Five things you didn't know about Prosecco
Prosecco is sometimes considered the new kid on the block in the world of sparkling wines. Compared to its bigger cousins, Champagne and Cava, sales have soared over recent years. Its highly competitive price makes it an appealing option for all sectors of wine drinkers. You will find empty Prosecco bottles displayed on window sills in student digs and lurking in the bottom of the recycling bin in middle-class homes. Social media is littered with memes mentioning Prosecco, usually associated with female drinkers and quite often mothers.
So, how much do you know about this much-loved tipple? Here are a few facts about Prosecco that may surprise you.
1. Prosecco is actually a place
This has got to be top of your bucket list to visit! There is a village called Prosecco which is a suburb of Trieste in North East Italy. It’s around 30 miles from Venice and is wedged between the Dolomites and the Adriatic. The area is very hilly, with some spectacular scenery, and the grapes grow at anything from 50 to 500 metres above sea level. There are a small number of organised tours leaving Venice, but they are a bit expensive. Independent travel may be a better idea. The name “Prosecco” is derived from the Slovenian word ‘prozek’ which means a “path through the woods.”
2. Prosecco is not a modern drink
You may have just discovered Prosecco, but it has been around for ages! Prosecco is produced from the Glera grape, which grew well in the Prosecco region in Roman times. It can also be made from the Perera, Bianchetta, and Verdiso grapes but the main one is Glera. People have obviously been enjoying it for thousands of years! The famous Roman, Julia Augusta, even credits Pizzino (Prosecco) for her long life. The Romans certainly knew how to enjoy themselves, and it obviously did them good!
3. Not all Prosecco is bubbly
You may consider it to be the ultimate party drink because of all those bubbles but not all Prosecco is fizzy. Prosecco is available in three levels of bubbliness! The official term for this is “perlage”. The most bubbly is one that you are probably most familiar with and is called Spumante. Then there is a less bubbly version which is called Frizzante. Finally, there is an entirely still Prosecco wine which is Tranquillo. The Spumante version undergoes full secondary fermentation and is the most expensive. You are able to enjoy the wonderful Prosecco taste even if you don’t like the bubbles! The Romans drank Prosecco as a still wine.
4. Drinking Prosecco is good for you – apparently!
Health advice on drinking alcohol is notoriously changeable and difficult to interpret. However, there have been reports that Prosecco contains fewer calories than red wine and so may be the best option if you are on a diet. Some say that it improves circulation and this cannot be a bad thing. It has also been claimed that it is less likely to leave you with a hangover but this will be entirely dependent on the quantity that you drink!
5. Prosecco is so ‘on-trend’ right now
Promoters have jumped onto the Prosecco bandwagon in a big way! You can buy Prosecco lip balm and even Prosecco socks but as Prosecco is a protected trademark care needs to be taken if you want to make your own money out of its (highly popular) name.
The Aperol Spritz is commonly acknowledged to be the original Prosecco-based cocktail. You can make your own by combining 50ml Aperol with 75ml Prosecco, a splash of soda water and drop in a slice of orange. Prosecco is also the base of the Bellini cocktail (which originated in Venice). A Bellini is Prosecco mixed with peach purée or nectar and plenty of ice.
The popularity of Prosecco may have been triggered by the economic downturn. Consumers turned to this cheaper sparkling wine in preference to the more expensive Champagne. Whatever the reason for its surge in popularity it seems that this party favourite is here to stay!