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Guide to Prosecco Wine

Guide to Prosecco Wine

From special occasions to everyday alfresco meals with your friends and family, prosecco wine pairs perfectly with all kinds of menu items. Sip it alone, pair it with an aperitif or combine it with other ingredients to make a delightful cocktail.

With its blend of fresh, fruity flavors and its aromatic, crisp finish, no matter how you choose to enjoy it, this versatile and popular sparkling wine is sure to be a highlight of your daily life.

Table of contents

What Is Prosecco Wine?

What Is Prosecco Wine?

Prosecco is a beloved sparkling white wine produced in Italy. This sparkling wine strikes a balance of flavor and aroma, making it a delightful accompaniment for every meal — even breakfast and brunch.

With its light, fruity and fizzy taste, this wine makes the perfect accompaniment for all kinds of everyday dishes or those special occasions when you need a celebratory toast.

Whether you sip it straight or blend it with some juice to make a cocktail, this wine will delight you with its aroma and flavor.

What Type of Wine Is Prosecco?

What Type of Wine Is Prosecco?

Prosecco is a type of Italian sparkling wine that has gained popularity far beyond Europe. To create the signature sparkling taste and texture, there needs to be the right balance of both sugar and yeast.

Depending on how bubbly you like your glass of wine, there are three different styles and levels of prosecco you can choose from:

  • Spumante (sparkling): This is the most bubbly style and the most popular. Perfect for those times you want to indulge in some vibrant fizziness in every sip or celebrate a milestone occasion.
  • Frizzante (fizzy): This semi-sparkling level has more of a fizzy consistency. It offers the perfect balance of flavor and fizz, making it ideal for those who love the best of both worlds.
  • Tranquillo (still): Even though prosecco is a sparkling wine, this level offers the least amount of bubbles. Tranquillo doesn’t follow the last step of the winemaking process, which is when the carbon dioxide is captured in the liquid during fermentation. The result is more of a traditional wine consistency.

The History of Prosecco Wine

While prosecco has gained a lot more attention and recognition in the past couple of years, this sparkling wine has actually been around for centuries. Interestingly, many historians and wine connoisseurs say the earliest known mention of “prosecco” was in a travel notebook that dates all the way back to 1593. It’s in this document that Fynes Moryson makes note of a wine named “Prosecho,” which was from northeast Italy.

To this day, northeast Italy is still the location where prosecco is produced. In fact, prosecco can’t legally be considered or labeled such unless it originates from that region. This ensures that the specific qualities and characteristics of this beloved Italian favorite are preserved.

The northeastern region has a rich history, being the site of vineyards for hundreds of years and eventually becoming the area where authentic prosecco production was officially outlined.

This region of Italy is specifically known for its prosecco grapes, which eventually became known as the Glera grape. Glera grapes make up the largest concentration in prosecco, giving it its signature flavor profile. These grapes also have an interesting history. The grapes most likely originated in Slovenia, which borders Italy, and were eventually brought over to Italy.

Where Does Prosecco Come From?

Where Does Prosecco Come From?

Prosecco comes from the Glera grapes. These light-colored grapes are plentiful in the hills of both Veneto and Fruili. They also grow in some of the lower-elevation areas throughout the country. Features like their high acidity and light body make them the perfect variety for creating a refreshing sparkling wine.

The region where this sparkling wine is produced offers a favorable growing environment and temperate climate. There are steep hills, and the area receives plenty of sunshine. The hillsides are also known for receiving regular amounts of rain. Originally, prosecco was produced in the Veneto region, but it’s also produced in the Friuli Venezia Giulia region now.

Glera grapes are grown on vertically trained trellises, producing long bunches and high yields. Specific practices like green harvesting ensure the grapes develop aromatically. Processo must be made from at least 85% white Glera grapes to be an authentic sparkling wine. Most of the prosecco wine you’ll find on menus, at vineyards or in the store today contain 100% Glera grapes.

Sometimes other varieties of grapes, like Chardonnay, Pinot Nero or Bianchetta Trevigiana, are blended with the Glera grapes to create more complex flavors. If other varieties are blended in, they must not make up more than 15% of the entire blend.

To achieve the signature taste and fizzy consistency, prosecco is made using the Charmat method. This method, which is also known as the ”metodo Martinotti” or “tank method,” relies on a secondary fermentation process that takes place inside a pressurized steel tank. This means that unlike other sparkling wines like Champagne, there’s no secondary fermentation taking place inside the bottle.

Interested in learning more? Here’s how the process works:

  • The grapes must be first pressed to obtain the “must” liquid, which is then set aside to rest.
  • The clear part is combined with selected yeasts inside decanted steel cylinders to start the process of fermentation, turning the sugar into alcohol and carbon dioxide.
  • Once the must turns into the base wine, it goes into the stainless steel pressure tank to undergo its secondary fermentation.
  • The pressure that’s produced when the yeast eats and ferments the sugar carbonates the wine, creating bubbles.

