Prosecco is a sure bet for an aperitif, but also to accompany an entire meal. At a more affordable price than Champagne, its bubbles are also perfect for celebrating all your festive moments. Discover without delay our selection of Prosecco to celebrate your small and big occasions!
→ Prosecco wine is one of the Italian effervescent that is light, frothy and often inexpensive. Prosecco is a white wine with a Denomination of Controlled Origin produced in Veneto and the Friuli-Venezia Giulia regions of Italy. It became known in the nineties as Prosecco (Typical Geographical Indication) and in 2009 it obtained the Controlled Designation of Origin (DOC), increasing its quality.
→ Prosecco is the most exported Italian wine abroad. It is essentially Italy’s version of Champagne and its most well-known alternative. In 2014 it surpassed Champagne for the first time in terms of the number of bottles sold worldwide.
→ Prosecco wine has experienced a real boom since the 90s of the twentieth century, with a surge between 2005 and 2010. More than 8000 wineries and 269 sparkling wine producers are dedicated to the production of this wine, which puts on the market more than 330 million bottles a year - mostly exported - for a total turnover of more than 3 billion euros.
Types and characteristics
There are basically three types of Prosecco:
Prosecco spumante (sparkling), with a minimum alcohol content of 11.00% vol. Prosecco frizzante (semi-sparkling), with a minimum alcohol content of 9% vol.
Since 2020 exist also Prosecco rosé made exclusively from Glera and Pinot Noir grapes.
Colour:In the case of white Prosecco, it has a straw yellow colour.
Nose:it shows fine and fresh aromas of apple, apricot and pear.
Palate:On the palate, the sparkling varies in sweetness from
Brut with 0-12 g/L of residual sugar
Extra-dry with 12-17 g/L of residual sugar
Dry with 17-32 g/L of residual sugar
Grape varieties and cultivation
The main grape variety for the production of Prosecco is Glera, whose grapes must make up at least 85% of the total. Glera gives the Prosecco fresh fruity notes. A small fraction, not exceeding 15% of the total, may consist of Bianchetta trevigiana, Perera, Glera lunga, Chardonnay, Pinot Bianco, Pinot Grigio and especially for the rosé production Pinot Nero.
The soils suitable for the cultivation of the vineyards are those that are well exposed and drained. So, high water or peat soils are not allowed. Each plot must have at least 2,300 vines per hectare. The cultivation and planting techniques are the ''classic'' ones, which do not cause changes in the quality of the grapes and wine.
Prosecco is produced using an affordable and less labour approach; the Charmat method also called the tank method (an Italian speciality) which results in a more reasonable price tag. It is considered to be the best way to produce fruity and aromatic sparkling wines. The wine undergoes a secondary fermentation in stainless steel tanks (instead of the bottle itself) and is bottled under pressure.
The duration of the fermentation affects the quality; longer fermentation helps to preserve the wine's aromas and provides finer, more long-lasting bubbles.
Food pairings with Prosecco
Prosecco is amazingly all-rounder and goes well with a wide range of cuisines. The Brut versions are recommended with cured meats, fish, shellfish or seafood soups; whereas the Extra-Dry can pair well spicy foods and fruit appetizers such as melon wrapped in ham.
Serving temperature & style:
For a guaranteed enjoyment, Prosecco should be served cold (6-8°C) in a tulip style sparkling wine glass.
For the lovers of inexpensive sparkling wines, congratulations! Vinatis proposes you a wide range of Proseccos at affordable prices.
THE MOST FAMOUS OF ITALIAN EFFERVESCENTS
With Lambrusco and Moscato d'Asti, Italians are spoilt for choice when it comes to sparkling wines. However, Prosecco is undoubtedly the most famous of these little Italian bubbles. Walking past a restaurant or café terrace without spotting it is almost impossible. However, its popularity does not stop at the Italian borders. In fact, this sparkling wine has also been experiencing a growing success in recent years in other countries such as France and China; even competing with Champagne in some countries such as the United States and the United Kingdom, Prosecco indeed has all the makings of a crowd pleaser.
This popularity has been boosted in particular by the incredible success of the Spritz cocktail, of which this sparkling wine is one of the main components. This is further reinforced by a perfectly orchestrated marketing strategy. The producers rely, among other things, on a quality appellation, equivalent to the French AOC, conferring an image of quality wine to Prosecco. For some winegrowers, this is achieved in particular through the highlighting of a unique landscape and an environmentally friendly viticulture. The constant increase in the production of this sparkling wine contributes greatly to its development on the international market.
However, this notoriety is also attributed to the light character of this bubbly nectar, often referred to as "Italian Champagne". A true symbol of conviviality, Prosecco is a wine that is drunk young and can be enjoyed at any time of the day. It should be noted that Prosecco is to be consumed quickly, it is not a wine for ageing. Crunchy like a fruit, it is appreciated for its freshness, fruity and floral aromas, and relatively fine bubbles. With a slightly sweeter dosage than Champagnes, this Italian sparkling wine also seduces with its sweetness.
