Champagne vs Prosecco vs Cava – How to Know the Difference?

Bottle of Champagne and a Glass of Prosecco

It’s always fun to order a bubbly drink, but do you know what you’re drinking exactly? Well, there is some difference between the three most popular sparkling wines i.e. champagne, prosecco wine, and cava. Essentially, when we discuss what is cava, prosecco vs champagne, or champagne vs sparkling wine, we have to take the making procedure, manufacturing, taste, and bubbles into consideration.

Where Are These Wines Manufactured?

One of the biggest difference factors for these drinks to consider is the place of manufacturing. Namely, each of these wines is made in and associated with a specific area. For instance, when we talk about prosecco vs champagne, prosecco wine is produced in the Friuli region in the northeast of Italy while champagne is a French beverage that is specifically produced in that region. Furthermore, the cava sparkling wine is produced in Spain; 95% of cava drink is produced in the northeastern part of Spain.

The Fermentation Process

Champagne vs Sparkling Wine

Champagne is created through a process that involves the extraction of grape juice, blending, and fermentation to convert the drink into alcohol by using the method champenoise, specially made for champagne. The wine is sealed and bottled to trap the carbon dioxide to produce bubbles. The mixture is added to the bottle with yeast and sugar and the wine is completely fermented for the second time which increases the carbonation and develops the unique flavor of champagne.

On the other hand, cava sparkling wine utilizes a simple procedure of fermentation within a bottle, which many people would know as a “traditional” fermentation method. 

Prosecco Uses a Faster Method

Prosecco wine comes from Italy and uses the so-called Charmat process. The grapes are blended and then further fermented like other wines. In the second fermentation process, the bubbles are produced and trapped in a tank to increase the pressure and carbonation, which is further filtered to remove the impurities before being transferred into the bottles and packed. If we’re talking about prosecco vs champagne in terms of fermentation, prosecco’s fermentation process is considerably faster.

The Type of Grapes

Champagne, prosecco wine, and cava sparkling wine are all produced by different methods and use different types of grapes. When it comes to champagne vs sparkling wine comparison, champagne is manufactured by blending the Chardonnay and Pinot Meunier, enhancing and creating the fruity flavor while cava drink utilizes Xarelto, Macabeo, and Parellada grapes more often to enhance the savory flavor with maple apple taste and zesty notes. Prosecco is produced from little boiled grapes called Glera with a fruity taste.

A Difference in Price

Due to the fact that the fermentation process for champagne and cava tends to be more expensive compared to prosecco wine, this also makes the latter more affordable on the market. However, champagne is the most expensive one in the group.

The Matter of Flavor

When it comes to champagne, its flavor often differs based on the manufacturer. Depending on the combination of maple apple flavors with citrus and yeast, it can be lighter or heavier.

On the other hand, prosecco wine is super fragrant, lighter, and fruitier. But what is cava then? This drink is a bit more savory with a rather fruitless taste, often featuring more citrus and just a hint of pear.

The Bubble Factor

The champagne bubbles are strong and persistent as they are full of carbonation created through high pressure. The cava bubbles are pretty much the same in that regard, which is why sometimes it can be challenging to tell what is cava and what is champagne based on their bubbly quality only. The prosecco bubbles are known to be lighter.

The “sparkling” element is due to the added sugar before the wine is bottled. In general, sparkling drinks are low in calories but some of the beverages require more sugar to be sparkled. The labels use terms such as brut or sec (dry) to note less sugar while wines labeled as sweet have more sugar.

The Aging Process

All three popular wines use different aging methods. Different aging time is essential for each of them: champagne requires the longest aging time to gain the best flavor and texture, which is about 15 months; prosecco wine doesn’t need as much time for the aging process since the drink uses very little sugar. Cava needs about nine months of aging. Both champagne and cava need more time as they are fermented with yeast.

People love sparkling alcoholic drinks such as champagne, prosecco, and cava as they are light and refreshing. They can be enjoyed throughout the year but are especially appreciated during the warm summer months. 

That said, if you’re looking for some much-needed relaxation and refreshment, feel free to pay us a visit at Glass and Vine restaurant. In the picturesque nature of Coconut Grove by the sea, you can enjoy a glass of your favorite sparkling drink and a delicious bite from our delectable menu, away from the hustle and bustle of the city.