Prosecco vs classic method wines is the battle of two styles of wine, two very different approaches, that should not even be put one against the other, it is like comparing a Fiat 500 and a Maserati to remain in Italy, a totally different driving experience but it is worth learning more about them.
Several years ago, in 2009, I wrote a post on Franciacorta and Champagne
, both sparkling wines made following the classic method, same method also used for the Spanish sparkling Cava, following an article appeared on the “The Times” newspaper stating that a good Prosecco
can outshine a champagne at twice the price and my post suggested Franciacorta as the obvious Italian alternative to Champagne, still half the price compared to the equivalent quality Champagne.
At the time, Italian sparkling wines were either Prosecco, made using the Charmat or Martinotti method from the Italian who first invented it, or the two classic method appellations, Franciacorta and Trento.
Fast forward 12 years and every Italian producer, in every region, makes at least one sparkling wine, more likely a Classic method than a Prosecco style due to the equipment needed (to produce prosecco style wine plenty of equipment is needed and not worth investing in for just a few hundred bottles), with different prices and results. Unfortunately, not all grapes are suited for sparkling wine nor all regions and producers are capable of producing them. Making a good sparkling wine in the north or at higher altitude is easier than making it in the south or with grapes grown in a valley, the latter requires a lot more work in the vineyards.
Classic method sparkling wines are still my favourite by a long way, they keep evolving in the glass, they are more versatile. Prosecco on the other side, is drunk young, it is less complex and it is not the first choice when looking for a sparkling wine to pair with food, even though if moving up the Prosecco ladder, opting for a better quality wine, or something like a Prosecco Superiore Millesimato
the drinking experience changes dramatically and even Prosecco becomes a food friendly wine.
Whether you prefer Prosecco/Martinotti or Classic method sparkling wines, they are very different wines suited to different occasions and food, so, before you make your choice, think what you need the wine for.