What Exactly is Prosecco?
It’s no coincidence that this Italian sparkling wine has recently skyrocketed in popularity.
With a mouthwatering taste and crisp bubbles, a glass of chilled Prosecco is one of the most refreshing sparkling wines on the market.
But what exactly is Prosecco? What foods should you pair it with? And what’s the difference between Prosecco and Champagne?
These are great questions! Luckily, we’ve got the answers.
Read on to learn why this classic Italian sparkling wine has been enjoying a renaissance and why you should seek out a delicious glass for your next dinner party.
A Primer On Prosecco
Prosecco almost always refers to the sparkling variety, although technically Prosecco can also be made in a “flat” or “tranquilo” method or even a “frizzante” method with little bubbles. In general, “Prosecco” has become synonymous with the sparkling varieties made in this famous Italian winemaking region.
Interestingly, there is no such thing as Prosecco grapes. Instead, the predominant Prosecco grape is the Glera grape. At least 85% of a Prosecco wine must be fermented from Glera grapes to earn the official classification as Prosecco.
But why is this delicious sparkling wine not called Glera? For the same reason that Champagne is called Champagne. Some wines are named after the origination region, while others are named after the grape. It’s not exactly an easy system to understand, but it’s not likely to change anytime soon.
Is Prosecco Champagne?
Although the two might taste quite similar, Prosecco is not Champagne.
The two are both sparkling wines made in Europe but their region of origin makes all the difference when it comes to naming.
Only sparkling wine made from the Champagne region of France earns the legal and commercial designation of Champagne. Similarly, only a sparkling wine made from the Prosecco region of Italy can be called Prosecco.
Does this naming necessarily make that much of a difference in the taste? Probably not. But it does protect the value of the wineries within these historic regions.
If you’re curious to learn more about the difference between Champagne and Prosecco, check this article dissecting the difference for everything you’d need to know!
Is Prosecco Sweet?
Some Proseccos are incredibly sweet. Some Proseccos are as dry as can be. It all comes down to the fermentation process.
During fermentation, the yeast eats away the sugars within grape juice and transforms them into alcohol. If you allow the wine to fully ferment, there will be no residual sugar within the wine, meaning it will taste very dry and crisp.
If you allow the wine to ferment for a short time, a great deal of residual sugar will remain in the bottle, making it taste much sweeter.
How can you choose the right Prosecco for your taste buds? Well, that’s where it becomes a bit confusing.
Let’s break it down.
Extra Brut—This is the dryest Prosecco available; very little residual sugar makes it taste crisp and mouthwatering.
Brut—This contains a bit more sugar but is still quite dry.
Extra Dry—To pepper in some confusion, an Extra Dry Prosecco is actually much sweeter than a Brut or Extra Brut. This level of sweetness is what most enthusiasts are looking for in a glass of typical Prosecco.
Dry—Here we are at maximum confusion, as Dry Prosecco is technically the sweetest (and least dry) out of the four possible options. Just remember that if you like sparkling wine on the sweeter side, then you should probably look towards a Dry Prosecco.
How Many Calories Are In Prosecco?
While the caloric content of each glass depends heavily on the winery, a 125mL glass of Prosecco generally contains around 90-100 calories. This means that a 750mL bottle shared among friends will likely contain around 650-700 calories.
A sweeter Prosecco will contain slightly more calories while a Brut or Extra Brut will generally contain less, though the difference is quite small. If you’re on a low-carb diet, then reach for a glass of Extra Brut as these will contain essentially zero grams of sugar or simple carbohydrates.
How Long Does Prosecco Last?
Unfortunately, Prosecco is a young wine and it doesn’t take kindly to the aging process. As a rule of thumb, you should probably drink an unopened Prosecco within a year or two of the purchase date.
Otherwise, you risk allowing the flavors to turn and the bubbles to mellow out, losing that crisp quality that’s signature of a bright, sparkling wine.
Should Prosecco Be Chilled?
Have you ever had a lukewarm can of cola or root beer? Not so tasty, is it? That’s about as pleasant as a room-temperature glass of Prosecco will taste.
Prosecco absolutely needs to be chilled to make the most of its crisp and bubbly qualities. The Brut and Extra Brut varieties in particular should be served quite cold around 40° F to mute the more acidic qualities and bring out the subtle flavors locked within the bubbles.
Taste The Perfect Prosecco With Wine Insiders
While its name might not be quite as famous as Champagne, Prosecco is one of the most delicious sparkling wines available and a fantastic introduction to the vast array of varietals in Italian wine.
The only pressing thing to remember when picking out your preferred Prosecco is that the classification system is a bit upside-down. Just remember that “Brut” means dry, and “Dry” means sweet.
So, go ahead and serve a few glasses of Prosecco at your next dinner party or night in with friends. Treat them to the crisp, bubbly goodness that comes with every sip!
Serve extra chilled to maximize the crisp flavor profile and make the most of every glass. Browse our ever-growing catalog of sparkling wines along with every other varietal your taste buds could dream of!