Nothing says summer like popping open a bottle of Prosecco on a hot day. Full of bright fruit flavors and loads of lovely bubbles, Prosecco is almost too easy to drink. Almost. But first, let's do a little refresher course on this refreshing bubbly. Produced in the Veneto and Friuli regions of northeastern Italy, Prosecco is made from the Glera grape. Unlike Champagne and other traditional method sparkling wines, Prosecco is made using the tank method, which preserves those fruity flavors we love so much. This also creates lighter bubbles than those found in Champagne, but adds to its carefree charm.
Your typical bottle of Prosecco has a touch of residual sweetness to it. Take note here: the terms extra dry and dry don't actually denote a dry wine. If you're in the mood for something with lower sugar levels, look for 'brut' on the wine label. Brut means that the residual sugar level is between 0-12 grams per liter and is the driest style of Prosecco available. Your extra dry and dry styles will be slightly sweet – perfect if you're planning on pairing them with a fruit-based dessert, a slightly spicy main course, or simply want to satisfy your sweet tooth. Any occasion is cause to open a bottle of this budget-friendly bubbly. The best Proseccos have well-balanced fruit flavors like apple and pear with a touch of honeysuckle.
One of the things that makes it such a great wine is the fact it's so versatile with food. You may associate Prosecco with weekend brunches with the gang, but it's a delicious pairing partner with many different dishes. If you're planning a barbecue or picnic, having Prosecco in your booze arsenal will serve you well. Staples like cured meats (think prosciutto), fish tacos, and both fried chicken and chicken in an Asian-inspired marinade go beautifully with this Italian bubbly. Plus, it's a crowd-pleasing wine that will be kind to your wallet.
If you want to offer easy to make cocktails to your guests, Prosecco serves as the perfect base. You'll be familiar with classic favorites like the Mimosa and the Bellini, but you can also swap Champagne for Prosecco in delectable cocktails like the French 75 or Kir Royale. You can also get creative and add your preferred mixers to build entirely unique drinks.
Thinking Outside the Glass
Can't get enough Prosecco? Want to stay cool during the hottest days of summer? You can try making Prosecco popsicles for a grownup treat to beat the heat. If by some miracle you have some Prosecco leftover after a weekend get-together, you can use the remainder to make a sauce. It's a real gem with chicken. For the end of a meal, few things are as satisfying as Prosecco and berries; strawberry Prosecco cupcakes or Prosecco pannacotta (if you want to keep it Italian) are wonderful, light summery desserts.
Most Prosecco is relatively inexpensive, but just because you're spending less, doesn't mean you're getting low-quality fizz. Because almost all Prosecco is made at either the DOC or DOCG level – that's the two highest quality rungs in the Italian wine industry, it's virtually impossible to encounter a bad bottle. Expect to pay anywhere from ten dollars for a tasty entry-level Prosecco. For those of you who want to splash out, mid-ranged Proseccos will set you back about $20 or so.
Prosecco is perfect for virtually any occasion that calls for a touch of celebration. A delicious drink to keep you cool and add a touch of class during the balmy evenings or to slake your thirst while you catch rays in the park, Prosecco is the summer staple you need in your life.