If there’s a sound more instantly cheering than the pop of a cork, we’re yet to hear it.
New Year is almost here, and there’s no better way to celebrate a fresh slate than with a flute of something bright and fizzy.
Champagne is always a great option, but when you have lots of events lined up, Italy’s version - prosecco - is easier on the wallet and tastes pretty fantastic too.
Where does Prosecco come from?
Just as a bottle of bubbles can only be labelled Champagne if it’s made in the eponymous French region, only Italian sparkling wine can be called Prosecco.
The same goes for Spain’s Cava that must be made on the Iberian peninsula to be called so. All are made in very similar ways, but what differs is the taste of the grape and of course the location in which they grew.
Typically made in a north-eastern corner of Italy, prosecco comes in various degrees of fizziness – spumante (sparkling), frizzante (semi-sparkling) and tranquilo (still).
How do you know it’s authentic Prosecco?
Easy; you’ll find the letters DOC or DOCG stamped on the label. These letters are to rubber-stamp the high quality of the sparkling elixir within. Translated from Italian, DOCG is short for Denomination of Controlled and Guaranteed Origin, while DOC stands for Denomination of Controlled Origin. Both are there to reassure shoppers that the prosecco they’re enjoying is the genuine article.
We Brits are mad on the stuff (with Prosecco-O-Clock signs aplenty to prove it), and although sales of the celebratory drink dipped slightly in 2020 (no surprise, given the pandemic), research director at IWSR Drinks Market Analysis Daniel Mettyear believes that sparkling wine will be the fastest sector to bounce back as the world recovers from covid.
But if your house is anything like ours, prosecco supply is one thing that’s remained constant in these last few crazy years. And at this time of year, it steps up a notch.
Delicious on its own, even better shared with friends and family, prosecco is perfect for all manner of celebrations.
New producers are popping up all the time, so we’ve rounded up the nicest bottles to bring some glamour to your winter.
For New Year, Valentine’s and all the special occasions of 2022, here’s our top of the pops.
Pale Fox Single Estate Prosecco Superiore DOCG
Pretty inside and out, this prosecco is made from Glera grapes harvested in The Valley of the Foxes in Asolo, Italy, one of only two superior DOCG certified prosecco regions in the country. The frosted bottle and pretty label make it ideal for gifting, to someone special or as a self-love treat. It’s low in sulphites too, helping to take the edge of the dreaded wine hangover.
Honourble mention also goes to the brand’s Rose - combining two of the most beloved beverages with notes of strawberries, pomegranate and white flowers. Fresh, floral and delicious.
Buy now £26.95, Amazon
La Gioiosa Prosecco Gold 75cl
A delciious treat to enjoy on a special occasion, this tasty prosecco offers bags of apple-y, floral flavour. The 11 per cent wine is dry and fresh, helping slice through all the rich fare that’s on the table this season.
There’s also a rose version, for those who enjoy berry-charged sips, £11.99 at Majestic.
Buy now £9.00, Sainsbury’s
Castellore Organic Prosecco
ALDI frequently tops taste tests and this bottle is no different. The organic prosecco is made on a 150 hectare estate just outside of Venice. Chemical-free grapes are handpicked and pressed for high quality juice that gets transformed into the dry prosecco we know and love.
Buy now £7.49, ALDI
Fortnum & Mason Rosé Prosecco, 75cl
A two-grape blend from the estate of the Zucchetto family, expect notes of strawberry, raspberry and pink pepper to dance over your tastebuds with every sip. It’s excellent with smoked salmon, so save it for blinis or to bring decadence to your New Year breakfast. So good that her Majesty’s grocer put their name on it.
Buy now £16.50, Fortnum & Mason
Kylie Minogue Prosecco Rosé
Whether it’s love at first sight (sip?) or a few glasses leave you spinning around, the star factor is clear in Kylie’s pink prosecco. The rose version bubbles with fresh fruit notes and the merest hint of blossom. It’s almost enough to make you forget that it’s winter.
Gifting? Get the gift box (£59), which comes with a pair of Kylie-approved glasses.
Buy now £15.00, Harvey Nichols
Della Vite Valdobbiadene Prosecco Superiore DOCG NV Magnum 1500ml
Size matters, especially at New Year’s parties. Supersize your sparkles by pouring Della Vite’s magnum of prosecco this season - at 1500ml it’s twice the size of a standard bottle.
The prosecco is the first joint venture of the Delevingne sisters, Chloe, Poppy and Cara - but if you want one you’d better be quick. Only 50 of this size have been made. Extra dry with fruity and biscuity notes.
Buy now £61.00, Harvey Nichols
Mionetto Orange Label Prosecco 75cl
With a history dating back to 1887, Mionetto is one of the finest winemakers Italy has to offer. This extra-dry 11 per cent ABV brut is a legacy of its expertise. In an ES taste test, one reviewer remarked that it has a "Nice refined taste, would serve to the in-laws during an awkward dinner party”. If that’s not a winner...
Buy now £8.00, Sainsbury’s
Tesco Finest Prosecco Valdobbiadene DOCG
With grapes plucked from the finest vineyards in the heart of Italy’s Prosecco region, this bottle is lovely with canapés and rich puddings. There’s a pleasing amount of fizz and a delicious honey flavour that keeps you going back for more.
Buy now £10.00, Tesco
Bottega Gold Prosecco
Pop the cork on a golden bottle of Venice’s finest fizz - it’s Christmas!
The gift of Bottega's signature gilded bottle is always an easy win. While the packaging screams extravagance, the fresh, crisp prosecco within is a decadent sip that can give French Champagne a run for its money.
Whether its for your glam sister, bouji brother or your gift to this year's big event, the fresh, crisp prosecco is bound to go down a storm. And, once drained, it also makes a rather lovely candlestick holder. Really, it's all give.
Buy now £19.49, Amazon
M&S Christmas Limited Edition Conte Priuli Oro Prosecco
Whether you want your gift to make an impression from the off, or you’re looking for something decorative to add to your tables, M&S’s gilded bottle doesn’t disappoint. The liquid inside is equally golden and taste wise it’s got the crisp bite of a Granny Smith.
Buy now £10.00, Ocado
Freixenet Prosecco D. O. C. 75cl
If it’s glamour you’re after, Freixenet offers an easy win. The cut glass bottle offers elegance while the Glera grapes used within are awash with bright, fresh notes. All in all, a bottle that’s truly toast-worthy.
Buy now £9.00, Morrisons
Martini Prosecco NV
You may already be familiar with the cocktail, but Martini the brand is among the best known in Italy. One of the standout bottles in its portfolio is this dry and fresh prosecco, which shines best when used in a cocktail like a Pornstar Martini or a twist on a Buck’s Fizz.
Buy now £11.45, The Whisky Exchange