SPECIAL OCCASION: CHEAPER THAN CHAMPAGNE
The lightness of Prosecco is not just about how it feels on the palate, but also applies to its price. This sparkling wine is indeed known for its relative affordability.
Although it can be drunk casually in everyday life, this sparkling wine lends itself beautifully to big occasions. It thus represents an excellent alternative to Champagne for celebrating festive moments at a low price.
TERROIR AND GRAPE VARIETIES OF PROSECCO
If Prosecco can boast a relatively large market internationally, it owes this to strict rules, particularly regarding production areas. Spanning over approximately 20,000 hectares, the vineyard is anchored in northeastern Italy. The production area covers a good part of the Venezia and Friuli-Venezia Giulia. The vines grow in nine provinces, namely: Treviso, Vicenza, Padua, Belluno, Venice, Udine, Pordenone, Trieste and Gorizia. Prosecco can also be also be produced in the vineyards of Conegliano or Valdobbiadene. Depending on the production area, this sparkling wine can obtain the Prosecco Denominazione di Origine Controllata (DOC) or Prosecco Denominazione di Origine Controllata e Garantitta (DOCG).
For the production of Prosecco, Gléra is the main grape variety. A minimum of 85% is used. Successive selections finally led to the choice of this round grape. With a hardy and vigorous shoot, Gléra has large, long clusters. When ripe, the berries display a beautiful golden yellow colour. Other varieties that can be used to produce this sparkling wine include the Perera, Verdiso and Bianchetta grape varieties. However, they must not exceed a 15% limit in the blends.
After the harvest, the grapes destined for the production of Prosecco are pressed to extract the juice. After decanting, the liquid is fermented with yeast, triggering alcoholic fermentation. The production of Prosecco is distinguished by the use of the Charmat method, based on a second fermentation or prise de mousse. Unlike the Champagne technique, this process takes place in closed tanks under high pressure. Placed in pressurised autoclaves, the still wine is enhanced with yeast and sugars.
For about 15 to 20 days, fine bubbles begin to form and the characteristic aromas of Prosecco gradually develop, under a temperature maintained at 12 to 13°C. After this time, the product is transferred to another autoclave, chilled, and then filtered to ensure clarity, before bottling. As well as being cheaper than the traditional bottled technique, the Charmat method has the advantage of preserving the fruity and delicate aromas of Prosecco.
HOW TO DRINK PROSECCO?
A fresh, often floral and fruity wine, Prosecco can be enjoyed both neat and in cocktails. Ideally, this sparkling wine should be served at a temperature of 6 to 9°C. You can add ice or not, so this Italian wine can be enjoyed during the day as well as in the evening. Whether it's a casual moment with friends or a festive event, this bubbly nectar is suitable for all occasions.
Usually served at aperitif time, Prosecco can also accompany an entire meal. With antipasti (based on fish, lightly matured cheeses, lightly spiced cured meats or smoked salmon), risotto, a menu based on fish or seafood or white meat, the food and Prosecco pairings are numerous.
WHICH PROSECCO TO CHOOSE?
For a perfect taste experience, it is important to choose the best Prosecco. This is because it is a wine that can be conjugated in the plural, thus potentially confusing consumers when selecting a bottle.
Depending on the type of Prosecco, different indications may be displayed on the bottle, including those relating to the level of residual sugars or the nature of the bubbles (sparkling or fizzy).
PROSECCO BRUT OR EXTRA DRY?
Depending on whether the consumer wants a nectar that is more or less sweet, it is important to check the residual sugar content of the Prosecco. This is because each type guarantees a different taste experience.
Certainly constituting the most modern and widespread version on the international market, the Prosecco Brut has a residual sugar level of 0-12 g/litre. Presenting a light straw yellow colour, this wine has a fresh and elegant nose, dominated by floral and fruity aromas (pear, green apple and sometimes lychee). On the palate, it reveals tangy flavours with a dry finish. Prosecco Brut is particularly appreciated as an aperitif.
Much sweeter, the Prosecco Extra-Dry has a sugar content of between 12 g/litre and 17 g/litre. Sporting a bright straw yellow colour, this sparkling wine consists of bubbles that rise slightly in the glass. With its sweeter flavour, it goes very well with exotic dishes with a little spice. This type of Prosecco can also be served at the end of a meal with a dessert.
PROSECCO SPUMANTE OR FRIZZANTE?
Depending on the production process, Prosecco can be classified into different categories: Spumante or Frizzante. This classification refers to the pressure to which the wine is subjected. More effervescent with more frothy bubbles, a Prosecco Spumante has an excess gas pressure of up to 5.5 bars. It is made in just a few months using the Charmat method. In contrast, a Prosecco Frizzante is much less effervescent. This wine is more pearly, with fizzy bubbles. To be considered frizzante, a Prosecco must have a carbon dioxide pressure between 1 and 2.5 bars. This type of wine generally benefits from a second fermentation in closed tanks, with relatively shorter foaming times than for the production of a spumante wine. However, some producers rely on a bottle fermentation or sur lie method.
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