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Cava vs Prosecco: A matter of opinion

Like wine isn’t subjective enough, but let’s face it, Cava’s better than Prosecco, right? That’s a silly statement, I know. Am I not drinking the right Prosecco? I even hear people say Prosecco is better than Champagne. Now that’s a statement!

This isn’t about deciphering who’s right and who’s wrong. Wine is like that. There are people who just love the fruity sweetness of a Moscato d’Asti, the zippy acidity of their favourite sparkling Sauvignon Blanc, or the biscuity savouriness of the finest Champagne.

When it comes to the big three, in order, I prefer Champagne, Cava and lastly Prosecco. In terms of value for money, Cava is number one. This is not to say Prosecco comes last because I hate it. I love the stuff, I just think in general Cava offers a little more complexity and interest.

What makes them different


Prosecco is the name of the grape variety, grown in Italy’s northern Friuli territory. 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.


Cava is the neither the name of a grape variety or 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.

As part of our Spanish sale, we have 20% off Cava from our multi-award winning Cava house, Mont Marçal, until the end of April. Our 90 Parker Point Extremarium will be back in stock next week. Pop us a mail if you would like to join the list of reminders.


  1. The Sediment BlogApril 5, 2011 at 12:29 pm

    You have to read our post on how to drink – and how NOT to drink – cava:

  2. warren kmowlesApril 5, 2011 at 1:23 pm

    Cava for me every time if I can’t have champagne.

    much prefer the champagne like complexity and after a holiday in Penedes last year my eyes have been opened to the quality of cava being produced, the

  3. Champagne = waste of money, IMO!

    Great if someone else is paying, but makes no sense for anyone on a budget. Total “emperor’s new clothes” effect with it.

  4. Point of order, sir! Glera is the grape variety, originally from a small town called Prosecco just outside Trieste. It’s now protected so Prosecco can’t be made anywhere with anything, thankfully.

    Hopefully no more gold cans with Paris Hilton on them.

  5. Maurice O MahonyApril 6, 2011 at 9:23 am

    Lovely post sirs. Could not agree more. Cava is smashing stuff. Incredible price / quality value. Actually tried your Mont Marçal Brut Cava Reserva at a bling tasting last night. Lovely.

  6. Thanks Moz. We’re very happy with it. I stand corrected, Lar! 🙂

    Champagne for me is king. We were treated to a sensational tasting in London last year by Duval Leroy (Maurice was there too), where I was well out of my depth, but it gave me a real hankering for it. A real oddity in my house. Doesn’t stop me enjoying them at trade fairs though.

    But yes, value-for-money-wise, it’s got to be Cava. Prosecco seems to be a big one for the weddings, very popular indeed. That’s probably where most of our volume goes I’d say, esp the Frizzante because of its price point. The brides adore it.

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  1. […] controlled stainless steel tanks for fermentation. It’s renowned for Cava (more on that here), but its still wines are very commendable also. It’s a region full of exciting boutique […]

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