Prosecco’s light, fruity character and affordable pricing has helped it to carve out its own (significant) corner of the sparkling wine market. It’s the go-to fizz for many people who are turned off by the richness, and price, of Champagne.
Below, you’ll find our round up of recommended wines available for (mostly well) below £20 to try – all tasted and rated by our experts. Included are picks from UK supermarkets as well as some independents and high street chains, such as Decanter’s 2021 National Wine Retailer of the Year, Majestic Wine. You’ll even find an own-label Prosecco rosé from US juggernaut Costco!
Prosecco is predominantly made from the Glera grape, formerly known as ‘Prosecco’, but other grape varieties may be included in small quantities: up to 15% of the blend can be made up from Bianchetta Trevigiana, Chardonnay, Perera, Pinot Bianco, Pinot Grigio, Verdiso and Pinot Noir, all fermented off the skins. Rosé Prosecco (see below) can contain up to 15% of Pinot Noir fermented on the skins.
Not all Prosecco is equal: Prosecco DOC and Prosecco Treviso DOC (a subzone which theoretically offers higher quality) tend to be the most affordable, perfect for a lunchtime quaffer or aperitif. They represents the bulk of exports and you’re bound to find examples at very reasonable prices.
Stepping up to the DOCGs of Asolo and Conegliano Valdobbiadene Superiore, the latter with its sub-categories including Rive (single-village bottlings) and Superiore di Cartizze (top of the tree, sweet style) gives you sparkling wines made from better fruit from the best hillside sites, and can challenge some of the best sparkling wines from other regions in terms of complexity and quality.
Producers may even experiment with longer ageing, drier styles or old-vine bottlings. These DOCG Proseccos can get quite pricey, but you can still find some under £20.
A brand-new Prosecco category launched in November 2020: Prosecco rosé. Blending Pinot Noir with Glera, produces a pink Prosecco with subtle red fruit characteristics, perfect for summer sipping as well as pairing with food in the winter.
Jack Merrylees, head of content, brand & PR at Majestic Wine, said: ‘The most pleasant surprise has been Prosecco rosé, which now comprises over 20% of [Prosecco] sales and is growing.’
It’s a classy drop – vintage only – but don’t expect to see rosé Prosecco at the DOCG level just yet; this is a new development at DOC level.