Prosecco DOC Rosé: pink fizz gets the green light

Prosecco DOC Rosé: pink fizz gets the green light

by Great British Chefs 09 February 2021

In 2020, the pink varietal of the UK’s favourite sparkling wine finally received the official nod of approval from the Italian government – and it’s now available to buy. We take a closer look at why Prosecco DOC Rosé is set to become the drink of 2021.

Great British Chefs is a team of passionate food lovers dedicated to bringing you the latest food stories, news and reviews.

Great British Chefs is a team of passionate food lovers dedicated to bringing you the latest food stories, news and reviews.

We’ve got a lot to thank Italy for when it comes to food and drink. The 3 ‘P’s – pizza, pasta and Parmesan – are among Europe’s most celebrated dishes and products. In the past few decades, however, the UK fell in love with another ‘P’: Prosecco, the northern Italian sparkling wine that quickly knocked France’s Champagne off the top spot and became the calling card of celebrations and parties across the country.

Affordable, fresh, zesty and full of delicate little bubbles that always make popping the cork feel like an occasion, Prosecco is one of Italy’s most important wine exports, enjoyed across the world and often the go-to bottle whenever there’s something to celebrate. After it was introduced to the US and UK in 2000 by Mionetto its popularity exploded, and by the mid-2010s the UK was consuming a quarter of all the Prosecco Italy produces. It’s safe to say we fell head-over-heels for Prosecco as soon as it became available, so the news that Prosecco now comes in a pink rosé varietal too has had plenty of us reaching for our wine flutes.

But why hasn’t there been a rosé Prosecco before? It’s all down to how the Italian government and the Prosecco Consortium regulates and protects its country’s various wines. You’ll often see bottles of Italian wine with either DOC or DOCG on the labels, which were the names of regulations introduced in the 1960s and 1980s respectively. Think of DOC wines as ‘the best’ Italy has to offer, and DOCG wines as ‘the best of the best’, using grapes from the country’s most celebrated regions. You’ll also sometimes see IGT (or IGP) on Italian bottles, which allow a further relaxing of the rules and gives winemakers more freedom to use different types of grapes.

All these abbreviations and classifications can be confusing, but they’re important – they stop wine producers producing inferior wines and cashing in on a reputable varietal’s good name. When it comes to Prosecco, to be confident in selecting a great quality bottle you want to make sure it has either DOCG or DOC in the name – all of Mionetto's Proseccos are one of the two, so they're a good name to look out for. Both DOCG and DOC Prossecos are made in the Italian regions of Veneto and Friuli Venezia Giulia, using at least 85% Glera grapes (which were known as Prosecco grapes until they were renamed in 2009). However, top producers like Mionetto ensure the very best quality in their white Prosecco by using 100% Glera grapes. DOCG and DOC white Proseccos are almost always sparkling (either Spumante or Frizzante, which is slightly less fizzy). If you look hard enough, however, there is also a still version called Tranquillo, but it’s quite a rare find outside of the local area.

In November 2020, a new varietal of Prosecco was granted DOC status: Prosecco DOC Rosé. It’s now finally arrived in the UK and is available to buy in the shops. This blushing pink sparkling wine is made in the same regions as regular Prosecco to the same methods, but can include up to 15% Pinot Noir grapes along with the Glera grapes, giving it a peachy-pink hue and the added subtle flavour of red berries. The Prosecco DOC Consortium (which is responsible for protecting and promoting Prosecco around the world) ensures all rosé varieties are fermented over sixty days, has a ‘persistent foam’ and can be one of three levels of sweetness: brut nature (the driest), brut or extra dry (the sweetest, confusingly!).

One of the best examples of this new style of Prosecco comes from Mionetto, which has released its Mionetto Prosecco Rosé DOC. With a beautiful peachy colour, just the right balance of sweetness and dryness and notes of raspberries, pink grapefruits, pomegranate and blackcurrants, it’s the best bottle to buy if you want to understand why Prosecco DOC Rosé is going to become this summer’s drink of choice. Perfect for sipping in the garden before dinner, serving with shellfish or risotto and celebrating any occasion (the end of lockdown, anyone?), a new pink Prosecco is just what 2021 needs.