Italian bubbly has taken the English-speaking market by storm. The announcement came this past spring: for the very first time, in both volume and value Prosecco sales topped those of its eminent competitor, Champagne. In fact, Italy’s sparkling white is a less expensive alternative to French bubbly but offers outstanding quality. It is a little sweeter, with an average of 15–16 grams of sugar as opposed to 9–10 for Champagne. It can be enjoyed throughout the meal and goes beautifully with fruit in cocktails, as in the famous Bellini.
Prosecco, a white DOC (controlled denomination of origin), is produced in Veneto and Friuli-Venezia Giulia, but in some cases it vaunts DOCG status, the G meaning that it also guaranteed (Montello and Colli Asolani, Prosecco di Conegliano- Valdobbiadene). In the spumante version it is also distinguished by its sugar content in the Brut, Extra Dry and Dry versions. Prosecco Brut has a sugar residue of less than 12 grams per liter, and a slightly acidic and fruity palate, and can be served throughout the meal. The Extra Dry version contains 12 to 17 grams of sugar and has a mellower palate, making it perfect as an aperitif. Prosecco Dry is the sweetest, with 17 to 32 grams of sugar per liter, and it is the perfect foil for fruit, seafood and tangy desserts.