Sparkling wines feature a light taste, delicate flavor, and pleasant bubbles – that is why multiple wine lovers prefer having a glass of Champagne on New Year’s Eve and other occasions. Although sparkling wine and Champagne are usually interchangeable, only true wine connoisseurs know that these alcoholic drinks aren’t the same. All Champagnes are sparkling wines, while not all sparkling wines are Champagnes. In this article, we’ll discuss the difference between wine and Champagne.
Sparkling Wine vs Champagne: Main Differences
The region of producing
The primary difference between Champagne and sparkling wine is the region where the wine is produced. A bottle of sparkling wine can be labeled as Champagne only when it is made in the French region called Champagne. At the same time, there are multiple types of sparkling wine found all over the globe. For instance, the Spanish sparkling wine known as Cava is produced mainly in the Penedes area in Spain, while the Italian sparkling wine Prosecco is made only in the Veneto region of Italy.
The main grape types used for Champagne production are Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Pinot Meunier, and occasionally Pinot Blanc and Pinot Gris. Other sparkling wines can be made of a blend of several international grape varieties. For example, German sparkling wine Sekt is most often produced from a blend of Riesling, Pinot Blanc, Pinot Gris, and Pinot Noir grape varieties.
Aroma and flavor
If you still wonder is Champagne and sparkling wine the same, they also differ in their tastes and notes in the aroma. Champagne features a more complex flavor with bold, toasty motives resulting from wine aging. In addition, some vintage Champagnes can stand by biscuit or toast notes in the scent. The fine texture of this alcoholic drink is also possible thanks to the long aging process.
Depending on the sugar content, Champagne varies from dry (known as brut) to sweet that has bold fruity notes in the flavor. On the other hand, different sparkling wines are considered more fresh and light with prominent fruity additives. The Italian Prosecco is well-known for its apple, pear, and peach notes in the taste, while Spanish Cava is associated with powerful citrus motives.
Many collectors truly appreciate Champagne for its 15-25 years of aging, making this wine more expensive than typical sparkling wine. The grapes are also one of the reasons for the high price of Champagne since only a few grapes are growing in this French region that winemakers can use for Champagne production.
By the way, this sparkler is usually made in limited parties due to the time-consuming winemaking process. Consumers can purchase a bottle of fine non-vintage Champagne for $30, and the price for vintage Champagne can reach even $5,000. In contrast, a bottle of fine Prosecco can cost between $3 and $50, while Cava usually costs no more than $20.