What is the difference between champagne, sparkling wine and prosecco?
Champagne, sparkling wine and prosecco are all carbonated wines. They differ significantly in their geographical origin, in the grape varieties used for their production, and partly in their colour, carbon dioxide content and production process.
Sekt is the German term for quality sparkling wine. A sparkling wine must have a carbonic acid pressure of at least 3.5 bar and at least 10 percent alcohol by volume. It can be produced purely from one variety or as a cuvée (from several grape varieties), whereby the grape varieties must always be approved for the production of quality wine. If a specific growing region is indicated (sparkling wine psr), the grapes must come from this region and have been processed there. Depending on the basic wine, there are white, rosé or red sparkling wines. The production can take place in tank fermentation(Méthode charmat) or in traditional bottle fermentation (Méthode classique). (For details, see the question "How is sparkling wine made?")
Champagne is a quality sparkling wine from the protected region of origin Champagne in France. It must be produced using the traditional bottle fermentation method (which is therefore also referred to as the méthode champenoise) and may be vinified from a maximum of seven specified grape varieties; the three most common and best-known are Pinot Noir, Pinot Meunier and Chardonnay, while Arbane, Petit Meslier, Pinot Gris and Pinot Blanc are also permitted. The grapes may only come from vineyards in Champagne and must also be processed in the region. Champagne comes in blanc or rosé varieties, both of which can be made from white or red grapes; a blanc de blancs is made exclusively from white grapes, a blanc de noirs exclusively from white-pressed red grapes. Most champagnes are cuvées; in the case of single-varietal champagnes, the grape variety is not always indicated.
Quality sparkling wine from other regions in France is called Crémantwhich can thus be considered the counterpart to the German sparkling wine; the region is then also part of the protected designation of origin, e.g. Crémant de Loire.
Prosecco is a protected area of origin in northern Italy, which includes parts of the regions of Veneto and Friuli and in which still wines(tranquillo), sparkling wines(frizzante) and sparkling wines(spumante) are produced. In Germany, the term usually refers to Prosecco Frizzante (i.e. the semi-sparkling wine from this region) or Prosecco Spumante (i.e. the sparkling wine from this region). Frizzante has a carbonic acid pressure between 1 and 2.5 bar, Spumante a carbonic acid pressure between 3 and 6 bar. White Prosecco must always be made from at least 85 per cent Glera grape variety (which was also called Prosecco until 2009, but this caused confusion); up to 15 per cent of eight specified other grape varieties may be added. Prosecco Spumante can be produced by tank fermentation or traditional bottle fermentation. Even narrower designations of origin than Prosecco DOC are Prosecco Treviso DOC (from the province of the same name in Veneto) as well as Prosecco di Conegliano Valdobbiadene DOCG and Prosecco Colli Asolani DOCG. In all cases, the grapes must come from the respective area and have been processed there. From 2020, there will also be Proseccco Rosé, which is made from the Pinot Nero grape variety