Why is Champagne Usually Much More Expensive than Prosecco?

7th August 2016

why is prosecco cheaper than champagne

This is certainly a question that many of us find ourselves asking, especially when we are planning that wedding or an important event or standing at the bar / supermarket checkout with our credit card ready to pay the bill! I would say it is exactly like most things in life, just as if you are purchasing a car and opting for a Ferrari over a Ford or choosing a Mont Blanc over a disposable Bic pen when looking for a new writing instrument, we generally get what we pay for and this is usually an overall superior quality/experience.

Now, the price we pay may also include a certain amount towards the name we are buying into as they will have spent a long time to position themselves as an internationally known prestigious brand, just like a Casio watch can tell the time just as good as a Rolex, but some are drawn towards a Rolex as they signify this brand name with ‘quality‘ and it sits higher in the aspirational lifestyle level than a Casio watch on our wrist.

Champagne, if we are honest, also has that prestigious title name. Many of us will assume that a glass of Champagne is far more appealing and costly over a glass of Prosecco and this will indeed be a part of the reason why per mouthful you will be paying more believe it or not! When it comes to celebrating, good times, parties, impressing / romancing people, special occasions we think of Champagne, without even knowing why, but the word hits our minds… This has taken a lot of investment from the region of Champagne to make sure that this is and continues to be the case. Though I hear many readers asking why is that the case if a glass of Prosecco is more or less the same thing, ie a sparkling wine!

We already know now that you will pay more just because of the word Champagne and for the wine region you are purchasing ie that it is classified under (Champagne and those who look after the name has a very strict code of practise and the word is internationally looked after to make sure no other wines / brands imitate it). The name Champagne will already have added a few pounds per bottle that you purchase and just like we mentioned the brands above, ie Ferrari vs Ford and Rolex vs Casio, you will pay more for some Champagne label names over others as brands like Veuve Clicquot and Moët & Chandon will command better prices due to their familiarity with consumers and attachments to aspirational lifestyles, people and brands (ie Formula One, celebrities, Polo, Ibiza Parties etc).

Quality must also very much be looked at here as how Champagne is made is very different to Prosecco. Without question, Prosecco is far cheaper to produce over Champagne simply down to the process of how it is made being more complicated and taking much longer. Prosecco per glass full is a cheaper produce than Champagne, but of course this trend is sometimes bucked as Champagne nowadays can cost us from just under £10 per bottle and some of the finer Prosecco labels, especially those from Cartizze (the best area for producing Prosecco),  can cost more than the average £30 you’d pay for a bottle of Champagne. So quality of the wine will in-deed have an effect on the price you pay, but still this will show that on average, better types of Champagne will cost you more than Prosecco. I very rarely, if ever in-fact, see a standard wine menu in a bar with their house Champagne and Prosecco per glass ever being the Prosecco costing more.

Why is Champagne more expensive that Prosecco then?

  • Champagne is a far more complicated in its method of producing wine and will take longer to produce than most if not all those wines from Prosecco.
  • The name Champagne itself has an affinity with consumers and many will pay more for it than other sparkling wines and importantly the producers of Champagne and those who sell it on know this!
  • Prosecco has in-deed set many of its marketing drives to be easy to drink and far more affordable than Champagne, so this again will have an effect on the minds of the purchasing audiences out there.
  • Champagne has far more brand labels that are known over Prosecco and usually these brand names, ie Veuve Clicquot, Bollinger, Cristal, will be able to command higher prices due to their familiarity to everyday consumers… Say Bollinger and most will say James Bond kind of scenario… How many Prosecco labels can you name I ask you??

Christopher Walkey

Co-founder of Glass of Bubbly. Journalist and author focused on Champagne & Sparkling Wines and pairing them with foods.