Prosecco Can (Finally) Join the Rosé Craze

The popular Italian sparkling wine now has permission to go pink.

rosé prosecco

Courtesy of Colangelo & Partners/Prosecco DOC Consortium

It’s the best-selling sparkling wine in the world, but until now, Italian regulations have not allowed prosecco to possess any color—a missed opportunity in the rosé craze of recent years.

That changed in May 2020, when the Prosecco DOC Consortium, which oversees the wine’s production and ensures its quality, updated the region’s rules for production. The new regulations include the introduction of Prosecco DOC Rosé, the first bottles of which are now reaching Garden State shelves.

“As prosecco sales have exploded in the last 10 years, from 100 million bottles in 2008 to 600 million in 2018, the market for the bubbly has become saturated,” says Chris Cannon, owner of Jockey Hollow Bar & Kitchen in Morristown. Enter rosé prosecco, which will allow producers to tap into the overall rosé boom.

In the Veneto and Friuli Venezia Giulia regions of northern Italy, where prosecco is made, pink bubbly was never allowed to be classified as more than ordinary table wine. But the recent Prosecco DOC Rosé designation means producers can finally label and sell their best wines as such, though they must follow certain rules and pass quality-control tests. 

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Prosecco DOC Rosé must be made from more than 85 percent glera, the white grape used to make regular prosecco, but can include 10 to 15 percent pinot noir, whose light-red skins give the wine its pinkish hue. Like all prosecco, DOC Rosé must be made by the Charmat method, a process that involves force carbonating a tank of wine—similar to how a SodaStream turns flat water into seltzer.

The new prosecco rosés are fresh and lively, presenting citrusy, floral and berry flavors. Most hover around 11 percent alcohol by volume (ABV), ideal for sipping around the pool, at the beach, or with an antipasto platter with friends and family. Several are available in New Jersey, many around $20 or less, from producers such as Bisol, Villa Sandi and Val d’Oca.

Expect to see more this summer. Chris Wanamaker, wine director/sommelier at Caffe Aldo Lamberti in Cherry Hill, has been enjoying them. “So far,” he says, “they are really delivering in flavor and quality.” 

Bright and versatile, prosecco has always been a welcome part of entertaining a crowd. The new breed of rosé proseccos expands the appeal. It’s the perfect beverage to get acquainted with as we get back to enjoying life’s social pleasures.  

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