Join the Prosecco party
Mmmm, Prosecco. Light, fresh, fruity, fizzy. Alcoholic. The toast with the most. A bubbly base for cocktails. Italy’s most fabulous export (discuss) needs little introduction to anyone who’s ever enjoyed a flute or twenty of its fantastic fizziness, but in the spirit of exploration, we’ve looked beyond its sparkling personality to find out everything you never knew you wanted to know about Prosecco – complete with handy headings so you can skip the bits you’re not interested in. Cheers!
What is Prosecco? (also Where Prosecco comes from, Why it’s cheaper than champagne, and How much of it we drink)
What… A sparkling white wine named after the village of Prosecco in north-east Italy where it originated, Prosecco is mostly made from Glera grapes. Several other varieties including Pinot Grigio and Chardonnay are traditionally added, but they never make up more than 15% of the total.
Where… Italy produces plenty of sparkling wine (smart people, the Italians) but it can only be called Prosecco if it’s made in the regions of Veneto (the bit around Venice) or Friuli Venezia Giulia (the bit around Trieste), in the far north-east of the country.
Why… Just like champagne and other sparkling wines, Prosecco is double fermented, which is what produces the bubbles. But unlike champagne, Prosecco’s second fermentation takes place in stainless steel tanks rather than in the bottle, which helps to make it cheaper to produce. In addition to pricier production methods, champagne is made in – well, Champagne – in France, where land is much more expensive and grape yields are lower. Champagne has been around for far longer than Prosecco so it also benefits from the ‘original and best’ tag – it’s seen as a luxury brand and people are willing to pay more for it.
How much… Over 150 million bottles of Prosecco are produced in Italy every year, which should be more than enough to keep us from running out. (An observation, not a challenge.)
How to open Prosecco (without spilling a precious drop)
Obviously any spilt Prosecco is a parlous waste and totally worth crying over – unless you’ve won some kind of motor racing event that calls for fountains of fizz. Let’s assume you haven’t.
Remove the foil from the top, flip down the small wire ‘key’ on one side of the wire cage, untwist until loose and discard. Drape a tea towel over the top, point the bottle away from people (and windows) just in case, then take hold of the cork firmly in one hand and the bottom of the bottle with the other. Turn the bottom from the base until the cork loosens and eases out. To stop it foaming up and spilling over the sides of your flutes, only pour about an inch into each at first. Wait for the bubbles to die down then continue to fill to just below the rim.
And, of course, be sure to serve your fizz in some lovely Prosecco glasses to make a real occasion out of it – tall flutes are designed that way to enable the drinker to hold their drink comfortably without affecting its temperature – because we all know the sparkly stuff is best served chilled.
If you’re not going to drink it all at once (it could happen), don’t just stick a teaspoon in the top and hope for the best – keep the bubbles in your bubbly with a purpose-made bung, and make sure it stays perfectly chilled too.
How many calories are there in a bottle of Prosecco? And how many units are there in a bottle of Prosecco?
You’re not going to drink the whole thing yourself, are you? How rude. Go and serve some to your guests! In answer to your questions (and according to drinkaware.co.uk) a 125ml glass of 12% ABV Prosecco – aka a mostly-full flute of fizz – contains 86 calories and 1.5 units of alcohol. We’ve used simple maths – aka a calculator – to establish that this means there are roughly 516 calories in a standard 750ml bottle.
All of which is pretty good news, and provides another reason…
Why you might want to choose Prosecco over wine. And vodka. And champagne.
It’s hard to avoid helpful ‘don’t drink this or that, it’s secretly making you fat’ advice, so it’s good to know that our effervescent friend is one of your lower-calorie drinks options. Compared to your 86-calorie glass of Prosecco, wine can clock in at anything up to 230 calories for a large glass (ouch), and even a single vodka and tonic contains 95 calories.
As to why you’d choose it instead of champagne… yes, it’s less expensive (see above under ‘why’) which doesn’t hurt for most of us. But plenty of us just prefer the way it tastes. Lighter, brighter, fruitier and fizzier than champagne, it’s the perfect party drink and suits pretty much every celebration. Simply delicious on its own, it’s versatile enough to lend itself tastily to all kinds of cocktail combinations too…
Prosecco’s bubbles combine brilliantly with all kinds of juices, cordials, liqueurs and spirits, making it the perfect partner in a whole host of cocktails. If you’ve ever holidayed in Italy, you may have experienced the classic Aperol Spritz – drunk at any time of day from breakfast to nightfall, by all types and by both sexes, from builders and bicyclists to sophisticated Italian senoras sitting around Roman plazas – but there’s a whole world of possibilities beyond the Spritz… From Prosecco-led twists on classic cocktail recipes like the mojito or the Cosmopolitan, through barnstorming party drinks like Sangria Blanca, to nightcaps and sure-fire hits for festive fiestas, Prosecco cocktails offer something for every occasion. Open up your drinks cabinet and get ready to party!
The toast with the most!
Not that Prosecco isn’t already party-perfect as it is, but if you’re after a little something to pep it up, we’ve got a whole range of goodies that put extra fun in your fizz. Sprinkle a little shimmer to add a magical shimmery gleam; drop in a few PopaBalls for bright pops of colour and tantalising bursts of flavour; or pour over hibiscus flowers to turn your drink pink and add a subtle raspberry taste.
Prosecco gifts get personal
There’s a lot of love for Prosecco – it easily outsells champagne – and if you know someone who’s particularly partial, it’s hard to go wrong with a Prosecco gift set. Christmas, a birthday, just-because… whatever the occasion, a hand-picked hamper makes a gift they’re sure to remember. Packed with a carefully curated collection of fizz-themed goodies, they make perfect Prosecco gifts for her (or him), whether they’re a mixologist in the making, a party animal, a fan of the sweet stuff or a maker of booze-infused bakes. Here are some ideas for DIY Prosecco hampers to suit the Prosecco lover in your life – just add a bottle or two of bubbles to taste! (Or even a magnum or two if you’re feeling doubly generous.)
For the cocktail concocters, you could do worse than box up a cocktail set and a couple of extra-special flutes for serving creative concoctions; sprinkle in a little shimmer; give it a little extra love with some heart-shaped chocs; then add a ‘how to’ book and you’ve got the recipe for Prosecco cocktail perfection.
Fun-loving fans of fizz don’t generally need much of an excuse to enjoy their top tipple… but that’s no reason not to indulge them a little, and there are all kinds of goodies you can put together to pep up their Prosecco. Take your pick from magical Rose Gold Shimmer, PopaBall’s Bubbles for Prosecco or Cherry Shimmer Bubbles, or help them go floral with their fizz thanks to Wild Hibiscus Flowers in Syrup.
Fans of the sweet stuff will be spoilt for choice with a whole host of Prosecco-flavoured treats. Truffles and caramel-filled hearts for the chocolate lovers; fabulously fizzy, strictly-for-the-grown-ups cocktail gummies.
The last drop… almost…
Different strokes for different folks, or so they say, so if you prefer your booze botanical rather than bubbly, check out our blog on gin for all the ‘ginformation’ you’ll ever need.