Everything you’ve been wondering about Prosecco sparkling wine.
We’ve gone through all the most common questions you have about Prosecco bubbles, to get you to understand the essence of this ultra-famous but sometimes misjudged Italian wine.
For information about the National Prosecco week, read on to the corresponding section below.
So, first things first…
What kind of wine is Prosecco?
Or put more simply: What is a Prosecco wine?
Prosecco is a type of sparkling wine produced in Italy, whose method of production and origin are strictly regulated and controlled. Prosecco must be Italian, and obey to certain quality standards.
But Prosecco is not any Italian sparkling wine. It may in fact well be THE most popular style of bubbly in the world, or at least the wine with the fastest growing demand worldwide. For more on this, read the ‘how popular is Prosecco?’ section further down below.
Where does Prosecco wine come from?
Italy’s most famous sparkling wine, Prosecco, comes from vineyards in a beautiful valley of the Veneto wine region, just north of the romantic city of Venice.
The Prosecco vineyards stretch in a large area around the towns of Valdobbiadene, Treviso, and Conegliano. Prosecco is even made in the Trieste area of the Friuli Venezia Giulia region in the very far North-East end of Italy.
What grape variety is Prosecco made from?
Prosecco sparkling wines are made predominantly from the Italian white grape variety called Glera.
Glera must account for a minimum of 85% in the final blend of any Prosecco wine. Other grapes that can be used up to a 15%-proportion include local varieties such as Bianchetta Trevigiana, Verdiso, or Perera, as well as more international grapes, often of French origin like Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Pinot Blanc (called Bianco in Italy), and Pinot Gris (Grigio).
Until relatively recently, the name Prosecco was in fact the name of the grape variety used to make these wines in Italy. But since July 2009, the name Prosecco was protected against international appropriation, and regulated under the Italian DOC appellation laws to ensure only wines coming from the specified areas of north-eastern Italy could use the name on labels. The ‘Prosecco grape’ was then officially called Glera.
How is Prosecco wine made?
Prosecco wines are all made using the Charmat winemaking method, which means the secondary fermentation (the one that allows a wine’s effervescence, the bubbles in the bottle) is run in pressurized stainless-steel tanks as opposed to Champagnes that use the Méthode Traditionnelle with second fermentation in bottle. Charmat method is also referred to as ‘cuve close’ (closed tank), from French.
Is Prosecco sweet or dry?
Both is the short answer. Prosecco wines exist both in dry and sweet styles, depending on their sweetness level or the amount of residual sugars (RS, in grams per litre), which is given on the label as per the following categories:
- Prosecco Brut: 0-12 g/l RS – Dry Style
- Prosecco Extra-Dry: 12-17 g/l RS – Off-Dry Style
- Prosecco Dry: 17-32 g/l RS – Sweetest Style
Don’t ask me why the sweeter style of Prosecco is called ‘Dry’. Probably so people have an interest in reading an article such as this one. And probably so wine bloggers like me can write them 😊
So, if you’ve been wondering
“Can you get a sweet prosecco?”
the short answer is:
“yes, absolutely. Just buy a Dry Prosecco!”
Prosecco wine complete infographic
We’ve gathered in the infographic below all the most important fact you need to know about Prosecco. So feel free to use, and share!
You can embed this infographic on your own website using the code supplied underneath it.
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<p><a href=”http://socialvignerons.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/10/Infografic-guide-Prosecco-sparkling-wine-grape-sweetness-level-styles-DOCG-conegliano-valdobbiadene-aromas-social-vignerons-corvezzo.jpg”><img src=”http://socialvignerons.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/10/Infografic-guide-Prosecco-sparkling-wine-grape-sweetness-level-styles-DOCG-conegliano-valdobbiadene-aromas-social-vignerons-corvezzo.jpg” /></a></p>
<p>Original Source: <a href=” http://socialvignerons.com/2017/10/11/what-is-a-prosecco-infographic-wine-guide/” title=”What is a prosecco? Infographic Wine Guide” rel=”dofollow”> What is a prosecco? Italian Sparkling Wine Guide</a></p>
What does Brut Prosecco mean?
A Brut Prosecco is the driest style category of Prosecco sparkling wine you can buy. So, if you’re looking for a dry Prosecco, go for a ‘Brut’. Most Proseccos come as Extra-Dry as the wine’s natural acidity generally requires more than 12 grams per litre of sugar to achieve enough smoothness and balance to the palate.
