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Prosecco, The Good, The Bad and The Ugly

Or useful pub facts to know and how to spot a dud.

Knowing what to look for can help you avoid a poor imitation. Check the word Prosecco. There are new companies now just changing one letter and making the front label look similar to well-known brands.

If you see Conegliano & Valdobbiadene on the bottle that’s the best areas for production. If you see Cartizze as the region that is the sweet spot and the prices will reflect that.

Veneto and Trento are a bit far out and the results are seldom as good, but the wine will be cheaper, and cheaper for a reason.

Look out for a D.O.C.G. paper strip on the top, but be careful as some only show D.O.C, which isn’t needed but is a bit of a visual con!

Spumante on the label means sparkling, Frizzante means semi-sparkling, there is a huge difference in bubbles!

Rose Prosecco has only just been ‘allowed’, but it has to be Glera grape and Pinot Noir only, anything else and it maybe pink and sparkly but it can’t call itself Rose Prosecco no matter where it is made!

There should be a scent of pear when you smell it, so if it doesn’t smell of pear, or it smells too much of chemical pear drops, possibly put it down!

Fun and possibly best mix, and fairly easy too. SGROPPINO. Mix some vodka with a lemon sorbet, put into glass and fill up with Prosecco.

Prosecco is widely drunk in the U.K. and yet has a history few know well and has some issues that, hopefully this little beginners guide might help address.

It is an old drink, very old in fact.

Geographically it is produced, and always has been in North-Eastern Italy, in the region known as Veneto. Historically there is use of the word ‘Prosecho’, in 1593 and it was known of before then, but this is the first recoding we have. By 1754 the wine is recorded as ‘Prosecco’ for the first time in an Italian book. So it is old!

It’s boom across the planet started in the 1960’s. In this decade better wine making techniques came into use and Prosecco became recognisable as it is today. Consumption boomed as everybody likes bubbles and the production costs were lower than some other wine with bubbles. This is nothing to do with quality, just the method making it means it can be made in larger amounts and get to market in less time than its rivals.

Prosecco as a word has a few uses. It is a wine, it is also a town and it used to be a grape! So this led to a few issues which need sorting out. If you were anywhere in the world growing Prosecco grapes the wine you made could legally be called Prosecco wine. So to protect the brand they name of the grape was changed to ‘Glera’. If it’s not made with this grape variety it can’t be called Prosecco. This is important!

As prosecco is now such big business there are always people trying to imitate and con the consumer. If you get to taste the very well made wine you’ll taste a difference immediately to what some UK mass market, taste-free pubs offer under the brand. Please don’t let the poor quality stuff let you think that is all that’s out there. Try to remember nobody rips off and copies rubbish!

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