Pink Prosecco became official on 28 October 2020, or rather ‘Prosecco DOC Rosé’ to give it its correct name. Before that date, Prosecco wasn’t allowed to be pink and only the white style existed. Why? Because the Prosecco Consortiums who make the rules that govern Prosecco production didn’t allow a red grape to be used in the making of Italy’s popular fizz. Ok so not totally true….the red grape Pinot Noir was allowed but only the flesh (which is white) and not the skin (which is red and used to make rosé and red wine).
All that changed last year with the Prosecco DOC Consortium allowing production and sale of Prosecco Rosé, a version that has long been awaited, especially in the UK market. The Prosecco Superiore DOCG (the premium Prosecco) does not have approval for a pink version and this is unlikely to change I think, particularly in the short-medium term. This is due to the limited production yields in the DOCG region and a more traditional Prosecco approach.
Although ‘Prosecco Superiore DOCG Rosé’ is not allowed, that doesn’t stop DOCG wineries producing a Pink Prosecco if they wish to…. they just need to produce it as a ‘DOC’ and not ‘DOCG’. (Just a reminder ‘DOC’ essentially represents varying quality levels of Prosecco, from commercial to artisan producers. ‘DOCG’ represents premium Prosecco and mainly made by artisan producers.)
So what actually is Pink Prosecco? Well it has to follow strict criteria, with the main points being:
- It must be made with 85-90% Glera white grapes (the same as white Prosecco) plus 10-15% Pinot Noir red grapes.
- Available in sweetness categories: Brut Nature (Bone Dry), Extra Brut (Very Dry), Brut (Dry) or Extra Dry (Medium Dry).
- It must be a Spumante ie, fully sparkling.
- The word "Millesimato" followed by the year of the vintage (ie, harvest) of at
least 85% of the grapes must feature on the label. It indicates the grapes are from a single year.
- It can only be produced in the defined Prosecco DOC region.
- 60 days fermenting for the second fermentation.
- Certified as DOC displaying the standard blue label on the top of the bottle.
As for the characteristics of the Prosecco Rosé, of the ones I’ve tried so far (tough job...all for research purposes!) it has the same style as the white Prosecco ie, light and fruity. Obviously it’s pink….a lovely pale, delicate pink colour. Aromas of cherries (I really love the cherry notes), other red berries, some floral and apple notes too. As with any wine it’s a matter of finding one that suits your own taste as they can differ greatly even if the same grapes are used.
So at Just Perfect Wines we don’t yet have a Prosecco Rosé in our range, but we are excited that we will have soon..hurrah (we hope you like it). Watch this space! In the meantime, we have a range of fabulous pink sparkling wines in our portfolio both from Italy and England which you may like to try. They are not Prosecco Rosés as they don't meet the required criteria and not intended to be so, but made using a selection of different grapes and all wonderful in their own right. Available as single bottles, single or double cases….or why not try all 6 in our Pink Fizz Discovery Box! A must for any pink fizz lover.
- Ca’Salina, Bruttissimo, Extra Brut – a stunning, very low sugar (0.5g) Pink Moscato which is very aromatic with great fruity notes (the taste it reminds me of a peach melba, but dry not sweet).
- Ca’Salina Manzoni Moscato, Dolce – a delicious and sweeter, more typical Pink Moscato, fruity and aromatic.
- Furlan Rosé Spumante Brut – a wonderful pink, made with Glera, Manzoni Bianco and Cabernet Sauvigon. So similar to Prosecco Rosé but a little more complex and a different taste (think strawberries and cream).
- Fitz Pink Brut – a dry, English pink fizz, with great fruity notes. Made in West Sussex.
- Lyme Bay Sparkling Rosé Brut - their award winning dry, rosé English Sparkling Wine made down in Devon.
- Busi Jacobsohn Sparkling Rosé Extra Brut – the beautiful new pink English Sparkling Wine made in East Sussex.
In 2020, 16.8 million bottles of Prosecco DOC Rosé were produced by 111 wineries and 483.6 million bottles of Prosecco DOC (white) giving a grand total 500.4 million bottles. There’s a lot of Prosecco lovers in the world and a large proportion is exported to the UK. I’m sure the percentage of pink will increase as it becomes more familiar with Prosecco lovers and more producers launch their versions.
You may have already tasted one or more Pink Proseccos yourself. Please let me know what you think if you have.
(Thank you to the Prosecco DOC Consortium for their help with my blog).
Owner of Just Perfect Wines