9 Helpful Hints When Choosing And Enjoying Your Prosecco
Prosecco is continuing its reign as the Queen of sparkling wines for the vast majority of UK sparkling wine enthusiasts. One of the great things about the current popularity of Prosecco is the sheer number of different Prosecco brands to be found on the shelves of your local supermarket, off licence or wine merchant and also those available to buy online. However, a substantial number of Prosecco brand choices can also make choosing a particular wine to suit your tastes a little more complicated or make getting into Prosecco for the first time a little daunting.
With this in mind, the following pointers are aimed at assisting fans of this wonderful Italian sparkler when in the mood to make a purchase and in the subsequent enjoyment of the right Prosecco:
1) The Appearance Of The Bottle
Manufacturers of the best Prosecco brands will not usually get the chance to enable their customers to taste the product before purchase and so they will use visual appeal to indicate that theirs is a premium product. Many people buy with their eyes. It’s a fact of life. If you’re looking at a dozen different brands of Prosecco and a few of those have labels that have obviously had a tremendous amount of effort put into their design to make them stand out from the crowd, that’s exactly what they will do. Mass produced, mediocre bottles of Prosecco usually have dull, mass produced labels.
The shape and design of the bottle from the glass to the foil top is also a key indicator of the potential quality of the liquid. Attention to detail means that extra expense is incurred by the manufacturer in order to attract buyers and to express the quality of the wine they can expect.2) Award Winning Prosecco
Awards are obviously a great indicator of whether or not you are looking at the best Prosecco brands. An award is evidence that the sparkling wine in this bottle has been sampled by an experienced wine industry expert who knows how to tell a great Prosecco from an average one. Not all awards are equal, though, and unless you’re truly an industry aficionado it can be difficult to tell how much merit a particular award badge actually carries.
A little internet research will reveal that the 3 biggest and most highly regarded awarding bodies are, in no particular order:• The International Wine & Spirits Competition
• The International Wine Challenge
• The Decanter World Wine Awards
These awards are presented following a blind taste testing session by the industry’s foremost expert sommeliers. Awards are not easy to come by due to the vast amount of competition in each category and so they tend to be held in high regard by those in the know.
3) Taste Testing Prosecco
Very often, wine merchants will have taste testing sessions for sparkling and still wines, and you can also often find the opportunity to taste test at events such as the Good Food Show and various large scale Wine Festivals held regularly in many of the UKs large exhibition venues. Check online or ask the staff in a store for dates when such events are scheduled.
When tasting Prosecco to find a variety that suits you, it’s important that you don’t taste it after sampling other stronger tasting beverages. Have water before hand to clear your palette. This enables you to pick up on those more subtle flavours and bouquets that are all part of the best Prosecco experience. The whole idea of Prosecco is that it is refreshing and light. The bubbles should be small and delicate and the flavours should not be overpowering or over-sharp.
Those sparkling wine fans looking to experience a more defined, stronger wine flavour will stick to Champagne and other similar sparkling wines which gain a creamy quality and bready/biscuit aroma due to the “ageing on the lees” stage of production.4) Online Prosecco Reviews
One of the reasons why buying Prosecco online has its definite advantages is the fact that many websites give customers the opportunity to independently review their products. Whilst we all have differing tastes, the reason that Prosecco has such a broad appeal is its refreshing qualities and subtle flavours and bouquets. If a particular Prosecco has many hundreds of very positive reviews then it is likely that these particular characteristics are very evident. The best Prosecco provides the consumer with a refreshing experience rather than being a flavour sensation.5) The Origin of A Prosecco Brand
Even though the Prosecco experience is not intended to be an extreme of flavours or bouquets, different Prosecco brands will still have their differences. As a quality Prosecco is made using Glera grapes exclusively, these variances are dependent upon where the grapes were grown and the quality of the harvest. The Prosecco label will usually tell you the particular part of the Veneto region in north eastern Italy, where the Prosecco comes from. A little internet research will give you information about the vineyards in this region and from there you will be able to predict to some extent, the likely characteristics of the Prosecco that you have in your hand, before even trying it. Very basically, the higher the vineyard is above sea level, the higher the mineral content of the soil. Prosecco made from grapes grown on higher slopes will have more of an acidic citrus zing than those grown on lower slopes which will tend to have a greater emphasis on apple and pear fruitiness.
Enjoying Your Prosecco
Once you have chosen the best Prosecco to satisfy your particular preferences in terms of its taste and bouquet, you then need to turn your attention to maximising your enjoyment of this sublime sparkler. Although it’s not as expensive as a bottle of Champagne, a high quality Prosecco will tend to set you back slightly more than a good bottle of still wine. We drink it because we want, to rather than need to and, therefore, it’s important to make sure that our Prosecco is at its best before enjoying it. The following are a few helpful hints on how you might do that:
If you don’t intend to drink your Prosecco right away and you’re going to store it for a few days or even weeks, you need to ensure that you don’t store it close to any sources of heat or in direct sunlight. Somewhere cool and dry, just a little below room temperature is fine.
Shortly before enjoying your Prosecco, you will need to chill it. The optimum temperature to enjoy your wine is between 5 and 10 degrees centigrade and popping it in the fridge for an hour or two before opening it should be perfect. Due to the subtlety of Prosecco, chilling it until practically frozen isn’t the best thing to do as the harshness of the cold will detract from the gentle effervescence, flavours and bouquets. Conversely, if the Prosecco is too warm this will detract from the refreshing qualities of the wine.2) Opening A Bottle Of Prosecco
Prosecco is bottled under pressure. The glass used to make Prosecco bottles is thick and so the product is heavy. Believe it or not, the pressure in that bottle is equivalent to that of a truck tyre so it’s no wonder that the cork tends to exit the bottle like rocket. The last thing we want to do, though, is lose any of that lovely Prosecco. The trick is in getting your thumb over the bottle top right after the cork has popped. Then you can gently and carefully release the pressure without losing any liquid. If the bottle has been knocked, shaken or dropped leave it for 10 to 20 minutes before trying to open it, to allow it to settle.3) Pouring A Glass Of Prosecco
Using a wine pourer inserted into the top of the bottle will help control the fizz when pouring and to stop spillages. This may seem unnecessary when pouring a single glass for yourself but if you’re pouring a few glasses for your guests the advantages of using a pourer will quickly become evident.
4) Make A Prosecco Cocktail
Prosecco makes a perfect base for a whole range of different, fruity cocktails. Take a look at our Prosecco Cocktails page for some inspiration.
We know you’ve been working hard and we genuinely want you to enjoy your glass of Prosecco. You deserve a high quality, award winning Sparkling wine. Go on, spoil yourself.