Are there different styles of Prosecco wines?
Indeed, beyond the varied sweetness levels detailed above, Prosecco also come in different levels of fizziness:
- Prosecco spumante is the most common style, the one most of us find at the store and enjoy, with around 3 atmospheres of pressure in the bottle (44psi, to compare with beer which has approximately 1.5 atmospheres of pressure, and a traditional Champagne’s 6 atmospheres or about 100psi).
- Prosecco frizzante is less sparkling, or semi-sparkling, just slightly fizzy and has less than 2.5 atmospheres of pressure (<36psi).
There is even a Prosecco that comes with the yeasts used for fermentation still inside the bottle. Made by Corvezzo winery that calls it the ‘Shake It Prosecco’ as you have to shake it put the lees back in suspension.
Furthermore, it is little known that a still form of Prosecco exists. Admittedly, it is rarely seen outside Italy.
Is spumante sweet or dry?
Spumante simply means that you are with a sparkling wine, as spumante is the Italian term for a bubbly. If you have a ‘Spumante Brut’, it will be sparkling AND dry, while if it’s a ‘Spumante Dry’, it will be sweet! See details of the sweetness levels above.
Finding High-Quality Prosecco?
Prosecco wines are classified in Italy according to their geographical origin, which can also often translate into a quality level as per the hierarchy below:
- Prosecco DOC is the most common appellation for Prosecco, the one that’s most produced, and the one you will most usually find on your average wine shop’s shelves. It can be made in 9 provinces stretching from Veneto to Friuli-Venezia Giulia regions.
- Prosecco Conegliano Valdobbiadene Superiore DOCG must be made from grapes from a small specific area on the hillsides between Valdobbiadene and Conegliano, known for producing some of the best Prosecco wines.
- Prosecco Conegliano Valdobbiadene Superiore Rive DOCG is an even more precise area within the Conegliano-Valdobbiadene zone just detailed above. Only wines made from vineyards around 43 towns (communes) can boast this ‘Superior Prosecco’ tittle.
- Prosecco Valdobbiadene Superiore di Cartizze DOCG is an even more specific ‘superiore’ vineyard area, found West of the town of Valdobbiadene and covering only 107 hectares (264 acres) on the finest terroirs for Prosecco.
- Prosecco Colli Asolani DOCG, the hills between the towns of Cornuda and Asolo (Asolani meaning ’from Asolo’), just across the river from the ones around Conegliano (see map above), also host vineyards and soils particularly recognized for the quality of their Prosecco wines.
An alternative to the origin and quality level classifications as detailed above, is to look for a producer of quality Prosecco wine. Going for an Organic Prosecco can be a way of targeting wineries that pay a particular attention to their impact on the environment, but also arguably to the quality of their wine production.
Because organic grapes are more exposed to the natural environment, it seems their skin becomes thicker as a natural protective defence. Because the grape’s skin is where most of a Prosecco wine’s body and aroma comes from, this thicker organically-grown skin makes for more balanced, fruity and persistent Proseccos. Read the article below for more details and information about organic Prosecco.
When & What is the National Prosecco Week aka #NationalProseccoWeek
In April 2018, The Prosecco DOC Consortium, the organisation that oversees the production of Italian Prosecco sparkling wine, announced the launch of the first ever US National Prosecco Week, to take place between June 11th and June 16th of 2018.
The #ProseccoWeek is the opportunity for Prosecco producers to explain their product, and for Prosecco lovers, medi and trade to attend masterclasses as well as public consumer events at multiple cities throughout the United States of Amrica including in New York, San Francisco, Miami, Denver and Chicago.
The masterclasses, led by well-known sommeliers in each city, will focus on teaching and showcasing Prosecco’s food pairing versatility with various dishes.
On this topic, you can learn more on how to pair Prosecco with different cuisines on:
During the National Prosecco Week, consumer parties will also be held in these cities, in commemoration of the famous Italian sparkler.
