Prosecco: Everything you need to know about the sparkling white wine from Italy’s Veneto region
Prosecco is an Italian sparkling white wine, somewhat less popular and often less expensive in comparison to Champagne.
Prosecco is generally made from the Italian grape Glera, which until 2009 was actually referred to as the Prosecco Grape. The grape is grown mainly in the Veneto region of northeastern Italy. Used primarily for sparkling wines, they typically come in either fully sparkling (spumante) or lightly sparkling (frizzante — roughly meaning fizzy) varieties.
Hear what Italian wine expert and importer Salvatore Ivan Italiano has to say about Prosecco in an interview with my daughter, Elizabeth Carris:
Prosecco comes in varying degrees of dryness and sweetness. The label on Prosecco bottles will indicate how sweet the wine is. The two most popular Prosecco wines are “brut” or “extra dry” — the dryness usually indicates the sweetness with “dry” and “extra dry,” with “demi-sec” and “doux” being the sweetest.
Sweetness in Prosecco comes from “residual sugar,” which is the sugar left over after fermentation that has not been turned into alcohol. I generally think of Prosecco as an Aperitif. For those of you not familiar with that term, it is a French word for a starter drink that opens a meal or welcomes your guests and is an appetite stimulant. I think of Aperitifs as “what you drink before you drink.” I like to serve Prosecco before we start our Tiedemann On Wine Wine Club dinners/tastings.
We tasted two different Proseccos, and I found them both to be light and very aromatic and crisp, not sweet nor too complex. On the palate they offered hints of green apple, a little citrus, honey and white flowers. Overall they were pleasant and refreshing sparkling wines, with a finish of good length and a pleasant mouth feel.
Typically Prosecco wines do not have vintages listed on their labels. They are considered non-vintage wines. Unlike Champagne, most Prosecco wines don’t age (or ferment) in the bottle…they will grow stale or flat with time. Due to this, Proseccos should be enjoyed as young as possible…preferably within two years of their bottling.
For the best taste, Proseccos should be served at a temperature range of 40 to 45 degrees. To obtain this temperature, you may need to ice the wine down prior to serving. Generally speaking, refrigerators don’t reach these temperatures.
Prosecco wines are available at most wine stores. So the next time you are looking to try a new wine, why not give a Prosecco a try? Be sure and look at the label for any signs of a bottling date, etc., so you are in our suggested two-year time line.
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Until next week,