The amount of time it takes before it is ready to be bottled varies, ultimately affecting the final flavor and dizziness. Overall, because this method is more efficient and less labor intensive compared to Champagne production, prosecco is a much more affordable sparkling wine option.

Where Is Prosecco Made?

Northeast Italy has nine different provinces that make up the growing area where the best prosecco wine is made. Depending on where the prosecco is made and what kinds of quality standards it’s required to meet, you’ll notice different labels on each bottle.

Here are the labels you may come across:

  • Prosecco DOC: When you come across a bottle of prosecco, it will most likely be the Prosecco DOC quality. This is the most common quality level and can be produced in any of northeast Italy’s nine provinces.
  • Prosecco Conegliano Valdobbiadene Superiore DOCG: To be considered Prosecco Conegliano Valdobbiadene Superiore DOCG quality, the wine’s grapes must be grown in a specific area located between Valdobbiadene and Conegliano. The grapes grown on these hills are known for producing concentrated wines.
  • Prosecco Conegliano Valdobbiadene Superiore Rive DOCG: Within Conegliano-Valdobbiadene, there are many different vineyards or communes. For a prosecco sparkling wine to be labled Prosecco Conegliano Valdobbiadene Superiore Rive DOCG, it needs to come from one of these communes.
  • Asolo Prosecco DOCG: While the Conegliano-Valdobbiadene region might be small, it’s where you will find some of the highest-quality wines. To receive the Asolo Prosecco DOCG, or sometimes Asolo Prosecco, label on the bottle, the sparkling wine needs to follow specific quality standards.
  • Valdobbiadene Superiore di Cartizze DOCG: The label Valdobbiadene Superiore di Cartizze DOCG signifies some of the finest prosecco available on the market. The micro-region, which is made up of just 265 acres, is situated outside of Valdobbiadene. The combination of steep hills and more hands-on growing and picking methods ensure the highest standards are met.

What Does Prosecco Taste Like?

What Does Prosecco Taste Like?

Prosecco is fresh and fruity, offering a lively taste perfect for sipping on at any point during the day. It brings together a medley of fruit flavors and aromas like lemon and citrus, green apple, pears, honeydew melon and quince. With all of these delicate flavors, this is a sparkling wine that’s popular with all kinds of people.

Even with all the fruit flavors, prosecco can range in how sweet it is. Most prosecco is produced and purchased in a brut style, which is dry, but even this style offers a hint of sweetness due to the sparkling wine’s fruity ingredients and the way it’s produced.

Here’s how the different styles of prosecco can vary in sweetness:

  • Brut: less than 12 grams of residual sugar in each liter.
  • Extra dry: ranges from 12 to 17 grams of residual sugar in each liter.
  • Dry: ranges from 17 to 32 grams in each liter.
  • Demi-sec: ranges from 32 to 50 grams in each liter.

Depending on the specific type, you may also detect a flowery taste and aroma with hints of honeysuckle in every sip. To enhance the primary flavors, there’s a delicate taste of honey throughout. Sometimes, you will even pick up on some cream or even tropical flavors. It all depends on the specific bottle you choose or the glass you order.

Either way, this sparkling wine offers a well-balanced taste that’s versatile and easy to drink during meals and on special occasions.

How to Serve Prosecco Wine

How to Serve Prosecco Wine

Whether you decide to sip on some straight prosecco or mix it with some fruit juice to make a delicious morning or brunch cocktail, it’s best to consume it when it’s cold — preferably no more than 45 degrees Fahrenheit. To keep it at the right temperature, you can place the bottle in the refrigerator or wine cooler for a couple of hours before you plan to drink or serve it. Another option is to place the bottle into a bucket that’s filled with ice to keep it sufficiently chilled.

Unlike the traditional wine glass, it’s best to use a transparent tulip glass for drinking prosecco. Because of the way this glass is designed, it helps enhance the flavor and aroma qualities. The tall, slender shape helps retain the bubbles and fizz, while the large bulb helps all of the floral aromas stay at the top for a pleasant sip.

Slowly pour the bottle while keeping the glass tilted at a 45-degree angle. This angle helps keep the bubbles from overflowing, preserving the beloved taste and consistency of this sparkling wine.

To Mix or Not to Mix?

Prosecco is typically enjoyed unmixed, but you are free to experiment with whatever flavor combinations you find intriguing. On its own, it offers a fruity and sweet taste. Because of this flavor profile, this crisp, bubbly wine is also often used as a palate cleanser when consuming bold, intense dishes.

You can also use this sparkling favorite to create mixed drinks like the Bellini or Spritz cocktail. Instead of using the more traditional Champagne, you can pour some prosecco into a glass of fresh orange juice to create a luxurious Mimosa. Another mixed drink it pairs well with is the Sgroppino, an Italian favorite that contains a blend of vodka and lemon sorbet. You can also create your own signature cocktail by mixing two parts fruit juice with one part prosecco.

Pairing Prosecco With Food

Pairing Prosecco With Food

Prosecco is often served alongside appetizers. You’ll find it’s especially delightful when served with a charcuterie board filled with cured meats, cheeses, crackers, dried fruits and thick, crusty bread.

