The Liquor Cabinet

The Best Proseccos for Summer

Want to know how to choose a good prosecco for pre-dinner drinks or a special occasion? Step this way…

The battle of the bubbles

Prosecco has emerged, sparkling in its own right, from the shadow of Champagne. This sparkling white wine is now filling glasses in Australia everywhere from backyard barbecues to fine diners. Traditionally made in the Veneto and Friuli-Venezia Giulia regions of Italy, prosecco is a crisp, informal quality fizz that’s easy drinking and simpler and less complex than champagne. Which is not such a bad thing – elegant and eminently quaffable, prosecco is a real people pleaser with a medium-dry finish and a light freshness that works whether you’re whether you’re serving oyster entrees or mixing it with Aperol and soda for a summery Aperol Spritz.

Naming rights

Champagne has the market cornered on glamour, but when it comes to a good price point, versatility and fun, prosecco is the fizz for the job. And Australian winemakers are getting in on the act, turning out some topnotch light and refreshing proseccos. The Italians got a bit territorial at this turn of events, claiming prosecco is a regional name representing the wine from the town of Prosecco and surrounds, and changing the name of the prosecco grape to glera in 2009. Now, Italian proseccos are designated Denomination of Controlled Origin (DOC) or Denomination of Controlled and Guaranteed Origin (DOCG) and must contain at least 85 per cent of the glera grape. The two best-known denominations of Veneto’s Treviso hills are Conegliano Valdobbiadene Prosecco DOCG and Asolo Prosecco DOCG. Wines labelled with these denominations are considered prosecco’s finest examples and likely to be more expensive; the Grand Cru of prosecco, if you will.

But whether your prosecco hails from the hillsides of northeastern Italy or northeastern Victoria, you can be assured of a convivial easy drinking experience – these are our top picks.

Winemaker Otto Dal Zotto pioneered prosecco production in Australia in the 1990s. The Valdobbiadene native was the first to plant the glera grape, in Victoria’s King Valley, and his Dal Zotto label continues to make excellent prosecco such as Pucini. This crisp, zesty wine has a pleasing acidity to temper its fragrant green apple aromas.

This fun sparkler is typical prosecco from Italy’s Veneto region: a hint of green apple and pear, a bit of body and pleasantly fine bubbles. Try it ice-cold with Thai food or grilled fish.

Serve glasses of this crisp, citrus-scented Veneto-region fizz with brunch, where its hint of white peach and clean, light palate work equally well with plates of poached eggs or bowls of fruit-laden granola.

Jacob’s Creek’s South Australian iteration of prosecco is pale yellow, gently foaming and has just a hint of sweetness as a foil to its citrussy finish – it’s pitch-perfect for parties.

Floral on the nose and fruity on the palate, this Italian DOCG prosecco is pale yellow with lively fine bubbles. There’s a real complexity here, and even a hint of minerality – who said prosecco was shallow?

Divici Organic Italian Prosecco

This well-balanced fizz would be immensely pleasant sipped on a vine-festooned terrace as the sun was setting over the hills of Treviso, from whence it hails. Impossible, we know, but just close your eyes and taste Divici’s delicate green apple and floral notes and use your imagination.

The beauty of prosecco is that it’s easy drinking. It doesn’t mind if you mix it for a summery Aperol Spritz or serve it with citrus-drizzled seafood for dinner. This well-priced King Valley drop is simple, fresh and very versatile.

The pop of corks echoes all over Victoria’s King Valley as some of Australia’s best wineries perfect their prosecco. At De Bortoli, the fizz is dry, delicate and made for quaffing.

Powered by