Predominately made from the glera grape in northern Italy, prosecco is the unapologetic good time gal of the wine world.
Less pretentious than champagne, prosecco is a drink to be enjoyed at any time of day, for any occasion. Begin your evening by pairing with canapes and enjoy right through to dessert where it goes particularly well with fruity puds. And then there’s also a whole host of cocktails just waiting to be knocked up – we think a mimosa is always a winner.
It’s precisely this versatility that has led us as a nation, to become accustomed to cheap as chips prosecco, drunk over a designated two hour brunch period, in an all-you-can-neck style. But it needn’t be this way.
While we’ve still included some high scoring budget brands in our round up below, we were also keen to showcase just how premium tasting prosecco can be if you’re ready and willing to spend a bit more.
To be sure you’re picking up the crème de la crème of the prosecco world, check the label. Anything with DOCG (Denomination of Controlled and Guaranteed Origin) is the highest designation and can only come from a tightly controlled area – Conegliano Valdobbiadene – while also following strict rules. DOC is the next rung down, and there are still some great buys to be had here and often you’ll find bigger bargains, as it’s just outside the most premium area.
Light and refreshing, a good example of prosecco should display lively citrus, fruity apple, pear, apricot or peach notes and a delicate floral aroma. If you’re keen on dryer styles, look out for bottles labelled “brut”. Serve at around 6-8 degrees, you want your wine to be well chilled but not so cold you kill off any nuanced flavours.
Tulip shaped glasses work best if you have one, as this will ensure the bubbles don’t dissipate too quickly while funnelling the delicate blossom notes straight up your nose.
With all of this in mind, we put our sparklers to the test, looking for an approachable, light, fruity style we’d want to open anytime.
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La Farra DOCG brut 11%: £13.99, The Fizz Company
Situated in the hills of Farra di Soligo is this family run vineyard, earning themselves the coveted DOCG status. It’s made from 100 per cnet glera grapes, displaying a straw-like yellow hue with gentle bubbles. Fruit forward with notes of juicy apples and peaches, it ends with a pleasingly tangy dry finish. We’d serve as an elegant aperitif or with light fish dishes.
Masottina organic prosecco DOC 11.5%: £14.95, Berry Bros & Rudd
Elegant and fresh, the grapes used in this bottle are certified organic, allowing the more nuanced flavours of the glera grape to really shine. You can expect fine, persistent bubbles, releasing crisp citrus notes on the palate, while pear and apple also comes to the fore. It’s a drier style of prosecco making it excellent for pairing with food – try with prosciutto canapes.
Harvey Nichols prosecco NV 11%: £16, Harvey Nichols
Although a little pricier than most, we felt this own-brand fizz, made for Harvey Nichols by the esteemed Sorelle Bronca estate, really packs an intense flavour. Crunchy red apple, sun-ripened peach and juicy pear notes all vie for attention. The crisp finish closes with a subtle mineral edge which elevates this fizz to special occasion territory. Crack it open at your next drinks party and prepare to impress.
Dal Bello Prosecco DOC Treviso extra dry 11%: £13.90, Honest Grapes
If you’re looking for a tasty fizz with plenty of character, this is it. Dry and elegant Dal Bello has those classic refreshing lemon notes coupled with riper, juicer fruits – peach, apple – all wrapped up in velvety soft bubbles. A crowd-pleasing style that refrains from being bland.
Bottega pinot noir sparkling brut rosé prosecco 11.5%: £24.99, Selfridges
Rather unusually for prosecco, Bottega rose gold is made using pinot noir grapes from Lombardy. As such you can expect a rush of ripe red fruits – wild strawberries and raspberries most notably – with a pretty pale pink hue in the glass. Fresh and delicate, due to its slightly off-dry nature (which in wine speak means it’s actually a little bit sweet), it’s particularly good with fruity desserts. We personally love the OTT metallic rose gold bottle, so think it would be perfect for gifting.
Santa Margherita Valdobbiadene prosecco superiore DOCG brut 75cl 11.5%: £15.99, Ocado
This well-balanced fizz offers up zesty lemon notes, crunchy green apples and fragrant blossom. It has a touch of sweetness on the palate but is still in the brut category, with fine, fresh bubbles. Unlike most prosecco which tends to be best drunk young and lively, normally within the year, this has the potential to age over the next 2-3 years, making it well worth the slightly higher price tag.
FIOL prosecco extra dry 11%: £12.50, Great Western Wine
Named one of the top 10 prosecco’s under £15 by The Drinks Business Prosecco Awards 2017, this eye-catching monochrome bottle is just as memorable on the palate. Crisp and light, it’s a lively little number with gentle flecks of blossom, honey and apple. Despite being labelled as extra dry, there is a slightly higher amount of residual sugar than brut styles, so do expect just a touch of sweetness. Easy drinking, crowd-pleasing prosecco.
Bortolin Angelo extra dry Valdobbiadene prosecco superiore 11.5%: £19.95, Jeroboams
This well-rounded, fruity fizz has a balanced persona coming from the family-owned Bortolin Angelo winery where the grapes are hand-picked on the steep hills of Valdobbiadene. Velvety soft bubbles and light residual sugar make this an extremely easy drinker. Effortlessly food-friendly, it would work particularly well with shellfish.
Aldi prosecco superiore DOCG 11.5%: £7.99, Aldi
Exceptional value for organic prosecco, this style also gets rave reviews from Aldi customers and we can see why. Classic pear and apricot, easy on the wallet, we’d be happy drinking this as an aperitif or mixed in cocktails.
The Society's prosecco 11%: £10.95, The Wine Society
Perfectly suited to laid back entertaining, The Society’s prosecco is made in a frizzante style, meaning the bubbles are less aggressive and oh-so-easy drinking. Lightly aromatic, you can expect apple and pear notes moving into a long pronounced finish.
The verdict: Proseccos
A firm favourite at IndyBest – La Farra DOGC brut is a family-run vineyard making exceptional DOCG prosecco at an extremely attractive price.