Prosecco continues to be such a confusing category for so many wine lovers and even wine educators and experts. Here are 10 things you should know about the wines.
“Ten years ago,” writes an American friend and fan of Bele Casel, “you would give my now 83-year-old mother a glass of Prosecco and she would say, ‘o, great, Champagne!’ Today you give her a glass of Champagne and she says, ‘o, great, a glass of Prosecco!'”
Chaos continues to reign in the world of Prosecco.
So here are some facts about Prosecco that I’d like to share with you to give you a better understanding of what it is.
1. Prosecco is made from Glera grapes.
2. There are two categories of Prosecco: the DOC (Treviso and Trieste) and the DOCG (Asolo and Conegliano-Valdobbiadene).
3. Most Prosecco DOC is produced from vineyards in the flatlands; Prosecco DOCG is produced from hillside vineyards.
4. Cartizze is also made from Glera grapes (as is Prosecco) but it is obtained from a particular production zone inside the Valdobbiadene zone.
5. Prosecco cannot be sold in kegs or demijohns (nor can Cartizze).
6. “Vino con bollicine” or “wine with bubbles” is not a synonym for Prosecco.
7. The wines can be classified as “frizzante” (when the pressure is less than 2.5 atmospheres; “spumante” (metodo Martinotti), “metodo classico (like the wines made in Champagne, Franciacorta, or Trento DOC), or Colfòndo (second fermentation in bottle).
8. When the DOCG wines are made as “spumante,” they are also labeled as “superiore.”
9. The base wine for spumante can be “cut” with up to 15% of indigenous grapes (Verdiso, Bianchetta Trevigiana, Perera, Glera Lunga) or international grape varieties (like Chardonnay, Pinot Bianco, Pinot Grigio, or Pinot Nero that has been vinified as a white wine).
10. Given the fact that the wine is worth roughly €2 plus tax at the winery, I would try to avoid wines that cost €2.50 at the supermarket (considering that that price includes tax, markup, transportation, and packaging).