If you’re ever celebrating something, whether it’s a graduation or promotion, somebody is probably going to pop open a bottle of prosecco.
Prosecco is a popular carbonated alcoholic beverage known for its bubbly appearance that is likened to champagne. It is most commonly consumed during times of celebration.
If you’re new to drinking, or perhaps if you’re not a huge fan of prosecco, you might not actually know what prosecco is. So, what is prosecco? What is prosecco made of? What does it taste like?
If you’ve ever asked yourself these questions, you’ve come to the right place. Here is everything you need to know about prosecco!
What Is Prosecco?
Let’s get into it. Prosecco is a type of sparkling white wine originating from Italy. It is produced in a vast area spanning nine provinces, and is named after the village of Prosecco in Trieste, Italy.
As the name suggests, prosecco is made from the prosecco grape, which changed its name to the glera grape in 2009.
Prosecco is most commonly known for its bubbling appearance and texture, resulting in the well-known “pop” of the bottle. However, there are flat versions of prosecco available, which have little to no bubbles.
These proseccos are called tranquilo.
How Is Prosecco Made?
Prosecco must be made of at least 85% glera grapes. The rest of the grapes can be a mixture of local or international varieties, including chardonnay, pinot grigio, verdiso, perera, and bianchetta trevigiana to name a few.
Most types of prosecco are produced using the Charmat method, or the tank method. This method follows the regular winemaking production method, but with a second fermentation stage in large closed tanks.
These tanks trap the carbon dioxide that is emitted as a byproduct of the fermentation process.
Then, the wine is filtered and bottled with enough pressure for sweetness. This fermentation process generally lasts only a month, but some variations can last up to 9 months, allowing for a more complex prosecco.
Is Prosecco A Type Of Wine?
Yes, prosecco is a type of white wine. Any form of wine is derived from fermented grape juice. The color of the grapes, as well as the type of grape, will determine the color and variety of wine.
For example, white grapes make white wine, and red grapes make red wine.
How Long Does Prosecco Last?
Prosecco is a young wine that isn’t designed to be aged. So, if you have a bottle of prosecco in the refrigerator, it’s best to drink it within its expiration date.
The general rule is that an unopened bottle of prosecco can last up to a year from the purchase, but an opened bottle will last just several hours.
What’s The Difference Between Prosecco And Champagne?
One of the world’s most asked and unanswered questions is “what’s the difference between prosecco and champagne?”.
While both are notoriously fizzy and bubbly alcoholic drinks served at times of celebration, there are several key differences between the two.
Regions And Grapes
Firstly, the main difference between prosecco and champagne is that they both originate from different regions. Prosecco is from Northern Italy, whereas champagne comes from a region called (you guessed it) Champagne in France.
While champagne is also a type of sparkling wine, both prosecco and champagne are made from different types of grapes.
Prosecco has to be made with at least 85% of the glera grape variety, whereas champagne is a blend of chardonnay, pinot meunier, and pinot noir. Some champagnes are a single variety of wine.
The ways that both champagne and prosecco are made sparkling are different. Both wines undergo a second fermentation process, which creates the carbon dioxide to make the wine sparkle.
However, while prosecco is only fermented for about a month in a large tank, the process of making champagne is more complex.
Champagne uses a traditional method, wherein yeast is added during the second fermentation along with sugars. The bottles are then tipped neck down in racks after this process, allowing the dead yeast cells to fall to the neck.
The neck of the bottle is frozen, releasing the dead yeast cells in a process called disgorgement. Once this is done, the wine is resealed and left to age for at least 18 months.
Vintage champagne is left to age for 3 years.
Because prosecco and champagne have different production methods, they also have different flavor profiles.
Champagne tends to have more autolytic flavors, which are comparable to bread, toast, and brioche, alongside notes of citrus fruits. This is because champagne comes into closer contact with yeast.
While prosecco does contain some yeast, it has less influence on the liquid during the tank method. So, prosecco is fruitier than champagne, and is comparable to apple, honeysuckle, pear, and floral tones.
However, for those who aren’t big wine drinkers, there might not be much of a difference in taste. Both prosecco and champagne are carbonated drinks, and the bubbles can often overwhelm the flavors.
Unless you are a self-proclaimed wine connoisseur, you might find that prosecco and champagne taste fairly similar.
Due to the different production methods and ingredients used to make champagne and prosecco, there is a fairly large price difference between the two beverages.
In general, prosecco is a less expensive version of champagne. It’s commonly used as a cheaper alternative for people who want to celebrate on a budget.
However, it mostly depends on the brand and how long the drink has been fermented for. The longer the fermentation process, the more expensive the drink is likely to be.
This is why vintage champagnes are generally the most expensive.
Another reason why champagne is more expensive than prosecco is because it has simply been on the scene longer than Italy’s sparkling wine. It’s far more established and feels like a designer product, which is why the drink charges a premium price.
So, there you have it! Hopefully, this guide has told you everything to know about prosecco, and what the sparkling drink actually is.
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