Did you know that champagne and sparkling wine aren’t actually the same beverage? While it may be common to refer to them as the same, there are actually a few differences between the two alcoholic drinks. The process of creating these staples may share a good number of similarities – even enough for them to be considered twins – but the end result is separated by a few important distinctions. So, what exactly is the difference between champagne and sparkling wine? We break it down for you below!
While sparkling wine has widespread popularity across Europe, there are a few areas within the region that don’t use the same moniker. One of the biggest differences between champagne and sparkling wine is that champagne is strictly tied to its country of origin. Specifically, champagne is produced in the region of Champagne, France, which is where it gets its name. In fact, in order for the beverage to be called champagne, it must be made within a 100 mile radius of the region! Sparkling wine doesn’t have the same limitations.
Grapes Used In Production
This is yet another area where the line between the two beverages is marked by rigid specifications. In order for the drink in question to be considered champagne, only a select few kinds of grapes are allowed to be used in its production. The most common ones are pinot noir, chardonnay and pinot Meunier grapes, which are all coincidentally types of wine! They tend to mix several of the grapes to make their champagne, while regular wines usually use one central type.
In terms of varieties around the world, sparkling wine boasts far more versions than champagne. There’s an old saying: “all champagne is sparkling wine, but not all sparkling wine is champagne”. Pretty much anything that can be considered champagne can also be sparkling wine depending on where it comes from. By region, here’s what sparkling wine goes by:
- Prosecco: Italy
- Sekt: Germany
- Cava: Spain
- Sparkling wine: France and the United States
Unlike champagne, sparkling wine isn’t bound by any regional rules. It can be called any name and still be a sparkling wine!
Champagne and Wine at Assaggio
There’s nothing that goes better with wine than Italian cuisine, and Assaggio is the place to get the best of both worlds! We carry a large selection of wine and cocktails, including champagne and sparkling wines, in addition to an extensive selection of Italian cuisines to choose from. You’ll get the best authentic Italian experience in Boston when you dine with Assaggio; experience it for yourself by making a reservation today!