Perhaps because I can not travel to Italy right now, (I was scheduled to travel to Venice in April) all things Italian feel very precious to me. I dream of the day I can once again experience la dolce vita, as I revel in photographs from past trips. Meanwhile, I quench my Italian-flavored wanderlust with a glass (or three) of Prosecco, a sparkling wine synonymous with Italy.
Next week is National Prosecco Week. It’s the perfect time to share some of the Prosecco wines I have tried and feel confident about recommending. We may not be able to have an Italian experience, but we can travel to Italy through a glass of prosecco!
Travel to Italy Through a Glass of Prosecco
All prosecco comes from the Veneto and Friuli regions of Northeast Italy. In fact, you could easily visit Venice and include a side trip to the Prosecco hills. The Prosecco Hills between the towns of Valdobbiadene and Conegliano, became a recognized UNESCO World Heritage landscape of cultural significance, in 2019.
What is Prosecco Wine?
Prosecco is Italy’s most famous sparkling wine. It must be made of 85% Glera grapes and can be 15% other local white wine grapes. While all Prosecco is produced in Northeast Italy in the region between Veneto and Friuli-Giulia, the best Prosecco is from a sub-region called Valdobbiadene
How Is Prosecco Made?
Prosecco is fermented in a large pasteurization tank. This is called the tank method or Metodo Italiano. After the second fermentation in the pasteurization tank, the wine is bottled. Prosecco is a wine that is fruity and fresh, and meant to be drunk young. If you’d like to compare Prosecco to other sparkling wines, check out this article, Sparkling Wines Around The World
Just as you can not label French sparkling wine Champagne unless the grapes are actually grown in the Champagne region of France, you can’t label Italian sparkling wine Prosecco unless the grapes are grown in the Veneto region of Italy.
To Always Drink Good Prosecco You Need To Understand The Designations
All prosecco is produced under strict guidelines designated to ensure quality and authenticity. The two main designations are DOC and DOCG.
Denominazione di Origine Controllata e Garantita, means in English, Controlled and Guaranteed Designation of Origin. DOCG is the highest and most strict qualification an Italian wine may receive. In fact, no wine can be DOCG without first being DOC. There will be a stamp of guarantee on the neck of the bottle. DOCG wines are slightly more expensive, but worth it.
DOCG Prosecco superior is produced in the Valdobbiadene region of the Veneto.
Denominazione di Origine Controllata means, Denomination of Controlled Origin. Even though the DOC designation lacks the word guarantee, you can be sure you’re still getting Italian Prosecco made in the country’s Veneto or Friuli region.
You will see a stamp on the neck of the bottle. Eighteen percent of all wines made in the Veneto including Prosecco, fall into this category. 80% of the Prosecco region is DOC.
Prosecco Wines To Try
In honor of National Prosecco Week and Italy, I thought I’d share with you a few of the prosecco wines I’ve tried lately. They are all very quaffable and reasonably priced.
This list will be updated periodically–so if you, too, love Prosecco, do check back and tell your friends.
Pasqua Prosecco Treviso DOC Brut
Pasqua Prosecco Treviso DOC Brut is as the label says, made with grapes grown in the Treviso region of the Veneto. It is 100% Glera grapes. A bright, straw-yellow color, it is very aromatic. Notes of ripe pear and honey tickle your nose and on the palate it is also lightly fruity with a bit of a tangy finish.
Is A Wine As Good As Its Label?
I can’t help but love the label. It’s a photograph of the love notes people leave in Juliet’s courtyard in Verona, by Giò Martorana. Why did Pasqua chose this photograph for the label? Simply because the winemaker is from Verona, home of Romeo and Juliet. I think perhaps he’s a bit of a romantic.
We drank this wine sitting outside on a sweltering Texas summer day. It was truly refreshing!
Val d’ Oca Rive di San Pietro di Barbozza Prosecco Superiore DOCG
This prosecco is a superior DOCG quality. It’s from the Valdobbiadene, a sub-region of the Veneto known for producing the best prosecco. The Val d’ Oca Rive di San Pietro di Barbozza Prosecco Brut has aromas of ripe pear, stone fruit, and white flowers. This is a delicate wine with small and persistent bubbles and a nice finish.
This prosecco pairs well with many different appetizers such as classic charcuterie. It would also go well with a meal of fish, light chicken dishes, pork, or more casual foods. In Italy Prosecco is often served with the main course. MSRP: $32
Valdo Marca Oro Prosecco Brut DOC
Valdo takes its name from the hills of the Valdobbiadene region. The family has been making wine in this region for over 100 years. The Marca Oro label is a relatively new one created for the US and North American markets.
This brut Prosecco is low in sugar with flavors and aromas of lemon zest and green apples. The bubbles are fine and the wine is crisp and smooth. I hosted a Zoom Chat all about Prosecco and sponsored by Valdo. You can listen to it on Apple podcasts.
Buy this on wine.com or at your local wine shop or many supermarkets. In the Dallas area you can find it at Spec’s and Whole Foods.
Torresella Prosecoo DOC
Torresella Prosecco DOC is from the region of the same name near Venice. It is slightly sweet with aromas of green apple, candied lemon, and ripe fruit. It pairs well with Sunday brunch, or you could make a delicious mimosa with it.
Prosecco cocktails and apertivos
Prosecco is also a great wine to mix with juices and other liquors to create fun and refreshing drinks, especially in summer. One of the most well-known Prosecco drinks is the Aperol spritz, made with Aperol (an Italian apertivo that’s bittersweet and lovely red-orange color).
Light and refreshing the Aperol spritz is one of my go-to summer drinks. You can find the recipe on the bottle and it’s quite simple:
Add Aperol, Prosecco, sparkling water, and a slice of orange over ice. Raise your glass and enjoy! In my mind it will always be synonymous with cobblestone streets, handsome Italians, and birthdays.
Other ideas for to mixing up some Prosecco for fun summer drinks include watermelon juice and fresh mint, or pour it into a popsicle mold and create Prosecco pops. Cin! Cin!