrations, The Motley Monk's favorite champagne to serve is Veuve Cliquot. Piper Heidsiek comes in a close second. Finer, vintage champagnes are just too expensive.
- a sparkling wine made in the Veneto region of Italy around the city of Treviso about 15 miles north of Venice;
- made with glera (aka, proseco) grapes;
- produced using an affordable method called the "tank method";
- a standard pour of prosecco has ~121 calories (11% ABV); and,
- a good, entry-level proseco costs ~$12-14.
Prosecco is more fruity and because it's aged in large tanks with less pressure. Also, its bubbles are bigger, more spritzy, and the flavor is less persistent. Proseco is also much sweeter than champagne.
It's that final characteristic that explains why The Motley Monk doesn't like to drink proseco. He'd rather have sparking cider and pay a whole lot less for it. That said, proseco can add a great flavor to certain recipes.
Lastly, The Motley Monk would argue that the rule "If you're not going to serve it to drink, then don't cook with it " shouldn't be applied to either champagne or proseco. Why? A very good or excellent brut champagne or proseco is simply too expensive for the purposes of cooking, especially since the bubbles and alcohol will be cooked out of the liquid. A low-priced, good-tasting champagne or proseco provides all that's need when it comes to flavoring a recipe, for example, The Motley Monk's homemade three-cheese ravioli (or chicken breasts) served with a basil, champagne cream sauce.
So, The Motley Monk has modified the rule when it comes to coooking with either champagne or proseco: Don't pour either into a pot or pan unless it's been sitting around and the bubbles have dissipated.
Let the discussion begin...
To check out the WineFolly website, click on the following link: