In the past couple of years, Prosecco has made a big boom in North America. It went from a sparkling wine that nobody had ever heard of (unless you were in North Eastern Italy), to a sparkler that is flying off the shelves. The reason why is simple, Prosecco offers a young and fresh sparkling wine that is inexpensive, and makes you feel like life is good whilst drinking it!
Champagne and other Sparkling wines are costly as they were often aged for years in a dank cellar developing character and complexity. Prosecco, on the other hand, is bottled and on the shelf on the spring following the harvest. Thus, with Prosecco, you get a light and infectious spirit that is a little sweeter than Champagne, but honestly, that seems to make your life feel a little sweeter as you’re drinking it.
Prosecco & Food Pairings
Prosecco uses the white wine grape ‘Prosecco’ and is produced in Veneto, Italy. On the lower spectrum of price, ($10 or so) you’ll get a dry to off-dry Prosecco that offers delicate fruit flavours and lots of bubbles. Prosecco that is priced $15 and higher often delivers ripe fruit flavours like pear, apple and citrus, often with a dash of nutty almond flavour.
Lower priced Prosecco is excellent as an aperitif, or can be perfectly paired with finger foods or desserts like birthday cake. Because it is low in alcohol, while still being crisp (due to a high acidity), it can cut through the richness of finger foods, and offer some relief from the sweetness of desserts. It’s also a marvellous pairing with a cheese tray, loaded with grapes, figs, dried apricots, and nuts such as almonds.
Caprese Salad & Prosecco Pairing
Caprese salad is a vibrant tasting salad made of sliced fresh mozzarella, tomatoes, and basil. Prosecco makes a wonderful pairing as the slight sweetness of this sparkling wine complements the green and sweet flavours of the basil. Meanwhile, the acidity of Prosecco lifts those delicate mozzarella flavours forward where you can truly appreciate them.
The dominant flavour of Caprese salad is going to be tomato, and the acidity of Prosecco ensures that the wine will taste just as bright on the finish.
Jalapeño Poppers & Prosecco Pairing
Jalapeño Poppers are these wonderful snacks that you might order as an appetizer or whip up at home. Basically it’s deep-fried breaded mozzarella wrapped around a Jalapeño Pepper where you get a nice little kick from the Jalapeño.
As delicious as they are, once you’ve had more than one, the magic of poppers begins to diminish, as the heat of the pepper, along with the greasiness of the deep-fried cheese send your tastebuds into overdrive. A flute of Prosecco quickly comes the rescue and revives your tastebuds as the bubbles and acidity scrub both the heat and the grease away.
Garlic Bread & Prosecco Pairing
Similar to Jalapeño Poppers, Garlic Bread can overwhelm your tastebuds within just a few bites. This makes you feel like a dog chasing your own tail, as mentally, you’re trying to recapture that first instance of bliss, but no matter how many bites you take, the garlic bread starts to taste bland.
When you introduce Prosecco, the bubbles scrub all the butter, and sharp garlic flavours off your tongue making each bite taste like heaven. Being a crisp neutral wine, Prosecco won’t interfere with your Garlic Bread either, allowing you to enjoy the pungent garlic flavours for what they truly are.
Popcorn & Prosecco Pairing
It might be tricky to sneak a bottle of Prosecco into the theatre, as the audience will definitely hear that cork pop (unless you time it perfectly with a bottle being popped open on screen). But if you’re having movie night at home, there’s nothing better than a chilled bottle of Prosecco, a buttery bowl of popcorn, and a movie you love.
Once again, popcorn is a tastebud clogging food. The salt, butter, and starchiness of the popcorn eventually leaves an impenetrable film on your tongue and cheeks allowing no flavour to get through. Armed with your secret weapon of Prosecco, the bubbles and acidity whisk this film away guaranteeing you the perfect night, even if the movie happens to be a dud.
Higher priced Prosecco pairs great with these foods mentioned as well. However, if you are splurging on a higher end Prosecco, why not pair the more complex flavours with more complex foods. The acidity in Prosecco will cut through any cream sauce, or cheese, while the nutty almond flavour pairs excellent with nutty flavoured cheeses such as Gruyère, Gouda, or a cheese ball made with nuts.
The low alcohol and high acidity also make Prosecco a great pair with Spicy Asian dishes, as it extinguishes the heat considerably, allowing you to enjoy all the flavours the dish has to offer.
Crab Cakes & Prosecco Pairing
Seafood and Prosecco is another classic pairing. The citrus notes act like a squeeze of lemon on the seafood. Battered Shrimp, Crab Cakes, Fish and Chips, and Fried Seafood (or just about anything fried and battered) pairs well too as the high acidity in the Prosecco cuts through the grease and cleanses the palate.