What is the Difference Between Prosecco and Frizzante

In the world of sparkling wines, the debate between prosecco vs frizzante has captured the attention of wine enthusiasts and casual drinkers alike. Both beverages hail from Italy and offer effervescence that delights the palate, but how do they truly differ? This article offers a deep dive into their characteristics, providing clarity on which might be the better choice for different occasions.

What is Prosecco and What is Frizzante?

Prosecco is a sparkling wine that comes from the Veneto and Friuli Venezia Giulia regions of Italy. Made primarily from the Glera grape, it is known for its light and refreshing taste with notes of green apple, pear, and white peach. Prosecco can be found in various styles ranging from fully sparkling (spumante) to slightly fizzy (frizzante).

Frizzante, on the other hand, is an Italian term that describes the level of effervescence (or fizziness) in a wine. It is milder than the effervescence found in fully sparkling wines but fizzier than still wines. Wines labeled as frizzante are often sealed with a screw cap or cork, as opposed to the traditional cork and cage method used for more effervescent wines.

What is the Main Difference Between Prosecco and Frizzante?

The main difference between Prosecco and Frizzante is that Prosecco is a fully sparkling wine, often produced in the Veneto and Friuli Venezia Giulia regions of Italy, primarily from the Glera grape, and undergoes secondary fermentation using the Charmat method, which gives it a consistent effervescence. On the other hand, Frizzante, which can be produced from a variety of grape types and regions within Italy, has a gentler and lighter fizz, achieved by bottling it at a lower pressure than prosecco. This difference in effervescence gives each wine its distinct mouthfeel and drinking experience.

Key Differences Between Prosecco and Frizzante

  1. Origin vs. Style: Prosecco is a type of wine from specific regions in Italy, while frizzante describes the level of fizziness in a wine and can be applied to wines from various regions.
  2. Grape Variety: Prosecco is primarily made from the Glera grape, whereas frizzante can be made from a variety of grapes.
  3. Effervescence Level: Prosecco can range in its level of effervescence, from fully sparkling (spumante) to slightly fizzy (frizzante). In contrast, frizzante always indicates a wine with a mild level of fizz.
  4. Sealing Method: Prosecco that is fully sparkling is typically sealed with a traditional cork and cage. In contrast, wines labeled as frizzante, whether they are Prosecco or not, are often sealed with a screw cap or regular cork.
  5. Production Process: Prosecco is usually produced using the Charmat method, where the secondary fermentation occurs in large steel tanks. Frizzante wines can be produced using various methods, but the secondary fermentation often happens in the bottle.
  6. Taste Profile: While Prosecco has a characteristic taste profile with notes of green apple, pear, and white peach, frizzante wines can vary in their taste profiles based on the grape variety and production method used.
  7. Price Point: Prosecco, especially the spumante variety, can be more expensive than many frizzante wines due to the production method and the reputation of the Prosecco name.
  8. Alcohol Content: Generally, frizzante wines have a slightly lower alcohol content compared to fully sparkling wines, though this can vary.
  9. Serving Occasion: Prosecco, especially in its spumante form, is often reserved for special occasions or celebrations, while frizzante wines are seen as more casual and can be enjoyed on any occasion.

Key Similarities Between Prosecco and Frizzante

  1. Italian Roots: Both Prosecco and the term frizzante have their origins in Italy.
  2. Sparkling Nature: Both Prosecco (in its frizzante form) and frizzante wines have a level of effervescence, though the intensity can vary.
  3. Serving Temperature: Both are best served chilled, typically between 6°C to 8°C (43°F to 46°F).
  4. Pairing: Due to their refreshing nature, both can be paired with a variety of foods, especially appetizers, seafood, and light pasta dishes.
  5. Glassware: Both Prosecco and frizzante wines are best enjoyed in a flute or tulip-shaped glass to preserve and showcase their bubbles.
  6. Popularity: Both have gained immense popularity, especially in recent years, for their approachable and refreshing nature.

