by Peter Barradine December 22, 2020 3 min read

Fizzy New Year!

This year's so-called Christmas celebrations will be over before you know it and now it is time to start thinking about welcoming 2021. It shall not be a celebration like previous years but that is no reason to not enjoy the jamboree in your mouth from the dancing flavours in the sparkling wine.

At SplitSmiths we stock a wonderful range of Prosecco, but what is it and what makes it different from Champagne and other sparkling wines? This blog post will address these questions and help you understand this delightful drink a little more!

Prosecco

Prosecco is a white wine produced in the north east of Italy in the regions of Veneto and Friuli Venezia Giulia. The main grape variety is called Glera but prior to 2009 this was named Prosecco, recently there was an addition to the grapes permitted to be used in Prosecco which we’ll talk about later. Prosecco is made either sparkling (spumante) or semi sparkling (frizzante) - a still wine is also available but is very rare. There are also confusing terms like DOC and DOCG which we’ll get to later on.

Production

Although Prosecco may have similar themes and flavours to Champagne it is made in a different method. Where Champagne undergoes a secondary fermentation in the bottle Prosecco does it in a stainless steel tank. This may all seem slightly confusing but here is a quick summary of what happens. During the fermentation process sugar in the grapes is converted into alcohol through the addition of yeast, the byproduct of this is carbon dioxide. This is trapped in the tank giving the wine the sparkling characteristic.

DOC and DOCG Prosecco

You may have noticed that bottles of Prosecco and other italian wines have the label DOC or DOCG, welcome to the world of confusing wine labeling! Without getting too deep, DOCG wines are grown in the premium areas such as southerly facing hillsides which allow grapes to receive more sunlight ensuring they ripen more efficiently. Tricky harvesting conditions also mean it has to be done by hand hence the higher price. What you are left with is wine with concentrated flavours, citrus fruits and apples and pears. We have an outstanding example of this in the shop, Millage Conegliano Valdobbiadene Prosecco Superiore DOCG Extra Dry is full of complexity and pronounced flavours.

The next category is DOC wines, often grown on the valley floor and much easier to harvest - a bottle of this is a little easier on the pocket. It can vary in quality but it will still have those wonderful flavours you expect from Prosecco. We have two great examples in the shop and online, Prosecco DOC Treviso Brut and Freixenet Prosecco.

But wait, what’s that coming over the hill? No it’s not a monster but a different grape variety! From this year winemakers were allowed to grow and sell wine made from the Pinot Nero grape (Pinot Noir elsewhere). This new addition adds a whole new range of flavours like delicate red fruits, raspberry and strawberry. It is well worth giving it a go, we have the Millage Pinot Rosé Vino Spumante Brut.

Now is the perfect time to stock up on some fizzy delights in store or online to make sure you are stocked up for welcoming 2021!


Cheers!


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