We find Italy and France both loveable when it comes to bubbles.
Nothing sparks an impromptu party quite like bubbles. You pop a cork and the liquid pours forth, laughter and shouts erupting, as a piece of stemware is hoisted quickly in an effort to catch every last, precious drop. Just opening a bottle of bubbly makes an ordinary moment shiny and new and boisterous.
Champagne is no new comer to celebrations, but rather the Grande Dame. The elderly instigator. The haute hell raiser. You cannot put the word Champagne on a bottle unless it’s made not only in France, but in the Champagne region. This province in the country’s northeast is divided into five sections and has been producing since the 17th century.
But, those in love with bubbly would also point you towards Italy–– a country producing Proseccos from the Glera grape, which actually dates back to ancient Roman times. To be a Prosecco, it must be made with a minimum of 85-percent Glera, but it can also incorporate others, be it Pinot Grigio, Pinot Bianco or even Chardonnay.
Technically, Prosecco is a sparkling wine that hails from the Valdobbiadene region in Veneto, Italy, but there’s so much more to it than that. Let’s dive into a few fun things you didn’t likely know about Prosecco.
Prosecco is More Popular than Champagne
In 2020, outside of the European Union, 205 million liters of Prosecco were exported versus only 66 million of Champagne. Perhaps it’s somewhat due to Prosecco’s generally more-affordable price point, but it’s also due to the rise of Rosé!
In Spring of 2020, the Consorzio unveiled a new category––Prosecco D.O.C Rosé. Production quickly increased to export some50 million bottles.
If you’re a Vices member, you’ve gotten FIOL’s own, with gorgeous notes of raspberry, dry citrus, lemon fruit and white flowers. Their winemaker Marzio Pol has 50 harvests in his history with the company, and this one is 85-percent Glera and 15-percent Pinot Noir, giving it a stunning pink hue and a palate that sings in excellent harmony.
"The best raw materials, a careful dosage, the right amount of Pinot Noir in the assembly phase, and the perfect balance between acidity and sugars make Fiol Prosecco D.O.C. Rosé a sparkling wine that stands out for its harmony, elegance and freshness."
–Marzio Pol –Winemaker –
Different Italian Soils
Equal Different Flavors Prosecco must be produced exclusively in certain sections of northeastern Italy, but the soils the grapes are grown in differ wildly from clay to sand to rock. Now, only 10 grapes may be included in any Prosecco, and it must come from these designated areas, but if you begin to study the various climates and soils within, you’ll your favorite flavors every time.
Examples include the Valdobbiadene DOCG area, which produces lighter-bodied Proseccos. These often bear green apple notes and tart pear. Acacia flower is another common nuance. If you prefer ripe fruits, red apple, sage or a hint of spice, look for Prosecco’s hailing from the Conegliano DOCG area, known for more medium-bodied sips.
Whatever you do, when buying a bottle, look for 'DOCG' and 'DOC' on the label. These are a quality assurance for Italian wines. If you see DOCG, that is the strictest level of designation for Italian wines, so seeing these letters indicates the adherence to the highest regulations possible.
The Bubbles are Bespoke
Want a stronger punch of fizz from Prosecco?
Opt for the Spumante, which indicates fully sparkling. For a softer, more refined bubble, the Frizzante is a fine choice.
The bubble differences come from how each is made. Spumante Proseccos obtain their effervescence through a second fermentation––hence the powerful pop.
Drink It Straight away
You don’t want to leave a great bottle of Prosecco sitting around, like you might with Champagne.
Proseccos do not ferment in the bottle. They are best when young, when the acidity and fruit are at their peak of flavor. Open a bottle within the year of its vintage for a perfect glass every time.