Bubbles on the Rise: Why Prosecco Is Having A Major Comeback
“Did you know Prosecco, and not espresso, is considered Italy’s national drink? Not only is it the main ingredient in the Aperol Spritz and the Bellini, but the wine’s also enjoyed as an aperitif, during meals and throughout celebrations.
“‘Prosecco is our 24/7 wine,’ says Francesco Zonin, vice president of Zonin 1821. ‘At 11-12%, it’s low enough in alcohol to enjoy regularly. It’s also light, approachable and less expensive than other sparkling wines.’
“Prosecco’s reputation for easy drinking, however, has actually given it a slightly bad rap. Consumers often consider it less complex and fine than French Champagne, which is more expensive, comes from Pinot Noir grapes and receives its second fermentation in the bottle. (Prosecco, on the other hand, relies on the Glera grape and ferments in a tank.)
“Fortunately, a new generation of winemakers and a shift in Italian regulations have put Prosecco back on the map. In 2009, several producing provinces were lifted from DOC to DOCG status, the highest status for Italian wines. A 2010 mandate declared the name Prosecco should refer only to a geographic location, and not the presence of a particular grape (which allowed for additional blending). And in 2016, Prosecco consumption in the UK skyrocketed such that there was a panic-inducing shortage.
“In light of this news—and given Prosecco is best enjoyed throughout the holiday season—Forbes asked seven sommeliers and winemakers to name their favorite bubbles. Here’s what we found:
Cathy Mantuano, Wine Director of Chicago’s Terzo Piano: Jeio “Valdobbiadene” Prosecco Superiore DOCG Spumante Brut
“‘The Bisol family has been growing grapes since 1524, but have really improved their techniques in the last century. They make cru Prosecco that’s mind blowing. And even the Jeio, which is their entry level wine, has a fresh fruity flavor and hints of minerality.’”