When one thinks of sparkling wines, so quickly we think of Champagne, but in fact Prosecco is the world’s most popular fizz! Prosecco is the Italian-born bubbly and it may surprise you to know that its is the highest exported sparkling wine by volume in the world.
According to the official report by Prosecco DOC Consortium in 2022, more than 638,500,000 bottles of Prosecco were sold worldwide, totalling to a value of €3 billion. This is a bigger value than the sales of both Champagne and Cava combined in the same year. So, the numbers speak for themselves!
Made with the tank method, Prosecco comes with two styles of bubble. You have the fully sparkling Spumante and the lower pressure Frizzante style, each of these made with a varying level of sweetness from Brut to Demi sec, with extra dry (around 12-17 grams of sugar per litre) being the most common style, made with the Glera grape grown in northeast Italy. This semi-aromatic grape variety can be grown with a very high yield, explaining the impressive volume of production.
In 2009, a new regulation was set that the official grape for Prosecco must be Glera, thus wines looking to be labelled ‘Prosecco’ must this variety, helping to prevent other regions or countries using the term freely. Labels help to differentiate between quality, with Prosecco DOC (Denominazione di Origine Controllata) connoting a good quality, whilst the Prosecco DOCG (The Denominazione di Origine Controllata e Garantita) meaning an even higher quality. The different labels show different intensity and complexity of the wine, leading to different price levels as well.
Here in Indonesia one can find a great variety of Prosecco. It’s a superb product for the market, finding a sweet spot between the highly expensive Champagne and other standard sparkling wines. Let me take you through some tastings of chosen Prosecco, to help outline the different flavour profiles, plus some suggested pairings for this popular bubbly.
Fantinel Prosecco Extra Dry Spumante
This wine comes from the region of Friuli-Venezia Giulia, a DOC Prosecco with a Spumante-style of bubble meaning at minimum it has 3 bars or atmosphere of pressure in the bottle, Extra Dry means the range of sugar in the wine are between 12 to 17 grams/litre. The wine has a delicate floral on the nose and very soft, velvety mouthfeel, with high acidity that balance with the sweetness of the wine, making it easy to drink, refreshing and easy to enjoy.
Corte Giara Allegrini Prosecco DOC Millesimato Extra Dry – 2021
You now know the terms of DOC and extra dry on the label, the next one is Millesimato, the term comes from the French millésime, meaning year of harvest, only in the exceptional vintage cava is produced under this classification, required a minimum 85% grapes that come from that specific vintage. With this explanation only from the label you already now that is better compared to a non-vintage.
This one comes from the Veneto region, still with the specific aroma and flavour that is very aromatic, the addition to this vintage wine is the layer of fruit aroma and flavour showing more concentration and complexity. Medium plus intensity of aroma, very aromatic and fruit driven, fresh floral with white blossom, lemon, peaches, ripe pineapple, it is very crisp with a good sensation of the bubble, high acidity with fruitiness, a good balance with medium minus body, flavour lingers with a medium finish on the palate.
The next tasting is Fantinel Prosecco Rose Brut One & Only Millesimato
New information of the label of the wines is Rose, yes Prosecco also produced as a rose. It is only made in Spumante with the availability of the sweetness only in brut to extra dry (from 0-3 to 12-17 gram/litre), usually the red grape variance that gives colour to wine made from the Pinot Noir. The Fantinel Prosecco Rose is actually made from 100% Pinot Noir grapes, carefully selected from the best vineyards in Friuli-Venezia Giulia. In appearance the colour of the wine is a delicate salmon pink, in the nose it has beautiful floral notes with the addition of the freshness of red fruit, crisp in the palate with long finish and a refreshing taste.
The next wine is Maschio Valdobbiadene – Prosecco Superiore DOCG Millesimato – Extra Dry – 2022, the key of the label is the DOCG category which has more restrictions on the regulation compared to DOC, with the expectation different result of wines. The second information is the Valdobbiadene, a term referring to a town that is historical in protected area. For a wine tasting, expectations are high, still very aromatic but delicate and fine, sweet floral aroma, very fruit with golden apple and notes of candied citrus. A well-balanced wine between the acidity with the fruitiness of the wines, white and creamy fizz. Full, fresh and soft yet silky and harmonious bubbles with a well-balanced sugar dosage.
Pairing food with Prosecco is easy, as it almost can be pairing with anything. With its refreshing, high acidity with a hit of sugar, bubble cleansing the palate, the acidity will compliment the savoury, whilst the slightly sweet notes will balance the spices in food. Not only does it make for an excellent aperitif, this sparkling wine can be happily matched with all fish dishes such as salmon, shellfish and also with white meats. Even with dry beef, stuffed mushroom, creamy sauces, and even potato chips.
Now, the vessel! This wine variety is best enjoyed in a glass with a slightly oval shaped bowl, slight narrowness on the rim — so yes, definitely bigger than your normal sparkling wine glass or chute. This shape will help capture and collect the aromatic aroma, whilst, the narrower rim will bring the wine into the middle of the palate where fruits are best detected.
The above information tells us that the label is not only the name or cover of the product, but the names mention is protected by law: regulations that tidy up and monitor. For us the more we understand the label the easier to pick up wines from the bottle shop and know what to expected from the bottle to enjoy. Salud!
Kertawidyawati – WSET Certified Educator / Head of Hatten Education Center. Check www.kertawidyawati.id as Widya just recently launched the fun education card deck new series of “Wine & Food Pairing”, you might needed to complete your collections.