If you are into sparkling wine, you are probably well acquainted with Prosecco. After all, it is the most popular sparkler around the word, topping the ranking of sparkling wine production with nearly 500 million bottles of Prosecco made each year.
But have you ever tried to order or buy a rosé Prosecco?
If you did so before this year, you might have been looked down because of your ignorance. Because Italy’s most popular sparkling wine by law had to be made predominantly from the white Glera grape along with a small amount of other local or international white grape varieties. Thus, even though many producers had started to make rosé versions in the past years, those were not permitted to bear the name Prosecco because ‘real’ Prosecco could only be white.
But no longer!
Last year, on May 2020, the Prosecco DOC consortium finally green-lighted the production of Prosecco DOC rosé. And the first rosé Proseccos are on sale since earlier this year.
If you have not yet delved into the new rosé Prosecco category, it’s about time you get started. But be warned, there is a definite risk of getting addicted once you do so.
The history of Prosecco
This beloved sparkler is looking back at a long history. The first written mention of Prosecco comes from 1754 in the work of Aureliano Acanti. Even long before that date, the Glera grape which is the dominant grape variety of Prosecco has been used to make wine for several centuries before the first mentioning of Prosecco. Chances are high, some of these wines were sparkling wines.
Prosecco is produced mostly in the Veneto region of Italy, with a small part also coming from the neighbouring Friuli-Venezia-Giulia.
In 1966, Strada del Prosecco, the first official wine route in Italy was created. Shortly after, in 1969, Prosecco finally received DOC status. Which makes it one of the youngest appellations in Italy. It took until 2009 that the appellation of Conegliano Valdobbiadene received the prestigious DOCG status.
It was also in 2009 that the primary grape used for Prosecco, was officially renamed Glera. Though locally the name was used quite frequently, previously the official name of the grape variety was indeed Prosecco. The renaming was intended to further strengthen the protection of the name Prosecco, with only sparkling wines made in the region allowed to be sold under this name. Much like Champagne can only be called Champagne if it is made in the Champagne region in France.
The next accolade of Prosecco than came in 2019 when the Prosecco Hills of Conegliano and Valdobbiadene were declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
And finally, one year later, the long-awaited approval of rosé Prosecco represents the latest highlight in the success story of Prosecco.
What to expect from the new rosé Prosecco
Rosé Prosecco can now officially be made from a blend of at least 85% Glera and a maximum of 15% Pinot Noir grapes (the only red grape variety allowed to be used in rosé Prosecco). Regulations also require only grapes from one single harvest to be used to produce a vintage wine. It must ferment for a minimum of 60 days to increase complexity.
Much like its white counterpart, rosé Proseccos are very versatile, making them perfect for a wide range of food. Therefore, you should definitely consider going above and beyond the usual canapés and pair the rosé Prosecco of your choice with cured meat, hard cheeses and sushi.
Quite excitingly, with the approval of the new Prosecco DOC rosé already on the horizon, a large part of the local wineries already produced Prosecco rosé from the 2019 harvest whilst the first rosé Proseccos from the 2020 harvest are found on the shelves since around January this year.
Loving both the excellent Proseccos from Italy’s designated area, and everything that is rosé, I thought it was about time to have my own little Prosecco rosé tasting.
Below are my tasting notes for five rosé Proseccos, highlighting just a small selection of the exciting new range of rosé bubbles coming from the Prosecco DOC and DOCG appellations of Italy’s Veneto and Friuli regions.
Five rosé Proseccos to try
Castel Mare Prosecco Rosé DOC
Part of the Mare Magnum wine portfolio, Castel Mare Prosecco Rosé DOC is made from organic grapes and undergoes fermentation of 60 days (double the minimum request). It is presented in a elegant bottle that resembles an old-fashioned Champagne glass that’s definitely a highlight on the table.
In the glass, a delicate light pink with an elegant perlage.
On the nose, fruit-forward aroma with hints of peach, strawberry, raspberries, blood orange and herbal notes.
On the palate, balanced with intense fruity notes with aromas of ripe strawberry, and white chocolate. Lively and persistent finish.
Bottega Poeti Rosé Prosecco Brut DOC Millesimato
Family-owned Bottega Family Vintners is well-known for its production of excellent Prosecco but also features a large range of still wines and various spirits and liqueurs including Grappa, gin, vodka and Limoncello among various others.
The winery boasts a large international presence and Bottega wines and Proseccos are served on a large number of international airlines .
The Poeti Prosecco Rosé Brut DOC originates from grapes grown in the Prosecco DOC area and made form a blend of Glera and Pinot Noir.
In the glass, it is a bright pink with a fine and persistent perlage.
On the nose, fruity aromas with distinct hints of apple, white peach, citrus and wild strawberries followed by floral notes like peach blossom.
On the palate, fresh and delicate.
Bottega PINK GOLD Prosecco Rosé Brut DOC Millesimato
Another bottle from the Bottega Family Vintners, this time from their spectacular GOLD range. Whereas the term refers to both the excellent quality of the wine but off course the bottle-design. Which is a total eye-catcher. The bottle is made in an exclusive metallization process, thanks to which the pink colour becomes an integral part of the external surface of the glass.
Bottega PINK GOLD also was awarded a gold medal by Mundus Vini in the 2021 edition.
In the glass, it is a bright pink with a fine and persistent perlage.
On the nose, complex fragrant notes with distinct floral hints ofjasmine, elderflower and rosebud along with fruity hints of pear and white peach. Followed by spicy notes on the finish.
On the palate, fresh and slightly saporous, with a slightly sweet complexity.
Astoria Velére Rosé Prosecco Millesimato DOC
Astoria Wines was founded in 1987 and is located withing the prestigious DOCG Conegliao-Valdobbiadene appellation. The winery has since won many awards including the prestigious Grand Gold Medal at the International Wine Competition at Vinitaly in Verona.
The new Velére Rosé Prosceeo Millesimato DOC is part of the winery’s Fashion Victim line, distinguished by the beautiful design of the bottle
In the glass, a soft pink with a persistent perlage.
On the nose, fruity and floral aromas of apricot, peach and currant.
On the palate, mouth-filling, fresh, well-structured and balanced.
Ponte Rosé Prosecco Brut DOC
Viticoltori Ponte is one of Italy’s leading wine consortiums currently uniting more than 1,000 wine-making families and more than 3,000 hectares under vine. It’s vineyards are located across the Alpine foothills close to Conegliano, the most prestigious area of the Prosecco vineyards.
The new Castel Mare Prosecco Rosé DOC is made from 85% Glera grapes and 15% Pinot Nero.
It is the ideal aperitif wine but works also paired with sushi or seafood and light Mediterranean-style risottos.
In the glass, an elegant pale pink with a fine, pearly head of foam and reflections of rose pink.
On the nose, notes of fresh red fruits coupled with citrus notes and floral hints.
On the palate, refreshing, smooth and subtle with an elegant combination of acidity and residual sugars.
Rosé Prosecco food pairing
These fruity and fresh bubbles are excellent along a large range of foods such as seafood, pasta, savoury cheeses, cured meats and fruits. It also works well with spicy Asian dishes and sushi.
If like me, you prefer sipping on a glass of Prosecco as aperitif, then I definitely recommend adding some of the classic Italian appetizers – locally known as Cicchetti.
I have paired the new rosé Prosecco with some of the most classic of those and all of them really worked perfectly.
It’s been about time for the world’s favourite type of bubbles to have their own rosé version. As the new rosé Proseccos will become increasingly available on shelves around the world, I will definitely add more of them on my tasting list.