On June 14th, as part of the ‘National Prosecco Week’ activities, Prosecco DOC will host an exclusive Prosecco & Pizza Competition at Ribalta pizzeria in New York. Four pizza makers will compete in front of five celebrity judges, which will include journalists, food influencers and widely respected pizza experts. The event will be solely for press, trade and industry influencers. Following the competition, a Pizza & Prosecco consumer event will be held at the renowned pizzeria Roberta’s in Brooklyn on June 16th; at this ticketed event, attendees will be served Prosecco by the glass and Prosecco cocktails, along with specialty pizzas.
For more details about the celebrations and initiatives of Prosecco DOC and the National Prosecco Week, please contact casaprosecco(at)colangelopr.com. To stay updated on events, check out the Prosecco DOC bureau on Facebook (@proseccodocusa), Instagram (@proseccodoc_usa), and the Consortium’s official US website, www.casaprosecco.com.
What is an Organic Prosecco?
We’ve written a whole article about it, find out more with through the link to our blog post here:
Which are the most popular Prosecco wine brands?
Here are some of the most famous and popular Prosecco wine brands with links to their wine reviews when available:
La Marca Prosecco
Nino Franco Rustico, Prosecco di Conegliano-Valdobbiadene Superiore DOCG
Zonin Cuvee 1821 Prosecco Spumante Brut
Mionetto Prestige Collection Prosecco di Treviso Brut
Cavit Lunetta Prosecco Brut
Canella Prosecco Superiore di Conegliano Valdobbiadene DOCG
Oroperla Millesimato, Prosecco di Valdobbiadene Superiore DOCG
Ca’ Furlan Cuvee Beatrice Prosecco
Da Luca Prosecco
Is Prosecco wine or Champagne?
Prosecco is clearly a wine, because it is made from fermented grape juice. That said, Prosecco is more like Champagne is the sense that it is a sparkling wine. In fact, although Champagne are often falsely put in a different category than wines, Champagnes are also wines.
Is Prosecco the same as Champagne?
The short answer is that Champagne wine comes from the French Champagne region around Reims and Epernay, South-East of Paris, while Prosecco bubblies are exclusively from Italy.
But what you also need to know if you like your bubbles, and if you want to be more knowledgeable after you’ve spent time reading this article, is on the infographic that follows:
What is the difference between Asti Spumante and Prosecco?
Both Asti Spumante and Prosecco are Italian sparkling white wines made in the North of Italy, but Asti comes from the western Piemonte region while Prosecco is made in the eastern regions of Veneto and Friuli.
Furthermore, Asti Spumante is made from very fragrant and fruity Muscat grapes (Moscato Bianco) while Proseccos are made from the more restrained and floral Glera.
Asti bubblies tend to be sweeter and lower in alcohol (below 10% abv) while Proseccos are generally crisp and dry, or just off-dry, with an alcoholic strength around 11%.
Very different wines overall, although both are made using the Charmat method of a secondary fermentation in tank, as opposed to a bottle fermentation like Champagne.
What are the typical flavors found in Prosecco?
Typical flavors and aromas of Prosecco are those coming from the Glera grapes it is made from, floral and lightly fruity.
You will usually find:
- notes of apple and pear (stonefruits)
- fresh lemon (and possibly other citrus)
- hints of honey
- depending on the maturity of the grapes it was made from, you will also find various amounts of grassy, slightly vegetal characters such as acacia or tomato leaf tones.
Flavors found in a typical (good) Prosecco:
How Popular is Prosecco?
Prosecco is now the bestselling fizz in all the biggest sparkling wine markets outside of France (yes, the French still like their Champagne more!). Countries that love and drink Prosecco the most are the UK, Italy, the US, and Germany.
Since 2013, more bottles of Prosecco are sold globally than even bottles of French Champagne (307 million bottles of Prosecco sold in 2013 versus 304 millions of Champagne that year).
The British, are the biggest drinkers of Prosecco in the world, popping even more corks that even the Italians themselves. UK consumers spend over £350m a year on Prosecco, that’s close to half a million dollars!
In the US, Prosecco accounts for about 15 percent of all U.S. sparkling wine sales.
Does that paint the picture?
Social Vignerons Prosecco Wine Reviews & Ratings
This post and infographics were developed with our partners at Corvezzo winery that take the production of quality Organic Prosecco very seriously. Find reviews of their tasty Prosecco bubblies below:
Read more about Corvezzo and their wines at Corvezzo winery profile:
Sources and references