Thing is in the UK, a lot of people use words like Champagne, Cava, and Prosecco almost interchangeably for sparkling wines. Even if you don’t do it yourself you’ll definitely have heard people do it before. Look, it’s not a big criticism of anyone here, it’s just there’s very little explained about different wines in the UK.
So what is Prosecco? Well, again, it’s almost easier to start off with what it isn’t!
It’s definitely not Champagne or Cava! It’s not made using any of the same grapes or in the same method. Remember it’s these two factors that make any sparkling wine taste the way they do. Literally the only big similarity is that it’s got bubbles in it.
The big thing about the method used is that it’s made to bring out the fruitiness of the base wine. The method is called the tank method, or you might hear it called the Charmat method. Basically you put all the base wine in a big sealed tank with more yeast and sugar. The bubbles are caught up in the wine, but the yeast is taken away pretty quickly so you just get the tastes from the grape used, rather than any yeasty tastes like you get in Champagne or Cava or any other wines made in the Champagne method.
Thing about the method is it’s much cheaper than producing sparkling wines under the Champagne method. That’s why supermarkets manage to put it on the shelves for bugger all. Cheap bubbles? The UK market lapped it up.
Next came the problem of selling the better Proseccos, from better grapes, from the better growing areas of Conegliano and Valdobbiadene. Method costs the same, but the grapes are more expensive, so the wines more expensive. All of sudden no-one’s up for paying £10 for a bottle of bubbles that they thought they used to pay £5 for. Here’s where we are at the minute.
If you don’t know the difference then you’re going to be a bit pissed off.
Other Posts in NWTW Week 39:
Cheap Prosecco in cans!