Prosecco has become one of the most popular sparkling wines in recent years; last year alone more than 115 million bottles were produced. Prosecco is made in the Veneto region of Italy using Prosecco (Glera) grapes. At 121 calories, it is to a limited extent the lighter option to Champagne at 128 calories. There are five simple tips to choosing the perfect prosecco.
Five straightforward tips
- A large area of north-eastern Italy produces Prosecco; however, two small villages produce what is considered the best Prosecco with the highest quality. These villages are Conegliano and Valdobbiadene. If a bottle of Prosecco says ‘Prosecco DOC’ it is likely to not have been produced by either village, however will have been produced in the north-eastern region
- Sipping an even more exclusive Prosecco would require purchasing Prosecco made in Cartizze located in the Valdobbiandene Hills. Producing an ultimately high quality Prosecco, it is considered to have a greater standard than that of Prosecco made in Conegliano.
- Prosecco should be light and frothy, the Charmat method (fermented in large steel tanks) is used when producing Prosecco. In contrast Champagne is fermented in individual bottles. Prosecco should be fruity and light rather than yeasty and rich.
- Prosecco is made using the Glera grape, previously named the ‘Prosecco’ grape, it is the main variation of grape to use. Proseccos with the highest quality use 100% Glera, others may add variants of other grapes, such as Chardonnay or Verdisio, to a blend.
- Buying from a local wine merchant increases the chances of a high-quality Prosecco. Wine merchants often self-select bottles their selves, therefore purchasing a high-quality product
Best of the best
The finest Proseccos (also very accessible to be bought) are at a margin of the price of that of Champagne. Many retailers price Prosecco at £15 or under, although the higher end achieving the same price of cheap Champagne it is just as enjoyable. In 2016 sales of Prosecco hit €789 million, however it was still outsold by Champagne at €1.4 billion.
Approximately 77 million litres of Prosecco were bought last year, 25% more than Champagne, therefore explaining the higher Champagne sales. Due to the way that Prosecco is made, it does not benefit from ageing and should be consumed as soon as possible. Prosecco should be served chilled, as would be done with Champagne.
Pizzolato Spumante Prosecco can be bought from Ideal Wine Company’s Burke’s Peerage Selection.