How can I recognize an authentic Prosecco?

I’d like to purchase a Prosecco wine: how can I know if a product is genuine and of high quality?

Here you have some “Instructions for use”!

Prosecco is known all over the world and It’s the Happy hour’s king, a typical italian custom. Although Prosecco is well-known to a lot of people, It’s not easy to get out of the choice of a good wine which meets the disciplinary regulations of quality and origin.

So, here you have a quick guide with the main characteristics that Prosecco should have.

PROSECCO DOC or DOCG?

First of all we have to clarify the meaning of the term “Prosecco DOC” and “Prosecco Conegliano Valdobbiadene DOCG”.

Since Agust 1st 2009, with the term “Prosecco DOC(Controlled Designation of Origin) we refer to a wine produced in two regions, Veneto and Friuli Venezia Giulia.

The Conegliano Valdobbiadene DOCG Prosecco Superiore refers to an Origin Controlled and Guaranteed wine produced in an area within the Conegliano and Valdobbiadene municipalities, in Treviso province (including the municipalities of Cison di Valmarino, Colle Umberto, Farra di Soligo, Follina, Miane, Pieve di Soligo, Refrontolo, San Pietro di Feletto, San Vendemiano, Susegana, Tarzo, Vidor, Vittorio Veneto).

Within the Valdobbiadene Municipality there is an area of about 117 hectares called “Cartizze”, which gives a further designation of origin: the Prosecco Conegliano Valdobbiadene DOCG Superiore Cartizze.

Another type is the Prosecco produced in the area of Colli Asolani Prosecco Superiore (DOCG).

NEWS ABOUT THE WINE VARIETALS…

Prosecco contains a percentage at 85% (at a minimum) of grapes belonging to the Glera variety and a percentage at 15% (at a minimum) of other varieties (ex. Verdiso, Bianchetta trevigiana, Perera, Chardonnay, Pinot bianco, Pinot grigio e Pinot nero vinificato in bianco).

A good Prosecco can give its best if grown over the hills area, in slightly humid areas and freeze protected.

HOW IT LOOKS LIKE? AND WHAT ABOUT THE TASTE?

Prosecco has a quite intense straw-coloured wine, its bouquet is vinous, typical, light, fruity especially as for sweet types, its taste is bitterish as well as palatable.

The Prosecco’s organoleptic characteristics obviously depend on the vinification methos: still, sparkling or spumante sparkling Prosecco.                                                         The Spumante sparkling Prosecco has a distinctive bright straw yellow colour with evident froth. Its aroma has the pleasant fruity base, characteristic of this wine. The taste is dry, semi-sweet, sweet, and fruity, soft with very pleasant bitter notes.

ARE PROSECCO AND SPUMANTE WINES THE SAME THING??

With the term spumante, we refer to a wine characterised by the production of froth (sparkling) due to the presence of carbon dioxide inside, got from Charmat or classical method.
Prosecco wine is a spumante sparkling DOC or DOCG produced from a specific wine varietals (as already seen) at typical percentages, through Charmat method.                 Therefore the difference between Prosecco and Spumante is in the origin and in the wine varietal!!

WHICH IS THE DIFFERENCE AMONG PROSECCO BRUT, DRY, EXTRA DRY?

The matter is very simple! The difference is in the sugary content of that wines:

  • Extra Brut: 0-6 grams of sugar per liter; 
  • Brut: less than 12 grams of sugar per liter;
  • Extra dry or Extra sec: 12-17 grams of sugar per liter;
  • Dry or Sec: 17-32 grams of sugar per liter.

The Prosecco Brut is characterisd by citrus and vegetal aromas. It’s a wine with a strong taste, slightly bitter and fruity, perfect to be tasted during the whole meal.

The Prosecco Extra Dry has a stronger but softer taste than Prosecco Brut, to be tasted as an appetizer and together with delicate food and white meat.

The Prosecco Dry is a wine that well accompanies the fruits rather than the dessert!

The Prosecco Extra Brut is a wine which is not allowed by the Conegliano-Valdobbiadene DOCG disciplinary regulations but can be produced in the area Colli Asolani Prosecco Superiore DOCG. It’s characterized by a bit of bitterness, perfect as an appetizer but also as a whole meal wine to be tasted with fish meals and veggies.

    

AND WHAT ABOUT THE LABEL?

The Spumante Prosecco DOCG of the hillside can be recognised because the label specifies the origin area of production, Conegliano Valdobbiadene or Asolo, and it’s named “Prosecco Superiore“. Each bottle is characterised by the government quality label, which reports a number that makes it unique and traceable, together with the name and the DOC or DOCG logo. More informations here.

Each wine bottle must contain only the name of Prosecco and It must be commercialised using glass bottle, not kegs or alternative containers.

Following these simples precautions you could recognize an authentic Prosecco worthy of the name!!