When many people think of Prosecco, they often think of it as an affordable alternative to its French cousin, Champagne. But there is more to it than just a wallet-friendly option for bubbles. So what exactly is Prosecco? Well, Prosecco is a sparkling wine that comes from Italy, and Italy alone. But you already knew that. More specifically, Prosecco originated in the Valdobbiadene region in Veneto, North-Eastern Italy using Glera grapes. In terms of taste, the Italian sparkler is renowned for its light body, high acidity, and crisp fruit flavours.
This grape growing region is comprised of lush green hills covered in vineyards which receive a healthy dose of rain and gentle winds. While much of Italy would be considered a warm climate, Veneto is a cool climate region which produces more tart grapes – this is why Prosecco is known for its acidity. Prosecco tends to have flavours of green apple, honeydew, pear, honeysuckle, and cream with floral aromas.
Whether it’s a special occasion or just a regular Tuesday, Prosecco is a very versatile food wine that pairs with a range of cuisines and dishes but works equally well as an aperitif. Try it with spicy curries, Pad Thai, or sushi. Bellissima!
Tip: Prosecco is perfect for mimosas! The wine’s fruitiness complements the orange juice’s citric flavour deliciously.
But since you’re a Wine Fan, you want to get down to the nitty gritty of the winemaking process: To make Prosecco, the base wine is combined with a mixture of yeast and sugar before it’s transferred to large tanks and undergoes fermentation. During this time, CO2 is released and causes the tank to pressurize. This method gives wines approximately 3 atmospheres of pressure and results in frothy, spritzy bubbles. Depending on the desired sweetness level, the wine receives a mixture of sugar and must (a young grape juice) prior to bottling. The most popular type of Prosecco is produced in a brut style, meaning it only has up to half a gram of sugar per glass. There are, however, sweeter styles which are known as Extra Dry (just over half a gram/glass) and Dry (up to 1 gram/glass).
When it comes to finding the perfect bottle, look for the DOCG (Denomination of Controlled and Guaranteed Origins) label. Under Italian wine law, DOCG is the highest designation of quality among Italian wines. Prosecco DOC (Denomination of Controlled Origin) is basic Prosecco which can be produced all over Northern Italy and does not offer the same quality as DOCG wines.
We know what you’re thinking… what is the difference between Prosecco and Champagne and why does the latter come at a much higher price point? Well, Champagne can only come from the Champagne region of France, is made from Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, and Pinot Meunier grapes, and is technically produced using the more costly “Traditional Method”. One of the most pertinent reasons for the price discrepancy, however, is market positioning. Champagne is perceived as luxurious which drives the price higher.
That being said, some exquisite Prosecco wines can be found in the Valdobbiadene and Colli Asolani regions that offer incredible value! If you’re still not sure, talk to one of our staff or better yet, try a glass! You never know what you might discover.