How’s everyone’s dry January going?
In the first of many blog posts on Italian food, culture and drink we have an insight on Prosecco and reasons for its surge in popularity in the UK.
An incredible seller here at The Italian in Romiley, especially over the festive period. Popular at celebrations, nights in, big nights out or alongside a meal, and it’s easy to see why. People’s choice of drink, especially when it comes to wine is all about fashion (people drank blue nun in the 70’s, just because everybody else did…). Before champagne production laws were tightened in the late 1800’s, most sparkling wines were commonly known as champagne.
Afterwards (these laws were even reaffirmed in the 1914 treaty of Versailles) proper champagne, with it’s royalty and affluent connections became even more popular than ever, but either reserved for extra special occasions or out of most people’s price range.
Fine sparkling wines such as Prosecco, and cava etc were popular in the regions they were made and that was about it. Not really imported outside of their respective countries at all.
Fast forward to today, and the UK crying out for an elegant fine alcoholic drink they can sup whilst looking ‘di moda’ (in fashion). Not wanting to drink anything with cheap connotations, but not wanting to pay for champagne pushed Prosecco to the front. Easy to drink, not too pricey and with its stylish Italian connotations, 2013 saw Prosecco outsell champagne as the world’s most popular fizz for the first time in history.
Made from the Glera grape, and believed to of been first produced during the Roman era, a variation more like what we drink nowadays dates back to the 16th century. It wasn’t until the 1960’s however that modern production equipment and techniques created the more finer versions that are so popular these days.
Produced in the sun blessed but not dry vineyards of northeast Italy (in particular the regions of Veneto and Fruili-Venezia Giulia). Prosecco is famous for its naturally dry characteristics and slightly bitter, slightly sweet aftertaste. Such is the demand here we also sell it by the glass as well as the bottle. In Italy, it’s enjoyed as a wine for every occasion, outside Italy it is most often drunk as an aperitif, much as champagne is.
Unlike champagne however, Prosecco does not ferment in the bottle, and it grows stale with time. It should be drunk as young as possible, the perfect excuse to crack open any leftover bottles from Christmas or new year and celebrate the beginning of the weekend!