The habit of calling all sparkling wine Champagne finally fall into oblivion and becomes a mauvais ton. More often in our part of the world you can hear the glamorous word Prosecco. People speak about popular sparkling wine from Italy on fashionable events; it is served in glamorous bars and inexpensive restaurants. Prosecco became the embodiment of the Italian lifestyle, a synonym for refinement and relaxation. However, what exactly is hidden behind this name, for the majority remains a closely guarded secret. We debunk the most popular myths about Prosecco with the help of Artem Dozinsky, the chief sommelier of WSW Group, the exclusive exporter of Italian Prosecco and other sparkling wines from Astoria Wines winery.
1st Myth: Prosecco was invented not long ago
Prototype of Prosecco is about two thousand years old! Whether or not, the Italians say so. As early as in the Roman era, in the village of Prosecco, people grown autochthonous grapes and made Puccino wine from it with apple-fruit bouquet. In the 18th century, a grape variety called Prosecco spread throughout the ridge of the Veneto and Friuli hills. In the 1960s, Prosecco began to be produced as a dry sparkling wine according to the Charmat method. Since that moment, Prosecco’s success story as the most popular sparkling wine in Italy starts. Today Prosecco – for example, the exquisite Astoria Lounge Prosecco D.O.C. – traditionally drink at the resorts of the Italian coast and other countries.
2nd Myth: Prosecco — is any sparkling wine from Italy
Only sparkling wine produced in a particular wine-making area can be called Prosecco. In 2009, the Italians legislatively abolished this name for a grape variety and attached it to the region. Since then, the grape variety for Prosecco is called Glera, and the production of sparkling wine with this name is prohibited in other regions. The Winemaking Zone of Prosecco D.O.C. is located in the North-East of Italy and covers two regions and nine provinces. The main part of the Glera vineyards is concentrated in the province of Treviso (Veneto). An outstanding example of Prosecco from this region is Galie Prosecco Treviso D.O.C. Astoria Wines.
3rd Myth: Prosecco come short of Champagne in quality
It is misbelieving. There are several privileged zones with the status of D.O.C.G., where Prosecco of the highest quality is produced. The most prestigious is the area on the hill of Cartizze in the province of Treviso. The land value here is more than one million Euros per hectare! Local vineyards grow on the pre-Alpine hills, so only hand-harvesting is used for grapes picking. Prosecco with the Cartizze mark on the label – for example, Arzana Valdobbiadene Prosecco D.O.C.G. Superiore di Cartizze Astoria Wines – is ranked among the top sparkling wines of the world.
4th Myth: Prosecco has non-natural saturation
No artificial aeration! Bubbles in Prosecco are of exclusively natural origin. Sparkling nature of the wine acquires as a result of secondary fermentation in large tanks according to the classical Charmat method. Technology allows you to create lighter wines with fresh taste and fruity aroma. Today this style appeals to consumers all over the world.
5th Myth: Prosecco is sour to the taste
This is an overstatement. Factually, Prosecco is allowed to produce in four versions: extra brut (very dry), brut (brut), extra dry (dry), dry (slightly sweet). However, due to the optimal climate, soil characteristics and yield limitations, grapes receive a maximum of mineral substances and form a fairly bright taste. Unlike Champagne, this is a very light and fresh sparkling wine. Traditionally, Prosecco has a balanced mild flavour and expressive fruity bouquet with apple-floral tones. Prestigious variants can be distinguished by more complex bouquet. The collection of Astoria Wines has several recommendable examples. Casa Vittorino Valdobbiadene Prosecco Superiore D.O.C.G attracts attention by the nuances of a ripe apple, butter and nuts. A bouquet of IL Millesimato Valdobbiadene Prosecco Superiore D.O.C.G. comes into notice with notes of peach, melon and butter.
6th Myth: Prosecco is drunk in pure form
Not only in this way. Prosecco is a popular component of alcohol mixes. The most popular cocktail based on Prosecco is Aperol Spritz. According to statistics, in Venice, city people and tourists drink more than 300,000 servings of this refreshing drink daily. It consists of only three basic components. The recipe is simple: in a pre-cooled glass with ice add 40 ml of Aperol bitter, 60 ml of Prosecco D.O.C. Astoria Lounge, 20 ml of soda and gently mix. Decorate with a slice of orange. Also Prosecco is served in its pure form for main courses: cheeses, fish, and seafood. And, of course, this is the perfect drink as an aperitif. Today Prosecco has become the most popular aperitif in Italy.
7th Myth: Prosecco is drunk only on holidays
There is no need to limit yourself. Unlike expensive Champagne, which associates with a holiday, Prosecco does not need a special reason. Today it is an everyday drink that is suitable for all occasions. Even a casual meeting with friends or dinner with family will be an excellent reason to enjoy Prosecco. In Italy, a glass of this sparkling wine is appropriate at any time of the day. As well as there is no point to store carefully a bottle Prosecco in a dark closet or bar. This is a young wine, and time does not do it good. Over the years, light freshness and bright fruit notes can disappear from the wine bouquet. Experts recommend drinking Prosecco during 1-2 years after its bottling.
After such a productive literacy project it’s time to pour yourself a glass of Prosecco, relax and form in thought an image of Venice carnival or the Adriatic coast. And fully feel the taste of the Italian dolce vita!
Published in magazine AirPort #52 (05.2017)