Prosecco Guide: Everything You Need To Know
Prosecco is one of the most popular sparkling white wines in the UK. If you’ve attended a party or special occasion in the last 10 years, it’s likely that you were at least offered a glass of Italian sparkling wine. In fact, prosecco is extremely popular all over the world, with over 400 million bottles estimated to have been sold in 2020 – that’s more than champagne.
Where is prosecco made?
Like champagne, prosecco is a trademarked wine and enjoys protected designation of origin (PDO) status and has a traditional method of production. This means that it must be produced exclusively in the Prosecco region and specific parts of northeastern Italy. This is displayed with the letters ‘DOC’ or ‘DOCG’ on the bottle. DOC stands for Denominazione di Origine Controllata while DOCG means Denominazione di Origine Controllata Guarantee, which essentially means that they have to pass stricter tests on taste.
Other terms you might find on a bottle of Italian prosecco include Classico, meaning the bottle was produced in a historic wine-producing area, Superiore meaning the wine has a higher alcohol content, and Riserva, meaning the prosecco will have been aged for at least two years. Also, just like its French cousin, champagne, prosecco can be produced as a single vintage or as a non-vintage.
The prosecco grape
Like most other wines, ‘prosecco’ was originally the name of a single grape and location, but as it became more popular, more clarity was needed. So the decision was made to rename the ‘prosecco grape’ to ‘Glera’, and it was decided that a wine had to be made with over 85% of it in order to be classed as prosecco. The remaining 15% of the blend could be made up of a small number of grape varieties including Verdiso, Bianchetta Trevigiana, Perera, Glera Lunga, Chardonnay, Pinot Bianco, Pinot Grigio and Pinot Noir.
Pairing prosecco with food
Although primarily known as a party drink, prosecco also works very well with lots of different foods. A champagne breakfast works just as well with a bottle of dry prosecco served with eggs benedict or scrambled eggs with smoked salmon. Mimosas, prosecco topped up with orange juice, are a brunch essential, while a cold glass also goes very well before a spicy meal or seafood.
Well Known Prosecco Cocktails
An all-time classic Italian classic and a guaranteed crowd pleaser, the Bellini originated in Venice and is simply peach purée served in a champagne flute topped up with chilled prosecco. It’s a pleasing alternative to a mimosa, a marvellous brunch drink, and a popular cocktail to welcome guests. Bellissimo.
Another Italian classic, the Aperol spritz is a very popular cocktail on British soil. Easy to make and delightful to drink, it’s simply two parts Aperol served over ice, topped up with three parts prosecco and a splash of soda water and garnished with a slice of orange. Cheers.
English Garden cocktail
Adding a splash of prosecco to an English Garden cocktail – gin, elderflower and cucumber – adds a fantastic zing to an already delicious drink. Served chilled in a flute, it’s the perfect cocktail to sip on a sunny afternoon in, well, an English garden.
Simple, classic and always refreshing, it’s hard to go wrong with a mimosa. Equal parts dry prosecco and chilled orange juice, freshly squeezed if possible, and mostly served in a flute, although some variations see it served in a wine glass with ice.
What’s the difference between a mimosa and a Buck’s Fizz?
Isn’t sparkling wine and orange juice a Bucks Fizz you say? And of course, you’re right, but the main difference between a mimosa and a Bucks Fizz is two parts prosecco, one part orange juice, while a mimosa is equal parts, or sometimes even one part sparkling wine, two parts juice.
Is prosecco vegan?
The good news is that the majority of prosecco is suitable for vegans. However, a small number of producers do sometimes use some animal products as fining agents in the filtration process so it’s always worth double checking, or using the vegan filter when shopping for prosecco on ocado.com.
The premium prosecco
Della Vite represents a collaboration between two families, the Delevingne sisters, its founders, and winemakers, the Biasiottos. Glera grapes are hand-picked on the region’s steep hills and carefully transported down to the solar powered winery which sits nestled at the heart of the Valdobbiadene valley. The grapes undergo a gentle pressing, and the juice is stored in temperature-controlled steel tanks. The product is suitable for vegetarians and vegans.
The rosé prosecco
Officially pink or rosé prosecco only came into being in January 2021, with permission from the Italian Prosecco council giving approval for a pink version. The Abbazia version is subtle and elegant with hints of raspberries and wild red fruit.
The popular prosecco
Also known as the mid-range bottle, this is from the sub-region of Valdobbiadene – a smaller area within the Prosecco DOC where the hillsides are at a higher altitude with richer soils that result in more floral and aromatic grapes. This is an intensely fruity sparkling wine, with notes of green apple, lemons and grapefruits. It has a pronounced aroma of blossom and elderflower.
The value prosecco
A crowd pleaser with an aromatic bouquet, fresh fruity flavour and gentle mousse make it an ideal aperitif for parties and everyday celebrations. It’s also Bronze medal Winner of olive magazine’s, best fizz to buy by the case award.