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What does ‘frizzante’ mean? Ask Decanter

Seen ‘Frizzante’ on a bottle of sparkling wine but not sure what that means?

What does ‘frizzante’ mean? Ask Decanter

Frizzante means it is only lightly sparkling, whereas ‘spumante’ has more fizz to it.

‘Frizzante is made using the charmat method; a low CO2 level, offering between 1 and 2.5 bars of pressure at 20˚C, so only very lightly sparkling,’ said Andrea Briccarello, in his guide to Lambrusco in Decanter’s Italy supplement 2016.

‘Spumate is mostly made by the charmat method, though some use the traditional method. Pressure is a minimum 3 bars at 20˚C, so more sparkle than in the frizzante wines.’

Fully sparkling wines must be at minimum three bars pressure according to EU regulation.

Frizzante styles are defined as semi-sparkling by regulation. Other styles like this include French pétillant.

‘The bubbles can come from partial fermentation or rifermentation, in vat or bottle,’ said Richard Baudains, Decanter World Wine Awards regional chair for Veneto.

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When would you drink a frizzante wine?

‘Generalising a bit, you could say frizzanti are a good choice when you want a joyful, quintessentially Italian, democratically priced wine that you can cheerfully polish off a bottle of,’ said Baudains.

‘But some frizzanti are food wines – such as Lambrusco; others are aperitifs – like Prosecco and others are dessert wines, such as Asti.’

Does it change the flavour?

In technical terms, no, a wine being frizzante does not affect the flavour.

‘But all frizzanti are made from grapes with distinctive varietal characters, by processes that aim to keep in the fruit and aroma, so they are [often] tasty wines,’ said Baudains.

See also

Champagne bubble size: Does it matter?

See more wine questions here

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