Planning on poppin’ some bottles this week? Do they have to be Champagne? ‘Cause maybe you could get as much bubbly love from a bottle (or three) of more affordable, incredibly increasingly popular Prosecco.
One of the major reasons Prosecco is more affordable than Champagne has to do with the way it’s made. While Cava—sparkling Spanish wine—is typically made in the “methode Champenoise,” most Prosecco is made in the “charmat” method’. Which basically means it’s fermented in a steel tank. There are a few things that are awesome about that: Prosecco can be produced more efficiently; it also gets a nice light flavor since it avoids oak entirely and allows the flavors of the grapes—main grape being Glera—to shine through; and it’s a bunch cheaper to produce, with the savings getting passed on to all of us.
Not that we’re trying to pimp for Big Prosecco (pretty sure they don’t need any help) but many of the affordable bottles make great accompaniments to food. Bubbles and sugar mix well with spicy food (assuming you want to up the spicy ante, otherwise hit up some milk and bread); the characteristic citrus and stone fruit make for a nice chilled aperitif; but if you want to eat and drink, the weird delightful creaminess of a decent Prosecco generously lends itself to some serious pre-dinner dairy consumption. Yes, we talkin’ cheese, y’all. Buy a bottle and be delighted by your highly economical buzz.
Golden Delicious apple pie sprinkled with softly floral lemon juice. Add bubbles and the gentle, mild buzz of anything sparkling, and you’ve got Riondo. One of the more affordable, moderate ABV Proseccos on the market.
More ready fruit here, with a (pleasant) hit of lees. Supple stone fruit flavors balanced by a soft perkiness—no bubble explosion here—which makes this bottle ridiculously easy to drink. Add a Joni Mitchell track and you’re just about in “chill out” heaven
You’ll get a little bit more residual sugar in this Prosecco, but nothing to overwhelm the light floral/citrus/honey notes. A slightly more delicate chill on this one and you’ll get a lot more on the palate. For $15, tops.
You might notice a pattern here (but it’s a good one): Prosecco tends to meld mild soft biscuity flavors with citrus and stone fruit. Imagine dousing a peach flower (is that a thing?) with lemon juice and dunking it in some fresh, chilled sparkling and you get this. Nothing to write home about, but then, you also won’t necessarily want to, since you’re now chilling out on a hammock, liking Facebook posts of your friends’ babies.
You get a nice hint of creaminess in this Prosecco, which makes it kind of a great pairing for some soft and/or mild cheeses. Also a great pairing for sitting anywhere near the sun. Peach skin and subtle lemon, plus those incredibly refreshing bubbles.
Like the Nino, you’ll get more fruit—and a slightly funkier, tropical fruit flavor (again, in a good way!). It also performs the same magic of being creamy and crisp at the same time, with plucky citrus notes and fleshy papaya. Basically an incredibly affordable liquid version of a yacht.
This is a good one to start the night (or day) with, lighter and less residual sugar than you’d find in other—still delightful—Proseccos. Don’t be fooled by the understated carbonation. There’s serious perkitude in this bottle, with pear and apple skin notes, plus that floral citrus flower (that’s a thing, right?) going on. Would not at all be unkind to some good Thai takeout. Or homemade Thai.
There might be slightly less to contemplate as you drink this, but it actually makes an incredible accompaniment to food (roast chicken tends to be recommended, but with the sparkle and soft orchard fruit flavors, you can do pretty much whatever the hell you want; just not steak or mackerel). Not too acidic, but still refreshing, thanks to a bit of green apple skin/pit.