Pros of Prosecco Over Frizzante

  1. Specific Origin: Prosecco is a controlled designation of origin product, ensuring that it comes from a specific region in Italy (Veneto and Friuli Venezia Giulia). This guarantees a certain standard of quality and authenticity.
  2. Consistency in Taste: Owing to its controlled production methods and grape type (Glera), Prosecco offers a more consistent taste profile from bottle to bottle compared to the varied profiles of frizzante wines.
  3. Reputation and Prestige: Prosecco has gained a global reputation for quality and is often seen as a more prestigious choice due to its protected name and region-specific production.
  4. Versatility in Effervescence: Prosecco is available in both fully sparkling (spumante) and slightly fizzy (frizzante) versions, offering versatility based on personal preference.
  5. Wider Availability: Given its global popularity, Prosecco is widely available in many wine shops and restaurants worldwide.
  6. Pairing Potential: Prosecco’s characteristic taste notes of green apple, pear, and white peach make it exceptionally versatile for pairing with a broad range of dishes.
  7. Celebratory Image: Prosecco, especially in its spumante form, is often associated with celebrations, making it a go-to choice for special occasions.

Cons of Prosecco Compared to Frizzante

  1. Price: Prosecco, especially those of higher quality or from renowned producers, can be more expensive than some frizzante wines.
  2. Limited to One Grape: Prosecco’s primary grape is Glera, which means it doesn’t offer the wide variety of flavors that can be found in frizzante wines made from different grape varieties.
  3. Simplicity: While Prosecco is known for its refreshing and straightforward profile, wine enthusiasts seeking complexity might find certain frizzante wines more intriguing.
  4. Perception as Overly Popular: Given its immense popularity, some might view Prosecco as a mainstream choice and prefer the uniqueness of lesser-known frizzante wines.
  5. Carbon Footprint: The production and global distribution of Prosecco, especially its fully sparkling version, might have a larger carbon footprint compared to locally produced and consumed frizzante wines.
  6. Storage: Prosecco, especially when opened, should be consumed relatively quickly to maintain its effervescence, whereas some frizzante wines might retain their mild fizziness a bit longer after opening.

Pros of Frizzante Over Prosecco

  1. Diverse Flavors: Frizzante wines can be made from various grape varieties, offering a broader spectrum of flavors compared to the Glera-specific Prosecco.
  2. Subtle Effervescence: For those who prefer a milder fizz in their wine, frizzante provides a gentler effervescence compared to many Prosecco varieties, especially spumante.
  3. Accessibility in Price: Many frizzante wines are more budget-friendly than Prosecco, making them an accessible option for daily consumption.
  4. Unique Character: Since frizzante can come from different regions and be made using different methods, each bottle can offer a unique character and taste experience.
  5. Casual Appeal: Frizzante wines are often seen as more casual, making them ideal for relaxed gatherings or spontaneous moments.
  6. Lower Alcohol Content: Some frizzante wines may have slightly lower alcohol content compared to fully sparkling wines, making them a lighter option for those seeking moderation.
  7. Versatile Pairings: The variety of frizzante wines available allows for a wide range of food pairings, from light appetizers to heartier dishes.

Cons of Frizzante Compared to Prosecco

  1. Lack of Consistency: Given the diverse methods of production and grape varieties, frizzante wines can vary greatly in taste from one bottle to another.
  2. Shorter Shelf Life: Once opened, frizzante wines tend to lose their fizziness faster than fully sparkling wines, affecting their longevity post-opening.
  3. Less Recognized: In many markets, Prosecco has greater brand recognition than generic frizzante wines, which might make it harder to find a frizzante of guaranteed quality.
  4. Lower Prestige: Prosecco, due to its specific region and quality controls, often holds a more prestigious image compared to many frizzante wines.
  5. Less Celebratory: While Prosecco is often associated with celebrations and special occasions, frizzante is viewed more as an everyday wine.
  6. Limited Global Reach: Some specific frizzante wines might not be as widely distributed or known globally as Prosecco, limiting access in certain markets.
  7. Packaging: Frizzante wines are often sealed with screw caps or simple corks, which some might perceive as less premium compared to the traditional cork and cage method used for sparkling wines.

Situations When Prosecco is Better Than Frizzante

  1. Formal Celebrations: Given its reputation and association with special moments, Prosecco is often the go-to choice for formal occasions such as weddings, milestone anniversaries, and engagement parties.
  2. Gifting: If you’re looking to gift a bottle of wine, Prosecco, with its recognized brand and quality, often makes a more prestigious and appreciated present.
  3. Wine Tastings: For events focused on savoring and understanding different wines, Prosecco offers a consistent flavor profile that can be dissected and appreciated by enthusiasts.
  4. Pairing with Delicate Foods: Prosecco’s light and refreshing notes of green apple, pear, and white peach complement delicate dishes like seafood, light salads, and soft cheeses.
  5. When Presentation Matters: The traditional cork and cage packaging of many Prosecco bottles adds an element of flair when serving.
  6. In Cocktails: Prosecco’s consistent effervescence makes it an ideal candidate for sparkling wine cocktails, such as Bellinis or Aperol Spritz.
  7. Global Availability: For events in regions where specific wines might be harder to find, Prosecco’s widespread distribution ensures it’s often readily available.

