An Italian’s Guide to Prosecco Wine

Italian’s Guide to Prosecco

 

Ciao friends! Great news, and just in time for Prosecco Week—Our Candoni Prosecco has just been awarded a GOLD MEDAL from The Fifty Best, a digital guide to wine and spirits based in New York. We are so excited to receive one of the “Best Sparkling Wine” awards for 2021. Our family introduced our Italian sparkling wine to the U.S. in 2003, and we have loved seeing Prosecco become even more popular since then. 

 

Our family enjoys our Candoni Prosecco every day of the year, in any season, as well as any time we have a reason to celebrate. Caterina and I have traveled all over the world, tasting other types of wines, but when it comes to sparkling wine, Prosecco is the clear winner! Because it is such a fruity, fresh, and lively beverage, Prosecco can be enjoyed as part of daily life, and we find ourselves drinking it much more often than champagne, which so often is reserved for special occasions.  But don’t just take our word for it. Almost all other sparkling wines that were recognized in the Fifty Best tasting are also Proseccos!

 

Because National Prosecco Week is this week, July 19-25 (the third full week of July) we wanted to share a few fun facts about our famous Italian sparkling wine and answer any questions you may have. And in case you haven’t heard, our NEW Candoni Prosecco Rosè will be available soon!

 

 

What is Prosecco?

 

 

Candoni Prosecco

 

Prosecco is Italy’s famous sparkling wine. A beverage we enjoy on a daily basis, Prosecco is great on its own as an accompaniment to friendly conversation, celebrating a toast, or even mixed with juices to create the perfect mimosa!

 

What does Prosecco Mean?

Prosecco wine is made from Glera grapes, and much like it’s French sister, Champagne, Prosecco is named after a village in Italy where the wine was originally produced. 

 

When is National Prosecco Day?

National Prosecco day in the U.S. is August 13th. The most-sold sparkling wine in the country, it’s the perfect way to take advantage of the last days of summer and let loose. 

 

What does Prosecco Taste Like?

A flowery aroma, delicate and fruity taste, and hint of honey are trademarks of Prosecco. Crisp, clean, and well-balanced, the perfect Prosecco is easy to drink and provides a lingering freshness that makes it distinct from other sparkling wines. This easy sparkling wine is part of daily life in Italy, and we wouldn’t have it any other way!

 

Is Prosecco Sweet?

The level of sweetness in a Prosecco does depend on the amount of sugar it contains, but it isn’t quite as straightforward as you might think. While in America it’s common to associate dry wines with something that is not sweet, Prosecco is the opposite. “Brut” Prosecco is actually quite dry while “Dry” Prosecco is medium sweet, and “Extra Dry” Prosecco is in between, with 12-17 grams of sugar per litre. 

 

Prosecco sweetness levels are as follows: 

Brut Nature- Bone Dry (0-3 grams/litre of residual sugar)

Extra Brut- Very Dry (0-6 grams/litre of residual sugar)

Brut- Dry (0-12 grams/litre of residual sugar)

Extra Dry- Medium Dry (12-17 grams/litre of residual sugar) 

Dry- Medium Sweet (17-32 grams/litre of residual sugar)

Demi Sec- Sweet (32-50 grams/litre of residual sugar)

Dolce- Very Sweet (50+ grams/litre of residual sugar)

 

Is Prosecco Sparkling Wine?

Prosecco is most popularly known as a sparkling wine, but fun fact: it isn’t always! Prosecco can be bottled at three different levels of bubbly: “spumante” meaning the most bubbly, “frizzante” being the second most bubbly, and “tranquillo” meaning completely still, like a traditional white wine. 

 

Try our New Prosecco Rosé!

 

Candoni Prosecco Rose'

 

Looking for a sweet sparkling wine? Try our family’s  new Candoni Prosecco Rosé Extra Dry! This sweet wine is light pink in color with flavors of apple, peach, strawberry, and raspberry, bringing a pleasant, persistent aftertaste of both fruit and floral for a delicate flavor experience. The Prosecco Rosè is labeled with a D.O.C. appellation, which is an Italian quality assurance designation that guarantees each bottle comes from the specific geographic region where Prosecco is produced, and that it was created following the specific standards and practices for making Prosecco. This wine pairs great with Italian appetizers, seafood, spicy foods, and even potato chips! Versatile and delicious, it can accompany virtually any cuisine. 

 

Choose Prosecco for Your Next Celebration

There is a reason Prosecco is a popular choice for celebrations in the U.S. Cheaper per bottle than Champagne with a sweeter taste and fruity aroma that appeals to a wider variety of people, Prosecco is the ultimate people-pleaser. 

