Prosecco is the most famous sparkling wine in Italy. It is as well the Italian wine most exported worldwide. Apple, lemon, pear, and melon are typical of Prosecco’s aromas. The flavors, intensity, and styles vary depending on the producer and his secret blending formula. Let’s find out more!
Prosecco has a pyramid of quality as various Prosecco styles and versions exist. At the top, you’ll find Prosecco Superiore di Cartizze DOCG and the bottom Prosecco DOC.
Have you ever found yourself staring at many Prosecco bottles wondering which one you would like best? Keep reading and you’ll find the answer and much more!
I’ve organized the content below in small sections to make it easy to read. I must confess I’m quite happy with the research and work done. As always wine tasting was my favorite part!😋.
Use the table of content below to jump straight to the section. In this article you’ll learn more about:
Keep reading to become a Prosecco expert!
Prosecco Taste Profile
These are some of the most common aromas and flavors of Prosecco.
Prosecco Food Pairing
These are some food pairing suggestions for Prosecco.
Serve and Store Prosecco
A little bit of Prosecco history
The oldest trace of Prosecco’s name appears to be from mid-1500, with the name of Prosecho. Only in the mid-1700 did the name Prosecco appear in the book Il Roccolo Ditirambo.
To these days, it’s only in the second half of 1900 that the vinification techniques have improved and with them the quality of the wine. Prosecco is usually made with Charmat Method, aka Tank or Martinotti Method.
At the begging of 2000, it started gaining popularity in the US thanks to Mionetto, the largest Prosecco exporter. In 2010 UK only was consuming roughly one-quarter of Italian production.
What does Prosecco mean?
The name Prosecco comes from the Italian village of Prosecco in the province of Trieste, Italy.
Where do Prosecco’s grapes grow best?
Prosecco’s grapes grow best in moderate climates, like the Prosecco region in the Northern East part of Italy. The cooling breezes off the Adriatic slow the grapes ripening, allowing them to maintain a high level of acidity which is perfect for sparkling wines.
What are Prosecco Sweetness Levels?
The Prosecco sweetness level depends on the amount of sugar added during the dosage. There are typically three sweetness levels for Prosecco: Brut, Extra-Dry and Dry. Extra-Dry is the most common type.
- Brut less than 12 g/l of residual sugar, aka RS.
- Extra Dry between 12 to 17 g/l RS.
- Dry between 17 to 32 g/l RS. Despite the name, it’s noticeably sweet.
You can find here the sweetness level for white, red, and rosé wine for comparison.
What are the Prosecco Styles?
There are 3 Prosecco types:
- Tranquillo, i.e. still wine without bubbles and with a minimum ABV of 10.5%.
- Spumante, i.e. sparkling wine and with a minimum ABV of 11%.
- Frizzante, i.e. semi-sparkling with less lingering bubbles and with a minimum ABV of 9%.
What is the Prosecco Pyramid of Quality?
For Prosecco there’s a pyramid of quality, there are 4 categories and 6 Prosecco types:
At the top of the pyramid you’ll find two DOCG:
- Prosecco di Conegliano-Valdobbiadene Superiore di Cartizze DOCG
- Rive – Prosecco di Conegliano-Valdobbiadene Superiore DOCG
Cartizze and Rive have very limited production areas: 289 acres for the first and 12 communes for the second. Only the wine made from these two specific areas can be labeled in this way and it’s considered the best in terms of quality. On the label, you’ll find
One level below you’ll find other two DOCG:
- Prosecco di Conegliano-Valdobbiadene Superiore DOCG
- Asolo Prosecco DOCG
The first wine is produced only on the hills between Conegliano, Valdobbiadene, and Vittorio Veneto which is made of 15 communes. The second is the wine produced near the hills of Asolo which covers 19 communes.
At the third level below you’ll find the first DOC:
- Prosecco di Treviso DOC
This wine is produced from a much wider area of roughly 95 communes in the Treviso province.
At the bottom of the pyramid you’ll find the last DOC:
- Prosecco DOC
This wine is produced across 556 communes, 9 provinces and 2 regions: Veneto and Friuli Venezia Giulia.
When is the perfect time to drink Prosecco?
Traditionally Prosecco is the perfect wine for the “aperitivo”, aperitif in English. You should not limit yourself to that though. Like Champagne, Prosecco is extremely versatile, you can have it on its own or throughout a meal.
I’m gonna say it, for me every day is a perfect day for a good Prosecco!
Some curiosities about Prosecco
- There is a national Prosecco day and it’s the 13th August of every year!
- Prosecco is the Italian wine most widely exported. In 2019 Le Colline del Prosecco di Conegliano e Valdobbiadene have become part of UNESCO World Heritage Site.
- Prosecco is so versatile that it’s also used in cocktails. Have you ever heard of Spritz or Bellini cocktails? They are both made with Prosecco.
- Prosecco bubbles usually last longer than beers but less than Champagne. That’s because Prosecco has roughly 3 atmospheres of pressure vs 1.5 for beers and 5-6 for Champagne.
- For the Rosé lover good news for you! Since 2020 a Prosecco Spumante Rosé DOC version has been introduced. It must contain 85% of Gleara and 10%-15% of Pinot Noir.
What’s Prosecco's typical price range?
Prosecco is an affordable wine, you can easily find a good bottle within a $10-$20 price range. If you are after the Cartizze or Rive then the price could go over $40+.