Prosecco has been the hit of the highstreet since 2009, when the financial crash sent people searching for an alternative to Champagne.
Because of its simple fermentation method, in large steel tanks rather than in bottles, it means the productions costs are a fraction of that if it’s rival making the finished product more affordable.
The Glera grapes used in Prosecco production offer a reliable level of sweetness. To tell how sweet it will be, look for these words on the label – Brut, comes in the least sweet with less than 12g/l of sugar, Extra Dry is next with between 12-17g/l, Dry has 17-32g/l, while Demi Sec is 32-50g/l. Even fizzyness is quantified on the label with Frizzante being the normal light bubbles, Spumante being extra fizzy.
There are regulations in place for prosecco production. DOC and DOCG refer to Designation of Controlled Origin and Designation of Controlled Origin and Guarantee. These guidelines are stringent and mean that the wine must be tasted before bottling. There are only certain areas where it can be classified as DOC and DOCG, Valdobbiadene. By law Prosecco has to use at least 85% Glera grapes.
I have a big love for the Italian fizz but find the selection intimidating when the taste can vary quite a lot. I have chosen my top top 5 highstreet bottles for £10 and under.
At Number 1
Valdobbiadene Prosecco by Spar £10
This really is the top dog. It has a really fresh smell of ripe fruit and a pleasant colour. The taste is fruity and just sweet enough but with a nice dry aftertaste. The cork pop is satisfying without being extreme and the bubbles are just right. The Goldilocks of all Proseccos!
At Number 2
Marks and Spencer Prosecco £10
This is lively and crisp with a really aromatic smell. It really gives a ripe apple aroma and aftertaste. Can’t go wrong with this one it is a real crowdpleaser.
Tesco Finest Prosecco £8
This doesn’t have as much of an aroma as the others but is nice and fresh. A crisp first taste gives way to a bubbly sweetness and a delicious aftertaste. One that you could drink many glasses of!
Valdobbiadene Prosecco Supriore DOCG Aldi £7.99
A beautifully coloured Prosecco with lots of bubbles. This has a lot more acidity than the others which I liked. Attractive autumnal fruit aroma and a fresh flavour.
La Gioiosa £10 Morrisons
One of Italys leading Prosecco producers, it is easy to see why. A real lemony scent and citrusy flavour. One for those who like their fizz on the drier side. I think this is a perfect compliment to meals.
We also added in Aldis Organic Pianeta Prosecco as an extra alternative option. The organic aspect is supposed to avert hangovers which is always a bonus! This Prosecco has a much creamier taste and has a lot of bubbles. A strong lemony sherbert aftertaste makes this one a bit less of a crowd pleaser as it spilt the audience, it was a big winner with some and others found it too strong a flavour.
Prosecco output in 2016 was 475 million bottles compared to Champagnes 320 million. It really hit its stride in 2016/2017 with a range of Prosecco themed products going on the market. Sales are still on the rise but at a much slower rate than anticipated. It is seen as an everyday drink now rather than as a treat. People will crack open a bottle midweek.
It won’t come as a suprise to discover that we Brits consume 1/3 of all Prosecco produced!
I hope this has helped the next time you are looking for a bottle of fizz!
Let me know what you favourite bottle is.