Situations When Frizzante is Better Than Prosecco

  1. Casual Gatherings: Given its more relaxed perception, frizzante is ideal for impromptu gatherings, picnics, or casual evenings with friends.
  2. Experimental Pairings: The variety in flavor profiles across different frizzante wines allows for diverse and experimental food pairings.
  3. Daily Consumption: For those who enjoy a glass of wine daily but don’t want the intensity of a full sparkling wine, frizzante’s mild fizz offers a balanced option.
  4. Local Authenticity: If you’re in a region known for its frizzante wines, opting for one provides a genuine taste of the locale.
  5. Budget-friendly Events: If you’re hosting a large event and want to serve wine without breaking the bank, many frizzante options offer good value for money.
  6. Wine Adventurers: For those looking to expand their wine horizons, the diverse world of frizzante offers unique flavors and experiences.
  7. Short Term Consumption: If you plan to open and finish the wine in one sitting, frizzante’s quick-to-dissipate effervescence won’t be a drawback.


  1. How is the effervescence in prosecco and frizzante achieved?
    Both prosecco and frizzante can use the Charmat method for their effervescence. In this method, secondary fermentation occurs in large steel tanks, and once it’s complete, the wine is bottled under pressure. Frizzante typically has less pressure than prosecco, leading to its gentler fizz.
  2. Is there a specific region in Italy best known for frizzante?
    While prosecco is specifically associated with the Veneto and Friuli Venezia Giulia regions, frizzante wines can be produced all over Italy. However, Emilia-Romagna is particularly known for its Lambrusco, a popular type of frizzante.
  3. Do prosecco and frizzante have different serving temperatures?
    Both prosecco and frizzante are best served chilled, typically between 6°C to 8°C (43°F to 46°F). This temperature helps to enhance their crispness and effervescence.
  4. How long can an opened bottle of prosecco or frizzante last?
    Once opened, it’s best to consume prosecco or frizzante within 1-3 days. While the wine won’t necessarily spoil after this, it will lose its characteristic bubbles and freshness.
  5. Can you cook with prosecco and frizzante?
    Yes, both prosecco and frizzante can be used in cooking, particularly in dishes that require a splash of white wine. Their effervescence can add a unique twist to dishes, but it’s essential to remember that most of the bubbles will dissipate with heat.
  6. Are there notable health benefits or concerns with consuming these wines?
    Like all wines, both prosecco and frizzante contain alcohol, and moderation is crucial. Some studies suggest that moderate wine consumption can have heart health benefits, but it’s always essential to consult with a healthcare professional regarding alcohol consumption and its effects.

Prosecco vs Frizzante Summary

Understanding the subtleties between prosecco and frizzante enhances one’s appreciation for these sparkling gems. While prosecco boasts a prestigious image and consistent taste profile, frizzante stands out with its diverse flavors and relaxed appeal. The choice between prosecco vs frizzante often comes down to personal preference and the specific situation at hand. Whether you lean towards the refined bubbles of prosecco or the casual charm of frizzante, both wines offer a delightful experience worth exploring.

OriginVeneto and Friuli Venezia Giulia regions of ItalyVarious regions, not strictly defined
EffervescenceAvailable in spumante (fully sparkling) & frizzanteLighter fizziness
Flavor ConsistencyMore consistent due to Glera grapeDiverse, depending on grape variety
PriceCan be more expensiveOften more budget-friendly
ReputationGlobally recognized & prestigiousSeen as more casual
Alcohol ContentStandard for sparkling winesSome might have slightly lower content
PackagingTraditional cork and cage for spumanteScrew caps or simple corks often used
DifferencesProsecco often has more effervescenceFrizzante has diverse flavors
SimilaritiesBoth can be frizzante in terms of fizzinessBoth originate from Italy
ProsGlobal availability and prestigeVersatility in flavor profiles & good value
ConsCan be pricier and viewed as overly popularMight lose fizziness faster after opening
SituationsBest for formal celebrations & giftingIdeal for casual gatherings & experimental pairings
Prosecco vs Frizzante Summary

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Diff Pages
Scroll to Top