A guide to the famous Prosecco by Wines Select
Prosecco is a popular sparkler for get-togethers and gifts; and it’s our favourite Italian bubbly at Wines Select. So, let us tell you more about this sensational sparkling wine, then you can pop, pour and enjoy a glass of Prosecco like an expert.
What is Prosecco?
Prosecco is an Italian sparkling white wine made in northeast Italy in the Veneto and Friuli Venezia Giulia regions. The wine is named after the village of Prosecco in the province of Trieste.
Prosecco is protected by DOC (Designation Of Controlled Origin) status, which means that only wines which meet strict standards and are produced in the region can be labelled as Prosecco.
Prosecco is made from the Glera grape. This aromatic white grape variety ripens late in the year and is known for its neutral palate. The wine must be made with at least 85% Glera grapes. Some Proseccos may contain up to 15% of other varietals too, according to denomination law. Other permitted grapes include Pinot Bianco, Pinot Grigio, Verdiso and Chardonnay.
In 2020, a new rosé variety of Prosecco was approved, which is made using a blend of Glera and 15% Pinot Noir grapes to achieve a soft pink blush.
Prosecco has two levels of fizz: Spumante (sparkling) and Frizzante (semi-sparkling). Tranquillo (still) is rare, amounting to just five per cent of Prosecco production.
How is Prosecco Made?
Prosecco is made using the Charmat method, also known as Metodo Italiano or Tank Method, in which second fermentation takes place in large steel containers, rather than in individual bottles. The Glera grape thrives when going through this process and the result gives the wine its famous, fruity flavours, bubbles and vibrant character. It is also a wine that is designed to be drunk while it is still young – very few Proseccos will benefit from cellaring. The wine’s secondary fermentation in steel tanks preserves these bright, fresh aromas.
What does Prosecco taste like?
Prosecco is a vibrant, light-bodied, aromatic wine. It has a fresh fruity and floral profile with dominant flavours of peach, pear, green apple, melon and honeysuckle. The acidity is medium to high, making the wine feel refreshing and crisp on the palate. The bubbles are large, light, spritzy and persistent.
You can find Prosecco in dry, extra dry and brut styles – with dry being the sweetest, and brut being the driest. Prosecco is usually brut, although the fruity flavours of Glera can make it appear sweeter than other dry wines.
Extra Brut –a very dry Prosecco.
Brut – a little sweeter than extra brut.
Extra Dry – a good all-rounder
Dry – a little confusing as ‘Dry’ Prosecco is the sweetest Prosecco you can buy.
There is also a new Prosecco on the scene: – zero, which has no sugar in it, known as ultra brut.
What goes well with Prosecco?
Prosecco is delicious to sip on its own or with food. Its light fruity flavour pairs well with a variety of foods and can be enjoyed throughout the meal, from a simple antipasti like prosciutto e melone to a dessert such as panettoni.
Prosecco is also used as an ingredient in cocktails, such as Bellini (Prosecco and peach nectar); Mimosa (Prosecco and orange juice); and Aperol Spritz (Prosecco, Aperol and soda water).
How to store Prosecco
For the best results, Prosecco should be stored upright in a cool, dark place, away from direct sunlight, and then chilled before serving. Don’t keep it in the fridge for more than a few days before you open it, because the cold temperature can dry out the cork and reduce the fizz.
How to open a bottle of Prosecco
First remove the foil from the top of the bottle. There is usually a tab that makes this easy to do. Then loosen the wire cage by untwisting the key, but keep the cage on top of the cork. Hold the top of the cork with one hand and grip the base of the bottle with the other hand. Slowly twist the bottle until you feel the cork begin to loosen. It should take about six twists of the bottle to release the cork. Let the cork slide out gently with a soft pop.
Once opened, Prosecco should be kept on ice or in the fridge and enjoyed within 24 hours of the cork being popped. If you seal the Prosecco bottle with a proper sparkling wine stopper, you can enjoy it within three days.
How to serve Prosecco
Prosecco should be served chilled, but never with ice. Pop your bottle of Prosecco in the fridge for a few hours before you plan to serve it; then it can be placed in an ice bucket filled with ice and water to keep it chilled.
Prosecco is best served in a tulip glass. The shape is generous than a flute, but still tapers at the top so the bubbles don’t escape too fast. Rinse glasses with hot water before use and leave them to drain. Don’t dry with a cloth, as some of the fibres can stick to the glass and dull the bubbles.
To serve, pour a little Prosecco slowly into each glass and leave it to settle for a few moments before topping up. This will prevent your Prosecco from fizzing over the rim. Don’t overfill the glass, about one-third is best so it won’t warm up too quickly.
Now order the perfect Prosecco