Prosecco, Italy's famed sparkling wine, and one of the names of the white grape (also called Glera) that is used to produce the bubbly itself, hails from the Fruili and Veneto regions, in the northeast of the Italian boot. Typically a fantastic value wine, Prosecco is as versatile as it is economical.
Prosecco's Regional Roots & Price Points
The dominant Prosecco producing towns are Valdobbiadene and Conegliano.
Buyer tip: look for these towns on the bottle label. Give up $10 and you will likely grab a Prosecco that offers delicate fruit and enticing aromatics, lots of bubbles (spumante) or lightly-bubbled (frizzante) and usually lies on the dry to off-dry side of the style spectrum. Give up $15-20 and you'll turn the whole Prosecco experience into overdrive - with more fruit vigor, more balance, and loads of high-intensity aromatics. On the palate, you can expect Prosecco to deliver ripe assorted apple, pear, some citrus and often a dash of nutty almond flavoring.
Prosecco vs. Champagne - How It's Made
Semi-sparkling Prosecco typically finds its bubbles by using the Charmat method, a process that runs the wine through a second fermentation, to trap the bubbles, in a stainless steel tank. While Champagne takes time and carries out the second fermentation process in individual bottles by adding a second dose of sugar and yeast to ignite another fermentation and then capping (and trapping) the bubbles in the bottle with what looks like a beer crown.
Then the bottles go through a riddling process, to tilt each bottle in such a way as to carefully collect the spent yeast in the bottle neck, freeze the neck, extract the yeast popsicle, add a little more sugar and then the mushroom-shaped cork.
Prosecco Style: Flavors and Aromatics
In general, Prosecco yields lower alcohol levels than many of its still wine counterparts and is best consumed within 2 years of release.
Typically made in a dry to off-dry style with acidity levels that range from medium to fairly high, Prosecco's palate profile leans towards fruit - namely, apple, pear and apricot with a little citrus and sometimes toasted almond notes. Prosecco has another claim to fame, as Venice's popular Bellini cocktail is traditionally made with Prosecco and peach puree. If you are looking for a food-friendly, guest-friendly, easy-going, value-conscious, festive, sparkling white wine find - you will be hard pressed to do better than Italy's popular Prosecco! Serve well-chilled.
Pairing Prosecco with Food
Give Prosecco a go with Prosciutto, stuffed mushrooms, creamy sauces, almonds, seafood, fried fare, spicy Asian entrees and even potato chips or buttered popcorn. This is a very forgiving, food-friendly sparkling wine option.
Prosecco Producers to try
Altaneve, Cantine Maschio, La Marca, Mionetto, Nino Franceo, Silvano Follador, Valdo, Zardetto, Zonin