Prosecco DOC | Italian sparkling white wine which can be made in nine provinces –Belluno, Gorizia, Padova, Pordenone, Treviso, Trieste, Udine, Venezia and Vicenza–across 556 townships (‘comuni’) in two region of north-east Italy, namely Veneto and Friuli Venezia Giulia.

Sweetness levels | Brut | 0-12 grammes residual sugar per litre (g/l). | Extra dry 12-17 g/l. | Dry 17-32 g/l. | Demi-Sec 32-50 g/l.

With food | The ‘dry’ style is said to go well with mushroom tarts and radicchio risotto.

Prosecco v Cava

Tom Stevenson (World of Fine Wine 29) wrote that he prefers Prosecco to Cava not because the [main] Prosecco grape [Glera] is more exciting than Cava’s Parellada, Macabéo, and Xarel-lo grape varieties but because the Prosecco producers preserve as much of Prosecco’s primary aromas as possible, via the Charmat process. “They quickly get it [Prosecco] in and out of the big can, use unfermented grape juice both to aid the second fermentation and to form part of the residual sweetness, and sell it as fresh as possible. This is why I prefer Prosecco to Cava. Not because it is an intrinsically superior sparkling-wine grape, but because it is unadulterated by autolysis or any significant post-disgorgement aging, even though these are essential components of any great sparkling wine.” Stevenson the suggests that Prosecco is cheaper to produce than Cava, but sells for higher prices, so locals could invest in better grapes like Pinot Blanc (and/or Pinot Noir) more suited to traditional method sparkling wines in this region.


No certification | BiancaVigna. | Bosco del Merlo. | Caviro.


Burton Anderson, The Wine Atlas of Italy (Mitchell Beazley, London, 1990).

David Gleave, The Wines of Italy (Salamander Books, London, 1989).

Dr Ian D’Agata, Native Wine Grapes of Italy (University of California Press, 2014).

Nicolas Belfrage MW, Life Beyond Lambrusco (Sidgwick & Jackson, 1985)

Nicolas Belfrage MW, From Barolo to Valpolicella—The Wines of Northern Italy (Faber & Faber, 1999).

Oxford Companion to Wine 4th edition ed. Jancis Robinson MW and Julia Harding MW (Oxford University Press, 2015).

Tom Stevenson, ‘Why I’m so pro secco’, World of Fine Wine 29 2010 p50.