A Beginners Guide To Prosecco Sparkling Wine
Prosecco is Italy’s answer to France’s champagne, but only to an extent. The most notable difference between these two? This Italian wine is produced with a different set of grapes and with a different winemaking method.
There is more to this vino than it being the cheaper option for bubbles. We’ll take you back to where it is from, what it tastes like, and most importantly, how you can enjoy this amazing sparkler.
The Story Of Prosecco
This sparkling wine’s roots are firmly planted in Italy’s Valdobbiadene region using the charmat method, which gives the wines approximately three atmospheres of pressure. The origin of this Italian wine dates back to Roman times.
The grapes of the glera variety are used to produce the wine in a small village called Prosecco. Most of its wine is sparkling (spumante), but varieties of semi-sparkling (frizzante) are also available. Uncarbonated examples are also made.
With its specific method of production, the bubbles typically last much longer than that of beer (which has 1.5 atmospheres of pressure). To compare further, champagne’s bubbles are made at five to six atmospheres of pressure.
What Does Prosecco Taste Like
Most prosecco on the wine market is produced in a dry, brut style. Thanks to the fruity flavors of the grapes, it usually has sweeter notes of green apple, honeydew melon, pear, and honeysuckle.
Brut is predominantly the most popular sweetness level of this wine, but you can definitely source styles that are sweeter. To help you determine the sweetness level, look for the following on labels:
- Brut: 0–12 g/L RS (residual sugar) – Up to a half gram of sugar per glass
- Dry: 17–32 g/L RS – Up to one gram of sugar per glass
- Extra Dry: 12–17 g/L RS – Just over a half gram of sugar per glass
If you’re more inclined to something that plays it safe and is on the sweet side, try an extra dry varietal that offers a stunningly fruity and tingling acidity. It’ll have just the right amount of sweetness to balance it out beautifully.
Prosecco & Asian Cuisine: A Match Made In Heaven
Now we’re onto the good part. This Italian wine is wonderfully versatile and goes very well with quite a wide range of cuisine. Serve it as an aperitif with a fruit-infused cheese platter or serve it with the main entrée.
This sparkling wine is ideal as a food partner. It completes the palate when paired with medium-intensity food like chicken, tofu, shrimp, or pork. However, where it really performs well is when its matched with spicy curries and Southeast Asian cuisine from Thailand, Vietnam, Hong Kong, and Singapore.
If you want your vino to dance on your tongue with its lively flavors and aromas, serve it cold (38–45 °F / 3–7 °C). A sparkling tulip glass will help to preserve the vino’s bubbly finesse for longer, while the larger bulb at the top will release more of the wine’s aromas.
Who Produces The Best Prosecco?
It’s hard to narrow down just one, so here are the best of the best:
- Prosecco DOC: This is by far the most common quality level for this sparkling wine. It’s produced in all of the nine regions in Italy
- Prosecco Conegliano Valdobbiadene Superiore DOCG: With this method, grapes are blended from a smaller, more specialized region. This region produces some of the most concentrated wines
- Asolo Prosecco DOCG: On the lower foothills of this region, wines are produced at a very high quality and standard
- Prosecco Conegliano Valdobbiadene Superiore Rive DOCG: There are about 43 communes or vineyards in the Conegliano-Valdobbiadene region and any of these 43 communes may be labeled as such
- Valdobbiadene Superiore di Cartizze DOCG: This is a micro-region that covers no more than 265 acres on the outskirts of the Valdobbiadene region. It’s known as some of the finest terroirs for this wine in the world