Toast to a special occasion, unwind at the end of the day, or pair with anything from Prosciutto di Parma to sushi: Prosecco is your one stop shop for bubbly.
Prosecco, the Italian DOC and DOCG sparkling wine made with the glera grape from the rolling hills of Veneto and Friuli, is having its day in the sun. It has been a long wait, given that this crisp dry or sweet white has been quaffed since Roman times—though it didn’t get its bubbles until the 19th century—and was long overshadowed by the glamour of Champagne.
But Italy’s most famous bubbly has pulled ahead over the past few years, outselling Champagne by a few million bottles and earning fame as an “everyday” sparkling wine, based on its winning combination of excellent quality and affordable price tag. Here are a few fun facts about Prosecco that you can ponder as you sip your next glass of bollicine.
5 fun facts to know about Prosecco
The Goldilocks of bubbles
Prosecco is the perfect choice if you need your bubbles just right. With three degrees of “perlage,” or effervescence, you can opt for the fully sparkling spumante if you enjoy strong bubbles (that’s between between 5 and 6 bars of atmospheres in pressure, for the science aficionados our there), the gently sparkling frizzante (between 2.5 and 3.5 bars of atmospheres in pressure) if you prefer more gentle bubbles, or the still tranquillo if you want to savor the crisp flavor of Prosecco without the bubbles.
Prosecco has become one of the most beloved sparkling wines in the world, and is being feted this year in London during the city’s first Prosecco Festival from May 12th to 14th. Wineries from Italy will be presenting their labels at Oval Space in east London, and visitors can participate in guided tastings and masterclasses, sample a glass from eight Italian wineries paired with antipasti, and even enjoy live DJ and jazz sets. We’ll toast to that!
Mix it up
Prosecco pairs wonderfully with everything from aperitivi finger foods to indulgent desserts, but it is also a mixer in many of Italy’s most iconic cocktails. The Spritz, Milan’s quintessential aperitivo staple, is 3 parts Prosecco, 2 parts Aperol (or Campari, Cynar, or other bitters, and 1 part seltzer. The elegant Bellini, invented in Venice’s landmark Harry’s Bar in 1948, is white peach nectar and Prosecco shaken with ice and has as many spin-offs as there are types of fruit, from the Rossini (made with strawberries) to the Mimosa (with orange juice).
Beautiful in the glass and out
Prosecco is a beautiful sight in the glass, so much so that it has inspired the “Be There in a Prosecco” nail color. But the rolling, terraced landscape where Prosecco grapes are grown is also breathtaking, and Veneto’s “Prosecco Hills of Conegliano and Valdobbiadene” has been nominated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, deemed to be worthy of recognition and protection for its natural beauty, unique geological formation and microclimate, and 1,000 year living tradition of grapevine cultivation that has culminated in the beloved Prosecco.
Prosecco is the new black
Prosecco has become so popular that suppliers almost ran out in the UK in 2016, but the trend is not limited to the table. There has been an explosion of Prosecco-related merch, from Prosecco and strawberry lip balm to Prosecco socks, but entrepreneurs need to be cautious. Prosecco is protected by trademark, and can only be used for authentic sparkling wines from a strictly controlled area, as these tea producers found out!