Scan this QR Code to follow PureWow on Snapchat!
PureWow

You’re celebrating (or it’s Wednesday), and you need a bottle of bubbly for the occasion. But do you know what you’re really drinking? Like, isn’t prosecco just cheap-o Champagne?

While “sparkling wine” is just a catchall term for fizzy vino (and there are more varieties than we can count on our hands), not all of them are the same. We’ve got the DL on three popular types: Champagne, prosecco and cava.

RELATED: Here’s How to Read a Wine Label (and Impress Everyone at Your Dinner Party)

bottle of veuve clicquot champagne
Onnes/Getty Images

Champagne

Whoa, did you know that it’s actually illegal for any wine not produced in the Champagne region of France to be called “Champagne”? Thanks to some pretty strict regulations, this sparkling wine can also be produced only by the méthode traditionnelle. That means it’s bottled and capped before its second fermentation. (Read: Where the magic happens.) Champagne can range from bone-dry (Brut Nature) all the way to sweet (Demi-Sec), with sharp bubbles and a nutty taste. Expect to pay a bit more for the real deal, even for an entry-level Champagne.

RELATED: What’s the Deal with Vintage Champagne (and Is It Worth the Splurge)?

Related Videos

prosecco poured into a flute
Ekaterina Molchanova/Getty Images

Prosecco

Despite what your *classy* friend Jen says, prosecco isn’t just “cheap Champagne.” For starters, the wine comes from northern Italian Glera grapes. It also gets its bubbles from a different method: Here, the wine ferments in a steel tank, becoming carbonated before being bottled. Prosecco is also more floral and fruit-forward, with softer bubbles. True, it may cost less than Champagne, but there’s no reason to scoff at this popular and tasty drink. Psst: Try it with spicy food!

RELATED: 10 Elegant and Easy Prosecco Cocktail Recipes

flute of cava with spanish vineyard in background
Ed-Ni-Photo/Getty Images

Cava

Hailing from Catalonia, this Spanish bubbly is actually produced exactly like Champagne (but with different grapes). Cava is usually on the dry side, and depending on the bottle, it can be citrusy, floral or slightly vegetal tasting. Because the land it’s produced on is much cheaper than say, Champagne, France, this sparkler is incredibly easy on the wallet (without sacrificing taste).

RELATED: The Organic Cava That Pairs With Clean Eating (Really)

From Around The Web

Explore More Wine
  • All
  • Somm School
  • Wine Pairings
  • Under $15
  • Trends
  • Red Wine
  • White Wine
  • Recipes
Imma Eat That
How to Make Red-Wine Hot Chocolate
Target
Target's New $10 Bottles of Prosecco and Rosé Are Surprisingly Amazing
Laura Wing-Kamoosi
This Red Wine Pasta Recipe Will Change the Way You Cook Forever
Hangar 1
This Just In: Rosé Vodka Is a Thing That Exists
Twenty20
Whoa: This Is the Absolute Best Wine to Pair with Pizza
The Syrah Blend To Drink with Steak, Ribs and More Steak
Trader Joe's
Best News: Trader Joe’s Now Has $1 Canned Wine (Including Rosé)
Twenty20
5 Wines That Were Practically Made for Drinking Outside This Summer (and One Costs Only $16)
Right this way for all the fun,
Without the hangover
Chin Chin