In honor of the launch of our first Prosecco DOC Rosé, Brett Vankoski, Wine Director of 90+ Cellars, is here to answer some questions you may have about what makes this new category of wine different and exciting. He’s also sharing some of his favorite pairings and tips for enjoying Prosecco Rosé in the sunshine.
1. How long has Prosecco Rosé been around?
Italy’s Prosecco DOC Consortium passed new guidelines in 2020 approving the production of Prosecco DOC Rosé. Traditionally, Prosecco has been made exclusively as a white sparkling wine, but with these updated rules, winemakers can blend in 10-15% Pinot Nero (a.k.a Pinot Noir), which imparts a light pink hue and delicate red fruit flavors. This is the first year ever for the production of Prosecco DOC Rosé and we’re very pleased to bring one of the first to market with Lot 197.
2. How is this different from other sparkling rosés that have been on the market?
A nice dry sparkling rosé is always a fan favorite, but there’s a reason Prosecco is a renowned region and why Italian regulators have put safeguards in place to preserve its name. So while you’ve likely seen and enjoyed sparkling rosé in the past, the difference here is that Prosecco DOC Rosé holds the highly coveted Prosecco DOC designation, meaning it must be from the Prosecco region and crafted with specific standards. Our Prosecco DOC Rosé is created by the same amazing winemaking team that makes Lot 50 Prosecco — our most popular wine — so we are confident people are going to love it.
3. How is this Prosecco Rosé made?
The Pinot Noir and Glera grapes come from vineyards throughout the Prosecco region, including the traditional areas of Treviso and Trieste. The Pinot Noir vineyards are selected from slightly warmer vineyard sites classified specifically for the production of Prosecco Rosé prior to harvest.
Pinot Noir is blended with Glera to make a still rosé wine prior to the second fermentation in autoclave. This process is traditionally known as the Charmat method, and is the same method used to produce nearly all Prosecco wines — rosé or traditional white. We use a 10% blend of Pinot Noir, which provides this wine’s beautiful pale pink color and adds notes of rose petal and fresh strawberries.
Our Prosecco DOC Rosé is designated as “Extra Dry.” This term is used to describe the sweetness level required to balance the Prosecco’s typical crisp acidity. This is achieved just before bottling with the addition of the dosage, a mixture of wine and sugar. The term Extra Dry indicates a drier style of sparkling wine with a little added sugar enhancing the wine’s red berry fruit flavors.
4. Can you take us through a tasting of this wine?
At first glance you’ll notice the beautiful pale pink color of this wine. Pop it open, pour yourself a glass and hold it up to the light to get a good look at the bubbles. You’ll see they’re delicate and lively, dancing around the glass and providing a long-lasting effervescence. Now take a slow inhale — you’ll discover aromas of strawberry, fresh citrus, cherry blossom, and rose, but it’s always fun to hear how other people describe a wine. Take a moment and a mental note of what you pick up. Finally, take a sip. I love this wine’s pristine freshness along with its bright citrus fruits and ripe strawberries.
5. How do you envision people enjoying this wine?
With its crisp, refreshing profile, this wine is perfect for enjoying outdoors, and fortunately, it arrives just in time for warm weather and small, post-quarantine social gatherings. Serve up a chilled glass of Prosecco Rosé alongside a simple cheese platter, summer salads, spicy or intensely flavorful cuisine, or simply by itself.
More than anything, I think this is a wonderful wine to share with friends, which hopefully we’ll all be able to do more of (safely) this summer.
Find the new Prosecco Rosé, and all of our sparkling wines, at ninetypluscellars.com.