Wine is a very diverse beverage that comes in many forms and colors. While there are certainly more traditional wines like red and white, more diverse types are available. Among them is prosecco, specifically the sort that possesses a pink hue. While selecting a wine can be a difficult choice to make, some key factors might help move the needle for you. Especially if you do not have a firm grasp on what pink prosecco is.
If you are looking to get into the world of wine and want to start with a pink prosecco or are simply looking to expand to prosecco, there are some things to consider. With this article, we hope to provide some insight into what pink prosecco is specifically and how to select a bottle for yourself.
What is Prosecco?
To start selecting your prosecco, we feel that the first thing to clarify is what prosecco is. Wine comes in many forms, with prosecco resulting from a specific manufacturing process that other wines do not undergo. Prosecco is a type of white wine from Italy initially produced in the Veneto and Friuli Venezia Giulia regions. The wine itself was named after a village called Prosecco in Trieste. Even the grape from which it is brewed was called prosecco until 2009, when it was renamed the Glera grape.
One thing that makes prosecco stand out from other wines is that prosecco is almost exclusively made as a sparkling wine. As a result, the consumption of prosecco tends to be a different experience compared to more traditional wines. Additionally, prosecco can be produced in several ways that lead to unique beverage variations. The production methods are highly regulated to ensure that the prosecco remains in line with its product description rather than becoming a beverage made up of differing ingredients.
The most common prosecco production method is the denominazione di origine controllat, which is Italian for “controlled designation of origin” (DOC). DOC-produced prosecco is the most popular version of the beverage. DOC prosecco is regulated by the sweetness of wine for labeling of what is used in its production. There is “Brut,” which is prosecco with a maximum of 12 grams per liter of sugar, “Extra Dry,” which has a maximum of 17 grams per liter, and “Dry,” which has a maximum of 32 grams.
The DOC production method also regulates the type of ingredients used in prosecco production and prevents any cross-contamination of the product. This is why prosecco has earned its title and why, for many years, prosecco was exclusively a white wine without variation. However, recent allowances have been made to create a new type of prosecco that is closer in relation to the popular rosé variety of wine.
What is Pink Prosecco?
Prosecco has traditionally been a white wine due to the DOC regulations prohibiting additives that would alter the coloration of the drink. This is because the coloration of the wine is tied to the same ingredient that affects the wine’s flavor—the grapes. Classic white prosecco, as we mentioned, was made from Glera grapes that are white in coloration and provide the flavor for which prosecco is known. However, two years ago, on October 28th, a new form of prosecco was officially recognized.
Pink prosecco is a take on the classic wine variety that allows for specific production methods that allow it to remain in the prosecco family. However, pink prosecco involves a deviation from the Glera recipe of white prosecco.
Pink prosecco has several conditions that must be met for it to remain in line with prosecco production requirements:
- Pink prosecco must be dominantly made from Glera grapes with a ratio of 85% to 90% Glera grapes. The remaining 10% to 15% are the same red grapes used in the production of Pinot Noir.
- Pink prosecco must be a fully sparkling wine like some bottles of white prosecco.
- Pink prosecco must be produced in the region of Prosecco.
- Pink prosecco must undergo a 60-day fermenting process for the 2nd fermentation session.
If the above conditions have been met, the resulting drink can safely be labeled as pink prosecco. Pink prosecco’s recent rise into the wine world is an important development for the future of wine and what can be added to its ranks. However, now that we know what pink prosecco is compared to the original white prosecco, it becomes a question of identifying the bottles worthy of purchase.
How to Pick a Pink Prosecco
Picking a wine requires a degree of research to ensure that what you are buying is not only a quality product but also a genuine article. Many details go into winemaking, as evidenced by the conditions that keep pink prosecco within the prosecco family. Keeping those factors in mind can be a massive benefit to your journey towards finding the perfect bottle of prosecco. The first step should be to ensure that any bottle you consider meets all of the above production requirements.
As we previously discussed, there should never be any less than 85% Glera grapes in the recipe and never more than 15% red grapes. However, there is more to what type of grapes are being used and whether it meets the criteria required to be considered a prosecco wine by DOC regulations.
The biggest thing to consider is that the region the wine comes from is doubly important before you purchase. Prosecco is an Italian wine, so ensuring the bottle you are considering comes from an Italian producer is critical in making a purchase. Much like how champagne that does not come from Champagne France isn’t genuine, prosecco from anywhere aside from Prosecco, Italy is not genuine. Unfortunately, many vineyards will market their products as genuine articles when, in reality, it is a local knock-off.
