Prosecco or Champagne? There’s no real choice between the sparkling wines when it comes to deciding which to drink at your wedding inspired by our Italy Issue. It’s got to be Prosecco all the way, bella!
We chatted to Melissa Brauer a.k.a. The Prosecco Queen, about her beginner’s tips and insider info on all things Prosecco. Aside from being Australia’s foremost Prosecco expert, Melissa runs mobile Prosecco and spritz bar Van di Vino, wine importer Regina Vino and Melbourne’s first Prosecco Festival. So she knows her stuff when it comes to all things bubbly and Italian. Here’s our guide to choosing Prosecco for your wedding with The Prosecco Queen!
Prosecco vs. Champagne
Obviously Prosecco’s story begins in Italy. Champagne’s starts and ends in a very small region of France.
They are both made in completely different ways, from different grapes; Champagne typically uses Pinot Noir, Pinot Meunier and/or Chardonnay grapes while Prosecco uses Glera also known as Prosecco grapes.
Prosecco tends to be brighter, fruitier (you might taste apples, pears, citrus), fresher and more acidic in flavour as opposed to Champagne which can be creamy, yeasty, viscous, nutty, toasty and complex (there’s a time and a place for everything!)
Due to these characteristics, Prosecco is often more of an accessible crowd-pleaser. It’s more refreshing if your guests expect to be drinking many glasses at a celebration and it is more easily paired with a variety of foods; from spicy cooking to Asian cuisines to – obviously – Italian. “It’s a great drink for any time of day,” says Melissa. She explains that Prosecco is also slightly lower in alcohol so you and your guests can, “stay a little bit nicer, for a little bit longer.” At least until the photographer is finished.
How much should you spend on Prosecco for your wedding?
Prosecco is generally cheaper than Champagnes of similar quality, as it is faster to make, less labour intensive and its grapes are easier to grow. Melissa recommends spending a bare minimum of $20 per bottle for an Italian Prosecco – just look for DOCG on the label (we’ll explain that later). You’ll still be serving a mass-produced wine but it should at least be value for money. If you are on more of a budget, you can find a decent Australian Prosecco starting at $15 a bottle (as you’ll skip import and other costs).
What to Look for on the Label
DOCG (not just “DOC”) – Stands for ‘Denomination of Controlled and Guaranteed Origin’ meaning you’re getting proper Prosecco, hand-picked from the best two exclusive regions in Italy.
King Valley – If you aren’t buying an Italian Prosecco, some of the best Prosecco in the world comes from Australia’s very own King Valley region at the moment.
Brut – On an Italian bottle means not sweet, dry.
Extra Dry – A little bit sweeter than brut (yes, that’s confusing).
Dry – Sweeter than extra dry.
A Few of The Prosecco Queen’s Current Loves
Dal Zotto L’Immigrante Prosecco
Chrismont La Zona
Box Grove Prosecco
Italian (but available in Australia)
Nino Franco Rustico Prosecco Conegliano-Valdobbiadene Superiore DOCG
Col Del Lupo Prosecco Conegliano-Valdobbiadene Superiore DOCG Brut
Tenuta 2 Castelli Prosecco Conegliano-Valdobbiadene Superiore DOCG Extra Dry
Melissa says, like most things, when it comes to choosing Prosecco for your wedding it’s all up to individual tastes. If you love a bottle that is sweeter, cheaper or only DOC certified and you think your guests will too, go for it. Just like tasting your cake, take this as an excuse to try a few bottles before your big day – Van di Vino even offers a free masterclass for four with any event booking, so that you can explore the world of Prosecco, decide what you both like and even impress that one wine-fussy uncle with your knowledge.
Ms Zebra Says: I’m definitely partial to a glass of Prosecco (or two!) and found this so informative. Other than the region, I never understood the difference between Prosecco and Champagne – but now I do! What an insight to such an amazing business – can’t wait to see Van Di Vino out and about!!
The Prosecco Queen A.K.A Melissa Brauer is a self confessed Prosecco (and wine) lover, importer and educator. Starting The Prosecco Queen to share her love of (in her opinion) the misunderstood wine – Prosecco, it has now become a place to shop, learn and become a master in all things Prosecco! In 2016, Melissa began wholesale importation business, Regina Vino and launched Australia’s first mobile Prosecco & Spritz Bar – Van Di Vino. She is one busy lady, also writing for her own blog – and being an all around powerhouse with amazing knowledge in marketing, PR and social media!