 

How to Drink Prosecco?

Using a transparent tulip glass to drink Prosecco will allow you to enjoy the complete sparkling wine experience. That’s because the large bulb allows for the wine’s floral aromas to collect at the top. Another way to properly drink Prosecco has to do with how it is poured. Prosecco is best poured with the glass tiled at a 45 degree angle. Why? This will prevent bubble overflow, which will keep you from wasting any of that precious fizz. It’s also important to take your time filling up the glass. 

 

Can you use Prosecco for Mimosas?

While most people are familiar with the use of Prosecco for Bellini cocktails, this sparkling wine is actually great in Mimosas as well. In fact, many argue that Prosecco was actually the first wine to be incorporated into the orange juice concoction and not Champagne. 

 

What to Mix with Prosecco?

Sweeter than Champagne, Prosecco pairs great with sweet and salty appetizers or spicy Asian dishes. It also makes for fantastic cocktails with fruity features such as raspberry, passion fruit, and apple. For the perfect fizzy punch, mix two parts fruit juice with one part Prosecco.

 

 

Where to Buy Prosecco

If you take anything from our family’s guide about this beautiful Italian sparkling wine, it should be that Prosecco is meant to be enjoyed. We’ve yet to find a person who couldn’t be cheered by a few sips of bubbly, fruity, sparkling white wine. If you’re looking for a place to buy Prosecco, look into our Candoni De Zan Family Prosecco Extra Dry and Prosecco Rosé Extra Dry, both popular wines that have recently been given a new packaging upgrade to better reflect the brand’s heritage and cater to a more contemporary following. 

Find a Store Near You! 

 

       

       

      Whatever Prosecco you decide to purchase, we hope our guide helped you learn more about the origins of this bubbly and how to best serve it and enjoy it. Follow us on social media for more tips and insights into the wonderful world of wine, and download our ebook to delve into our family’s classic recipes, wine and food pairings, and so much more! 

       


      Cheers!

       

      -Barbara

       

      Barbara

       

       

       

       

       

       

       

       

      Want to learn more about Prosecco? Our wine experts answer all your questions below:

       

      The most popular sparkling wine produced in Italy, Prosecco is an effervescent symphony of crisp flavor married with aromatic notes of fruit and floral. Fermented with a special method to create the perfect bubbly consistency, Prosecco is Italy’s answer to the French Champagne. At its core, Prosecco is a sparkling white wine made mostly from Glera grapes in the Veneto region of Italy. This wine is made using the Charmat method, also known as the ”metodo Martinotti” or “tank method.” This means the wine completes a secondary fermentation process inside a pressurized steel tank. This process, where yeast devours sugar and creates the signature CO2 bubbles, is different from the method of creating other sparkling wines like Champagne. Champagne is made with the Champenoise method that involves a second fermentation inside the bottle, where CO2 is trapped and turns the still wine into sparkling.

       

      Because it is produced quickly (within about three weeks) and not aged in the bottle, the fresh, crisp, and youthful Prosecco is meant to be enjoyed as soon as possible after bottling. This is different from Champagne, which improves with age.

       

      What does Prosecco Mean?

      We’ve explained that Prosecco wine is made from Glera grapes, so where did the name “Prosecco” come from? Much like it’s French sister Champagne, Prosecco is named after a village in Italy where the wine was originally produced.

       

      Where is Prosecco Made?

      While Prosecco was originally produced in the village of Prosecco in the Veneto region of Italy, today it is also made in the neighboring Friuli Venezia Giulia region in northeast Italy. These are the only two regions in the country that produce Prosecco wine.

       

      Is Prosecco Dry?

      It depends on which kind you get! If you’re looking for a dry Prosecco, grab a bottle labeled “Brut.” For a sweet wine, try one labeled “Dry.” It’s confusing to the North American ear, but just trust us on this one!

       

       

      What is the Difference Between Prosecco and Champagne?

      While both Prosecco and Champagne are both sparkling white wines, there are two main differences. Firstly, both come from distinct regions within their respective countries. This means that a sparkling wine created outside of the Veneto and Friuli regions of Italy cannot be a Prosecco, and a sparkling wine created outside of the Champagne province in France cannot be a Champagne.

       

      Secondly, two different methods of production create the divide between Prosecco vs. Champagne. As we’ve explained previously, Prosecco is created using the Charmat method of a secondary fermentation within a steel tank, while Champagne’s secondary fermentation happens in each individual bottle. It takes about three weeks to create a bottle of Prosecco, while a bottle of Champagne can take 18 months or more.

