What is Prosecco?

Prosecco is the sparkling wine of Italy and certainly its most famous sparkling wine. Its price and the fact that it is so easy to sip have seen it soar in popularity in recent years, eclipsing the sales of all other sparkling wines here in the UK. For many people it’s the first sparkling wine they ever try and it’s a great introduction to bubbles.

Where is prosecco from?

Where is prosecco from? Map of Italy showing where prosecco is from

The Prosecco region is in the north east corner of Italy approximately 30 miles from Venice and is made up of nine provinces which lie in the Veneto and Friuli Venezia Giulia regions. This region is very picturesque with rolling hills covered in vines, sometimes with little churches sitting at the top. The best grape growing area lies between two towns Valdobbiadene and Conegliano. Read about our top 5 things about Italy here.

What is prosecco made of. Glera grpae showing what prosecco is made from

What is prosecco made from?

Prosecco is made from the Glera grape. It’s a white grape that originated in Slovenia. Glera is a rather neutral grape variety, which means the flavours it produces are quite light.

How is prosecco made? Image shows stainless steel tanks used to make prosecco

How is prosecco made?

Grapes are harvested in September and the juice is made into a still wine by adding yeast and sugar. The still wine is then put into large stainless steel tanks and more sugar and yeast is added. The wine ferments again, bubbles are produced as a reaction and there’s nowhere for them to escape to so they dissolves into the wine. The prosecco is then bottled and is sold to drink straightaway.

What does prosecco taste like?

Prosecco is very easy drinking and flavours you might expect are, gentle notes of apple, pear, citrus, melon, blossom and sometimes a little honey.

Prosecco Percentage?

Prosecco has an alcohol content of between 11% and 12%.

Is prosecco, champagne?

In a word, no, prosecco is not champagne!  Champagne is not prosecco either! In order for a bottle of sparkling wine to say ‘prosecco’ on the label it must be made in one of the nine provinces which lie in the Veneto and Friuli Venezia Giulia. Here’s four things you should never say to a prosecco lover.

Is prosecco champagne? Image shows a bottle of champagne and prosecco

What’s the difference between prosecco and champagne

There several differences between prosecco and champagne

Champagne is made in France and prosecco is made in Italy.

  • Bubbles form in bottles of champagne when it’s aged in the cellar (minimum 15 months) whereas bubbles form in prosecco in tanks before its bottled.
  • Champagne is made from either (or a combination of) chardonnay, pinot noir and pinot meunier grapes. Prosecco is made mainly from the glera grape.
  • Champagne is much more complex than prosecco because of the grapes used to make it and the ageing in the cellar.
  • It’s also more expensive than prosecco because of grape prices in Champagne and the time it takes to make a bottle.

Are there different types of prosecco?

Prosecco comes in three types. The most popular is spumante which is fully sparkling and the bottle is closed with the same cork as champagne. You will also probably come across frizzante which is a semi sparkling style so the bubbles are gentler and not as long lasting as spumante. The bottle is closed with a normal wine cork. There is also a style of prosecco called tranquillo which has no bubbles!

There are two main styles of prosecco Brut which contains up to 12 grams of sugar in a litre and Extra Dry (which is actually sweeter than brut!) this contains between 12 and 17 grams of sugar per litre.

Is there such a thing as sweeter prosecco?

If you’re looking for an even sweeter prosecco keep your eyes open for ‘dry’ on the label! This contains between 17 and 32 grams of sugar per litre.  However unless you have a very sweet tooth extra dry is quite a sweet style.

sweeter prosecco. Image shows sugar illustrating tere is a lot of sugar in prosecco

What are the biggest prosecco brands?

We’ve all heard of Veuve Clicquot and Moet et Chandon and know they’re famous champagne brands. Prosecco seems to be a brand in itself and separate brands are less well known.

What is the best prosecco?

Prosecco comes in two main quality levels DOC and DOCG which is a higher level and a bit more expensive. DOCG prosecco have grapes which come from a smaller growing area in the Valdobbiadene and Conegliano. If you want to try really specialised prosecco look for Rive on the label. The whole phrase will be prosecco Valdobbiadene Superiore Rive DOCG. Proseccos with this on the label come from very specific areas or vineyards near Conegliano and Valdobbiadene and only 43 communes can put this on the label.

For the ultimate prosecco in terms of quality and rarity look out for Superiore di Cartizze. This is a tiny area of 265 acres just outside Valdobbiadene considered to be one of the best areas for prosecco in the world.

What is the Best prosecco. Image shows the  cartizze area

The importance of drinking Prosecco chilled

Prosecco needs to be served very chilled. To get it to a perfect temperature for drinking. Put it in the fridge at least four hours before you plan to po the cork. Alternatively put the bottle in a bucket or bowl of half ice and half water for half an hour. Flutes are okay to sip prosecco from and tulip shaped glasses are even better. Fill the glass two thirds full leaving the top third empty – this way you can appreciate the delicate aromas. Smelling your tipple does enhance the enjoyment of sipping it, honestly!

How many calories are in prosecco?

Bear in mind that if your prosecco is 12% alcohol then a single 125ml glass is 1.5 units; a single glass of this size also contains around 90 calories, roughly the same as a chocolate biscuit. Prosecco is very easy to drink and if you indulge in three glasses that’s a similar amount of calories to a hamburger and 4.5 units. Alternating between prosecco and sparkling wine or low sugar no alcohol drink is a good plan!

So which proseccos does The Fizz Company have on offer?

We have DOC and DOCG level proseccos. We have a style which has less sugar added at the end of production which we call dry style. We have brut level of sweetness and we have extra dry too (which is sweeter in style than brut!)

For lovely peachy flavours choose Prosecco La Farra, for apples and pears pick Prosecco Vignarosa and if you like the fruitiness of prosecco but not the sweetness La Farra Dry Style Prosecco has your name on it! For prosecco with afternoon tea try La Farra Prosecco DOCG Extra Dry and if you want to impress…it must be a magnum!