With its versatile flavor profile, prosecco works well with all kinds of Italian dishes. From appetizers to pasta dishes, you’ll find it hard to resist this pairing whether you are cooking at home, traveling the Italian countryside or dining at a restaurant with authentic wine pairings.

Along with traditional favorites, this sparkling wine also works well with all kinds of international cuisine. The sweet flavor profile especially brings out the flavor of spicy Asian dishes. Enjoy the crisp bubbles of a chilled prosecco with Singaporean, Vietnamese or Thai dishes to enjoy an unforgettable dining experience.

Is it time for dessert? Prosecco isn’t just for savory pairings — pop open a chilled bottle and pour a glass to enjoy with treats ranging from decadent cannoli to rich cheesecake.

How to Choose a Good Prosecco Wine

How to Choose a Good Prosecco Wine

Craving a bottle of prosecco but not sure where to begin? Check out a few helpful tips for choosing a good bottle of prosecco wine:

  • Make sure it’s authentic: To be a true prosecco wine, it needs to be produced in Italy and contain at least 85% Glera grape. Check the information on the label or retailer’s website, or ask your server for a recommendation if dining out.
  • Check the DOC and DOCG: Both of these acronyms serve as a quality assurance guarantee, showing that the bottle follows specific rules for the length of time the wine was aged, the method of production and the types of grapes used.
  • Decide what variety you prefer: There are different ways that prosecco can be made — the most popular being brut — and it’s just a matter of personal preference which one you think is best. Consider taking a vineyard tour or visiting a winery for a sampling event to compare your options.
  • Only drink from the bottle: Today, you might come across what’s labeled as “prosecco on tap.” Even though it may seem convenient, this method of severing will diminish a lot of the signature fizz. For the most full-bodied, bubbly experience, opt for a bottle instead.

How to Store Prosecco

How to Store Prosecco

One of the most important things to keep in mind is how the storage method can impact the quality of any bottle of prosecco. If you have an unopened bottle, it’s best to store it in a cool, dark area, preferably a designated wine cellar or similar.

Unlike other types of alcohol, prosecco does go bad and doesn’t age well, so it’s best to consume it within one to two years or according to the winemaker’s recommendation. This is because it’s produced in a short amount of time compared to other beverages intended to age slowly inside the bottle, such as wine.

Once the bottle is open, you want to make sure to securely seal it when you are finished, and be sure to consume the rest of it within the next couple of days. Leaving it in the refrigerator for too long will diminish the amount of fizz and could compromise or dull its unique flavors, so the sooner you drink it, the better.

Prosecco FAQs

Interested in learning more about prosecco? Check out a few of our most frequently asked questions about this sparkling favorite.

Is Prosecco Dry or Sweet Wine?

It depends — prosecco can be bottled in four different ways, which range in level of dryness and sweetness:

  • Brut: This is the driest level, containing the least amount of sugar and offering a robust taste.
  • Extra dry: Can’t make up your mind? Reach for extra dry which offers a balance of dryness and sweetness.
  • Dry: With dry, you start to notice more of a sweet taste because there can be up to a gram of sugar in each glass.
  • Demi-sec: If you prefer your sparkling wines as sweet as they can be, demi-sec is the sweetest label available.

Is Prosecco a Sparkling Wine?

Yes, prosecco is a type of sparkling white wine. There are two main types of prosecco to be aware of — Tranquilo is a bit flatter, offering just a few or no bubbles at all, while frizzante is the most common type and a fully sparkling wine.

Is Prosecco the Same as Champagne?

While they are both sparkling white whites, prosecco and Champagne are not the same. Here are a couple of notable differences between the two:

  • Where they are made: Both prosecco and Champagne must originate from specific regions to be considered authentic. Prosecco comes from regions in Northern Italy while Champagne comes from the Champagne province in France.
  • How they are produced: Prosecco is produced using the Charmat method, where the secondary fermentation takes place in a steel tank. This is different than Champagne production, where the secondary fermentation process takes place in the bottle. During this traditional process, the dry wine gets poured into the bottle before the yeast and sugar are added. After sealing the bottle and undergoing a process of gradual turning, the wine achieves its sparkling finish.
  • What types of grapes are used: While some other varieties of grapes are sometimes mixed in, authentic prosecco uses the Glera grape. Meanwhile, Champagne can be made using different types of grapes like Pinot Noir, Pinot Meunier and Chardonnay.

Order Prosecco Wine Online From Marketview Liquor

Order Prosecco Wine Online From Marketview Liquor

Dreaming of pouring yourself a glass of prosecco and savoring the bubbly, fruity taste in each sip? Marketview Liquor has you covered. We offer a large selection of prosecco, making it easier than ever to find the perfect bottle for any and every occasion.

Discover everything from lively blends that showcase notes of white peach, sliced almond and candied lemon zest to fresh, early blends that highlight citrus, dried grass and white flower. You’ll even find some prosecco rosé in our collection.

Browse our selection today to buy high-quality wine online by the case or bottle.