The Inside Story from Italian Wine Merchants

Prosecco, What It Is and Why Everyone’s Drinking It

Posted on | May 14, 2014 | Written by Camacho Vidal | No Comments

fantinel proseccoProsecco has long been under appreciated. Champagne is Champagne, and it’s delicious but it has its limits. It’s time that Prosecco gains a hold on people’s palate—and this is something that seems to be happing. As a matter of fact, a recent article on The Drinks Business reported that sales of Prosecco have shot up in recent years as consumers discover the value-oriented alternative to champagne; in fact, Prosecco’s sales have outstripped those of Champagne. Prosecco’s light body and citrus flavor profile makes it easy to drink at any time, and that’s just one reason why Prosecco has gained popularity of late.

Both Champagne and Prosecco are sparkling wines, but that’s basically where the similarities end. Champagne is French, and can only be made in the Champagne region and can only be made from three grapes: Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, and Pinot Meunier, in any combination. Prosecco is Italian, and can only be made in the Veneto region in northeast Italy and is made from the Italian varietal called Glera. The other main fact that differs Champagne and Prosecco is the method in which the second fermentation takes place. Prosecco’s secondary fermentation is obtained using the Charmat method. By this method the wine undergoes secondary fermentation in stainless steel tanks rather than in individual bottles, which is the traditional method in Champagne. Base wine is introduced along with sugar and yeasts in large pressurized tanks. In these tanks the yeasts come into contact with the sugars causing them to re-ferment and create the bubbles. The Charmat process is also known as Metodo Charmat-Martinotti (or Metodo Martinotti) in Italy, where it was invented. This method allows for making the wine less expensive to produce and the savings are passed along to the consumer.

After reading the article in Drinks Business I decided to grab a bottle of Prosecco to take home. I reached for my go-to bottling, which is Fantinel Prosecco. At $16.00 the price-to-quality ratio is great and allows for keeping a case in the fridge for when you are in the mood for some easy drinking bubbles.

Fantinel Prosecco Brut Extra $16.00

This is a fresh, dry, fruity sparkler made using the Glera grape grown in the Fantinel vineyards, which lie in the Denominazione di Origine Controllata (DOC) areas of the famed Friuli-Venezia Giulia wine region of northern Italy. It’s straw yellow, with fine and persistent perlage. The nose is elegant, with floral aromas and a slight hint of tropical fruits mingled with minerality. On the palate it is pleasingly soft and velvety with a nice crisp finish.


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