       

      Other differences include:

       

      Price Point- because it is produced more quickly, it is cheaper to make Prosecco, so the price per bottle lands in the $15 range. A bottle of Champagne, which takes longer to make, is priced around $50 per bottle.

       

      Grapes- the main grapes used in Champagne can vary between Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, and Pinot Meunier. Varieties including Pinot Gris, Pinot Blanc, Petit Meslier, and Arbane are also permitted, but are much less commonly used. For Prosecco, typically only the Glera grape is used, but other varieties of grape are also permitted.

       

      Aromas- Prosecco will have aromas of apple, pear, and honeysuckle, while Champagne will have aromas including citrus, brioche, and almond.

       

      The decision to purchase a Champagne or a Prosecco comes down to individual taste and preferences, and how much you’re willing to spend on a bottle of bubbly.

       

       

      Is Prosecco Diet-Friendly?

      Like most wines, Prosecco is diet-friendly when enjoyed in moderation. Prosecco is low in calories compared to Champagne and other kinds of wine, with a 5oz glass containing about 98 calories and 1.5g of carbohydrates.

       

      How Much Sugar is in Prosecco?

      The most popular type of Prosecco is “Brut” style Prosecco, and it contains the least amount of sugar. Dry Prosecco has the most, with up to one gram of sugar per glass, while Extra Dry Prosecco, resting at the mid-range sweetness level, typically contains just over half a gram of sugar per glass. For a Prosecco with less sugar, those labeled “Brut” typically contain up to half a gram of sugar per class.

       

      Is Prosecco Gluten-Free?

      Most wine is naturally gluten-free, though there are some instances where trace amounts of gluten can find its way into wine. The yeast used in making Prosecco does not contain gluten, and most producers understand the concern and take steps to prevent contamination of their wine with gluten and gluten products.

       

       

      How to Store & Serve Prosecco

      Like most wines, there is a knack to the proper storage and serving of Prosecco. While opinions vary on where and how to store this sparkling wine, as well as the best way to keep an opened bottle fresh until you’re ready to drink it again, there are some general guidelines that can be applied.

       

      How to Store Prosecco

      For the best results, you should treat each Prosecco individually according to the producer’s directions. Some Proseccos should be stored vertically while others should be stored horizontally, but most agree that the bottles should be kept in a cool, dark, damp place away from any heat or light. It’s also important to note each individual bottle’s shelf life, and remember that Prosecco does not get better with age. It’s best enjoyed in its youth, when the freshness and aromatic features of the wine are at their best. Most should be consumed within the first two years.

       

      After opening, Prosecco will start to lose its bubbliness pretty quickly. The best way to keep Prosecco fresh if you don’t finish a bottle in one sitting is to reseal the bottle and keep it in the refrigerator. While keeping the bottle as cold as possible will preserve its bubbles and flavor, it’s important to finish the bottle quickly to get the best results.

       

      How to Serve Prosecco

      Serve Prosecco cold, around 38-45°F, in a sparkling tulip glass. These glasses are tall and slender and allow the bubbles to hang around for a longer period of time.

       

      Should Prosecco Be Chilled?

      Prosecco should be served cold, but most experts recommend against storing bottles in the refrigerator prior to serving. The best method is to place the bottle in a bucket with ice water until it is the correct temperature for serving.

       

       

      Frequently Asked Questions about Prosecco

      Is prosecco white wine?

      Prosecco is a sparkling white wine that can be substituted in any recipe or cocktail that calls for white wine. Just like Champagne can only be made in France, Prosecco can only be made in a specific region of Italy. 

       

      How to open prosecco?

      Open bottles of Prosecco carefully, with the neck of the bottle pointed away from your body and away from any other people. Place a kitchen towel over the cork and hold it firmly while slowly twisting the bottle back and forth with the other hand; keep it at a 45-degree angle to reduce the chance of spilling and loss of bubbles. 

       

      Is prosecco dry or sweet?

      Generally, the drier a wine, the less sweet it is. That isn’t the case with Prosecco: bottles labeled “Dry” are actually a sweet type of Prosecco. 

       

      Is prosecco vegan?

      Most Prosecco is 100% vegan. Always check the bottle or brand website for the most accurate information. 

       

      Does prosecco go bad?

      Yes, Prosecco goes bad, and rather quickly compared to still wines. Most producers recommend Prosecco be consumed within two years of purchasing, as after that, the bubbles and aromas will start to deteriorate quickly. 

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