At this time of year, we’d normally be gearing up to eat and drink our way around the foodie festival, Taste of London – and one of our favourite ports of call every year, is, of course, the Prosecco DOC tent. Not to be deterred, we set up shop at home, with a fun virtual tasting lead by the always entertaining, Wine Tipster Neil Philips, who is the UK Ambassador for Prosecco DOC.
So what else is there to know about Prosecco you might ask? Good question. Well first things first, the UK loves the stuff. We’re the largest export market, getting through 112 MILLION bottles a year – and even during lockdown, Prosecco has turned out to be one of the most popular search terms (aside from ‘red wine’) for people placing online drink orders. So turns out there’s still much to celebrate.
But as a nation of Prosecco lovers, do we give much thought about what goes into a bottle, in the same way we might for other wines? When selecting your fizz, do you have a go-to producer and are you confident in which style you prefer? Fear not, by the end of this you’re going to be a Prosecco selecting ninja, perfectly composed and confident the next time you’re faced with a wall of Italy’s favourite fizz.
There are three main styles to look out for (there are more but you rarely see them on the shelves here, with ‘extra dry’ making up 75% of production).
Brut – 0-12g of residual sugar per litre
Extra Dry – 12-17g of sugar per litre
Dry – 17 – 32g of sugar per litre
So as you can see, it’s a bit confusing, with Brut styles actually containing less sugar than Extra Dry. A word of caution though, even if you think you prefer your Prosecco with the least amount of sugar, don’t automatically discount the others. It really is all down to the producer, with the best ones creating perfectly balanced fizz, regardless of the sugar content.
Although we often begin the evening with Prosecco (hello Aperitivo hour!), turns out it’s also extremely food-friendly, pairing with a variety of dishes with ease. So, to discourage you from switching to still wine as your meal goes on, here are some of our favourite combinations.
Torresella Prosecco D.O.C. Extra Dry 75cl: £13.16, alivini
Pair this with: Grana Padano
For the ultimate Aperitivo hour, there really is no greater pairing. Ideally, we’d suggest getting your hands on the biggest piece of cheese you can find, before ‘chunking’ and presenting smaller bits on a large wooden board with cocktail sticks for your guests to help themselves. The creaminess of the cheese goes really well with the crunchy green and red apple notes from the Prosecco. Really well made, this is nice and refreshing with a good finish – something that’s important to look out for in Prosecco.
Masottina Prosecco D.O.C Brut 75cl: £14.95, Berry Bros & Rudd
Pair this with: Sushi
Made with 100% glera grapes, this stunner is completely organic. Previously scooping gold at the prestigious Decanter World Wine Awards, you can pick up a bottle at our favourite wine merchants, Berry Bros & Rudd. For those that like their fizz a bit more complex, deep and brooding – this is for you (the Jonny Depp of Prosecco if you will). Made in a brut style, we adored the slightly honeyed notes on this which creates a bit more weight and a beautiful long finish. Perhaps surprisingly it’s great with sushi, taking on the spice of wasabi with ease.
Ruggeri Arego Prosecco D.O.C Brut 75cl: £9.95, Great Western Wine
Pair this with: Avocado
Light and elegant, this well-crafted wine goes well with the creamy freshness of avocado. Get the day off to a great start with our favourite brunch of avocado on toast or refrain until later and try in a summery salad with tomato and burrata. Particularly citrussy, refreshing and dry, this one’s also suitable for vegans.
Cabert Prosecco Extra Dry 11% 75ml: £15.95, Amazon
Pair this with: Pizza
These guys have been in the biz of making extraordinary Prosecco for 30-40 years, so it’s really not such a surprise to find such a well-made style here. Again, here we have an extra dry wine, that’s both fresh and fruity. A perfect pairing for a fun pizza feast, the acidity works exceptionally well with the creamy more intense cheeses.
Whichever you go for, a few key things to remember:
- Like most white wine, Prosecco is designed to be drunk young and fresh. Don’t even think about trying to age these guys, they won’t thank you for it. Aim to drink within about 6months to a year.
- We hate to break it to you, but you really do need to be spending upwards of £10 to get yourself a decent bottle. This is true for all quality wine so please don’t think you can scrimp here.
- Seen a screwcap bottle? Don’t worry. This is probably frizzante, a style of Prosecco with more delicate bubbles and less pressure, therefore not needing the traditional cork stopper. Don’t be deterred!
- Do experiment with cocktails. Prosecco is fun, versatile and designed to be enjoyed.
The Future of Prosecco
There are all sorts of crazy rules and regulations involved in producing wine and until now it has not been possible to release a rose version of Prosecco. However, as of the 2020 harvest, that’s set to change! Bottles will need to have between 10-15% pinot noir in the blend, which will result in some truly beautiful blushes. Expect to see this on shelves from 2021 (I know, we can’t wait either).
For more information on the wonderful world of Prosecco DOC, please visit: www.prosecco.wine
This is a sponsored post, written in conjunction with Prosecco DOC.