Riesling vs. Prosecco

Riesling vs. Prosecco

Riesling and Prosecco are both white wines. Riesling originates from Germany, and Prosecco originates from Italy. Prosecco is sparkling wine, and Riesling is generally a still wine. Note that Prosecco is not Champagne because it doesn’t meet the requirements, notably, being made in the region of Champagne. In addition, riesling can be sweet or dry, while Prosecco is always dry.

Is Riesling The Same As Prosecco?

Riesling and Prosecco are not the same, but it wouldn’t be hard to think that, considering their few differences. However, saying Riesling is the same as Prosecco is likely to offend quite a few Germans, Italians, and wine connoisseurs in general. Despite their similarities, the wines are distinct, with different flavors, histories, and pairings. 

What Is Similar About Riesling And Prosecco?

Riesling and Prosecco have many of the same flavors, like apple, pear, and peach. They’re white wines that are often produced in a dry style. In addition, they’re not wildly popular wines, although they hold their own around the world. Due to these similarities, it wouldn’t be too difficult to confuse Riesling and Prosecco. However, Prosecco is always a sparkling wine, and Riesling never is.

Interestingly, Prosecco is always made in Italy, and while this isn’t true for Riesling, Italy does make Riesling. So consider trying Italian Rieslings like Riesling Windbichl 2015 and Riesling Kaiton 2016.

What Is The Difference Between Riesling And Prosecco?

Riesling and Prosecco have a few differences. First, they’re made in different countries. Yes, they originate in different countries, but Prosecco is actually made in Italy by definition (and legality). Second, Riesling is sometimes made in a sweet style, but Prosecco never is. 

Another difference is that Prosecco has a legal definition like Champagne. This means a wine can only be called Prosecco (or Champagne) when it meets strict standards of how it was produced and where. Riesling doesn’t have any such standards, so it can be made in California, Australia, and Germany, and it’s all Riesling. Note that Prosecco is actually sweeter than Champagne. They’re both dry wines, but Prosecco’s tiniest bit of additional sweetness makes it pair better with seafood and Asian dishes like Thai food. Riesling pairs best with raw fish like sushi, specifically sushi made from tuna and salmon.

Lastly, while Riesling and Prosecco have many of the same flavors, Prosecco tends to have melon and honeysuckle when Riesling usually doesn’t. Of course, Prosecco can also be described as “crisp” and “sharp” because of its sparkling nature. These descriptions don’t often fit stills wine like Riesling. In addition, Riesling isn’t usually aged in oak, but Prosecco often is.

Which One Is Sweeter Or Drier Than The Other?

Riesling can be much sweeter than Prosecco. Traditionally, Riesling is dry, but it can also be a very sweet wine similar to Moscato. So, it can always beat Prosecco in sweetness. If you’re looking for another dry white wine, try Chardonnay. It’s known for being “oaky” because of how it’s aged, but it’s another great white wine.

Which One Has More Alcohol Content?

Prosecco and Riesling can sometimes have about the same amount of alcohol. But that’s on Riesling’s good days. Occasionally, Riesling can have very little alcohol, sometimes as little as 7% or 8% ABV. Prosecco rarely dips below 10% ABV, so if you’re ever choosing blindly and the alcohol content is important, choose a Prosecco wine.

How Do I Choose Between Riesling And Prosecco?

To choose between Riesling and Prosecco, consider the following:

Country of Origin

  • Italy
  • Germany

Alcohol Content

  • Prosecco – 10% – 12%
  • Riesling – 7% – 12%

Sweetness/Dryness 

  • Riesling- Very Sweet to Bone Dry
  • Prosecco – Dry to Bone Dry

It doesn’t hurt to try more wines and broaden your horizons when in doubt. Remember that good wine doesn’t have to be expensive, so get a couple of bottles under $20 and enjoy it all.

Summary

Riesling and Prosecco are amazing white wines to add to your collection or include in a dinner party. Their fruity flavors, medium amount of alcohol, and affordable price tags are perfect for any occasion. They’re not the most commonly drunk wines, but a wine being popular doesn’t mean it’s the best.