Wine Team 01

Jackie Rizza
– Tesco Wine Advisor

10 Jul 12


Wine made simple

Cava versus Prosecco

Cava Prosecco image

I’ve already attended three wedding fairs this year and at each fair the same question always pops up: “Cava or prosecco?”

With this in mind, I decided to start my own little investigation to try and wrap up the difference between cava and prosecco in 200 words, well almost.

So here’s goes…


Cava is neither the name of a grape variety or of a region. It is simply the type of wine. The majority of the grapes are grown in Penedès, not far from Barcelona. The traditional varieties are Macabeo (aka Viura), Parellada and Xarel-lo, but more recently Chardonnay, and even Pinot Noir, has found its way into blends, making for a more accessible style worldwide.

Cava is made using the traditional method (méthode traditionnelle), where second fermentation takes place inside the bottle the wine will be sold in. The base wine is bottled with a measured amount of sugar and yeast. The second fermentation will give just the right amount of fizz whilst raising the alcohol level an extra 1-1.5%. It also leaves a sediment of dead yeast cells. This is the key to those complex, savoury flavours. They are removed before release to market by a method known as disgorgement.


Prosecco is the name of the grape variety, grown in Italy’s north-eastern Veneto region. The wine is made fizzy by the tank method, which involves a second fermentation in giant tanks rather than in bottle. It is then settled and the clear wine pumped off the lees before being bottled under pressure. The price can remain price competitive because it is less labour intensive and because of the time saved during production.

Now having read all the science behind the bubbles the question is, which is the best? I personally prefer cava but my husband being Italian loves Prosecco. But it’s all about preference, so we want to know which you prefer: Cava or prosecco? Let us know in the comments below!



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