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Prosecco is the perfect drink for any occasion - whether you want a glass of something bubbly and refreshing after a long day of work, you’re celebrating with friends, or you’re out for dinner.
But how much do you actually know about this popular beverage? Keep reading to learn 10 things you didn’t know about Prosecco (a few might surprise you!).
Prosecco is produced in the North-East of Italy - and any wine produced outside of this doesn’t reach the trademark standards, meaning that it isn’t real Prosecco.
When you’re shopping for Prosecco, look out for the terms ‘DOCG’, and ‘DOC’ on the label - these are the quality assurance labels for Italian wines.
If you see DOCG, this essentially means that the winemakers met the highest standards possible.
DOC still means that the wine is quality, but the rules are slightly less restricted than wines with a DOCG status.
Most people associate Prosecco with the small region in the Veneto called Conegliano Valdobbiadene - an area around 50 kilometres from Venice surrounded by beautiful hilly countryside.
The ‘Champagne vs Prosecco’ debate is as old as time, but ultimately, there’s no clear winner - it all comes down to personal preference.
However, last Christmas, Prosecco has more sales than Champagne by ten to one. It’s rapidly becoming one of the most popular wines - with an estimated 36% increase in sales over five years.
In 2021, there are entire festivals and events dedicated to Prosecco - Prosecco candles, Prosecco bath salts, and even Prosecco bong (basically beer pong, but with Prosecco!).
Prosecco used to be a sweet wine, but due to the growth of technology leading to better production techniques, the sparkling drink now has a dry taste to it.
Unlike many other wines, Prosecco doesn’t have much residual sugar, making it a great choice if you’re watching your weight, or you’re on the keto diet.
A typical glass of Prosecco contains around 86 calories, which is great compared to the 147 found in a medium glass of Rosé wine.
When you’re browsing for Prosecco on the shelves of your local supermarket, it’s good to know the different levels of sweetness - brut, extra dry, dry, or demi-sec.
Brut is the driest option - it translates to dry in French. Demi-sec is the sweetest, so if you’re not much of a wine drinker, then you may prefer a demi-sec Prosecco.
When you think of Prosecco, you think of a sparkling, refreshing, dry wine - but it hasn’t always been this way.
Back when the Romans enjoyed Prosecco, it was a still wine - it wasn’t until the founder of the Carpenè Malvolti winery, Antonio Carpenè added a second fermentation to the winemaking process that Prosecco became the bubbly beverage we know and love.
You can still buy still Prosecco - it’s known as Tranquillo, which translates to ‘still’ in Italian.
You can find three different types of Prosecco fizziness - Spumante, Frizzante, and Tranquillo.
Spumante is best choice if you’re looking for a fizzier Prosecco. Frizzante may sound like the fizziest, but it has a milder fizz - and Tranquillo is completely still.
You may be wondering where Prosecco gets its name from - well, Prosecco is the name of a town in Italy.
Prosecco was first made in this small town near Trieste, in North East Italy, back in the 16th century.
However, you may be surprised to know that most people say the best Prosecco can actually be found in the Veneto - the north-eastern east coast of Italy near the Slovenian border.
The small town lies almost 250 metres above sea level and is a quaint area with picturesque red-tiled farmhouses, beautiful vineyards, and restaurants that boast scenic ocean views.
Hangovers can be horrible experiences, and can even lead to you taking a sick-day.
Well, you’ll be glad to know that Prosecco has less alcohol than others types of wine, which is great if you’re hoping to avoid a hangover.
Obviously there are limitations to this - you’re pretty likely to feel bad the next morning if you’re drinking bottle after bottle.
Although Prosecco usually only contains around 12% ABV, it still has a refreshing kick to it.
As well as tasting great, Prosecco also pairs well with many different foods.
In fact, it can taste great with anything you want to eat, whether its a morning Mimosa with pancakes or eggs, a refreshing glass with savoury snacks, or a glass of Prosecco when you’re out for dinner.
Prosecco can also complement seafood - so next time you’re eating a prawn cocktail or sushi, why not try it with a glass of Prosecco?
Lobster, shrimp, oysters, and other shellfish also taste great with Prosecco, especially in the warmer weather.
Desserts can also pair perfectly with Prosecco. Creamy cheesecakes or rich sponge cakes can taste delicious with a glass of prosecco, as can lighter desserts such as Greek yoghurt and fruit, or a tasty sorbet.
Britain is one of the biggest consumers of Prosecco - back in 2016, as a nation, we consumed a whole third of the 410 million Prosecco bottles produced according to the Consortium for the Protection of Prosecco.
This figure is a lot more than any other countries consumption, which is certainly something to be proud of.
Millennial Brits are thought to be the biggest consumers of the fizzy favourite in Britain - a poll by WSTA (Wine and Spirit Trade Association) found that a whopping 97% of 18-24-year-olds in the UK that took the survey drink it.
Although the Glera grape isn’t as well known as the Champagne grape, it’s a tasty grape that dates back to Roman times.
Prosecco can be made using Chardonnay, Pinot Gris, Pinot Noir, Perera, Bianchette, and Verdiso, but the true Prosecco grape is the Glera. Prosecco wines have to use at least 85% Glera grapes.
The Glera grape is considered a semi-aromatic variety, but the location that it’s grown can impact the taste.
When Glera grapes are grown on flat land without restrictions, the grapes become more neutral - and when Glera grapes are grown on south-facing slopes with restrictions, the grapes become fruity and floral.
Glera grapes have flavours and aromas of honey, elderflower, lily, daisy, apple, pear, grapefruit, lime, lemon, and mandarin.
Like many different types of alcohol, Prosecco tastes better when drank from a certain glass.
The tulip style glass is perfect for serving prosecco - unlike champagne flutes, tulip glasses have a wider shape which can help to release the wine’s floral aromas.
Flute glasses also feature a tapered rim, which helps to prevent the bubbles from escaping.