Another thing to keep an eye out for is what is marked on the label. For example, while white prosecco can fall under multiple production types, pink prosecco is exclusively a DOC wine. However, DOC can be taken a step further. In the winemaking world, there is another certification of production known as denominazione di origine controllata e grantita, which translates from Italian to controlled and guaranteed designation of origin (DOCG). Since genuine prosecco under the DOC label comes from regions like Veneto and Friuli Venezia Giulia, which is in the northeastern regions of Italy, it serves as the genuine article.
However, the truly superior bottle of prosecco will be under the DOCG label. Prosecco produced under DOCG guidelines will come from the geographical regions between Conegliano and Valdobbiadene in Prosecco Superior, which is rich in limestone. DOCG prosecco is the highest quality prosecco available for purchase due to the geographical factors in the sediment and region that contribute to the flavor. So, keeping your eye open for labels marked as “DOCG” will guarantee you deeply enjoy your wine.
The next thing to consider is the types of preservatives and additives that might be in the wine. There are several beneficial and naturally occurring preservatives that you will want in your wine. A few are added into the wine by lesser vineyards to make up for any shortcomings. Being sure to consult guidelines about what kinds of preservatives and additives exist in the world of wine can be an excellent way to avoid wines that might contain unwanted additional ingredients and stick to those that have the ones that are good for you.
One other major thing to look into before purchasing is the price tag. While it might be tempting to favor less financially taxing bottles, this could lead you astray. The reality is that the higher the price tag, the higher the quality wine you are purchasing. So while blindly looking for wines with high prices is not the right way to go about it, keeping track of the expense of the prosecco in tandem with the other qualities will serve as a net to help maximize your odds of finding a prosecco that is of high quality and taste.
Finally, where you purchase the prosecco will have a major effect on the quality of the prosecco you purchase. A quality pink prosecco will likely not be readily available at your local Walmart, given the rarity of genuine Italian prosecco. Your best bet is actually to seek out a specialty wine shop to increase your odds of finding a quality wine from the proper region. These specialty shops, while smaller, tend to have a greater level of expertise when it comes to the sale of quality wines. This skill and variety of products can make all the difference in your search for the pink prosecco of your dreams.
Maintaining Your Wine
After you have purchased your bottle of prosecco, it becomes a question of ensuring that you optimize the conditions in which you keep it to protect it from going bad. While generally aged to maximize the flavor, wine is not always able to keep for as long as you would like. There is a very short lifespan insofar as prosecco is concerned, pink or otherwise. The average shelf-life of prosecco in even the ideal storage conditions is only about three years. The reason is that pink prosecco is a carbonated wine, and the carbonation can deteriorate even if the bottle remains sealed.
This is why storing prosecco has some fairly strict requirements to optimize it. First, keep your prosecco in a cool, dark area where there is very little sunlight or light exposure in general. This is where it should be kept until you decide to open and serve it. Now, you might think that placing your prosecco in a refrigerator will keep it preserved longer, but the shelf-life of prosecco is even shorter if you keep it refrigerated. If you store your prosecco in the fridge, it will only last approximately a month. To that end, the prosecco should only be refrigerated before you plan on serving it, so it chills properly to the ideal temperature between 6° and 8° Celsius.
Join Us For Some Bubbly
Wine is an interesting drink, with every bottle possessing its backstory and origin that dictates the profile the wine will have in the future. Everything from the soil the grapes were grown in, the container the wine fermented in, to the height of the hills surrounding the vineyard lends to the wine’s quality.
Pink prosecco is no different because you can safely discount any bottles that do not originate from Italy. With so much to consider about what makes a pink prosecco what it is, finding a quality bottle as a newcomer to the world of wine can seem like a virtual impossibility. Hopefully, the information provided here has given you some insight into how to make a proper selection and fully understand what distinguishes pink prosecco from white.
We at the Wine Diarist know that knowledge is power in making sure that you enjoy every drop of the bottle you purchase in the world of wine. Everything from prosecco to champagne can be expanded upon and have its unique requirements. It is our great pleasure to provide this information so you can enjoy the world of wine just as we do. However, we also recognize that you might want more information than we have covered here. To that end, we encourage you to consult our website to see the information we have to offer on subjects such as wine storage to shelf-life.
If you have questions of your own that have not been covered yet, feel free to leave a comment that we can address. We’ll get back to you as soon as possible. After all, there is so much to wine culture that it would not shock us that we might not have covered your concerns. We would be more than happy to assist you in your search for information however we possibly can. As always, we at the Wine Diarist toast to your health. Cheers to you! Or, as they say in Italy, “saluti a te!”