As part of Rosso Nights, STYLEetc we’re invited for a Prosecco masterclass with Con Gusto (which translates to ‘good taste’) expert Peter.
We were treated to traditional bellini’s on arrival and we’re seated ready for our lesson.
First up, a lesson in the history on Prosecco. Peter told us that it comes from a specific region, Treviso, high in the mountains where a better quality grape is grown to be enjoyed with food. The first recorded account of Prosecco dates back to 1593 but since the 1960s it has seen a major rise in popularity.
In 2009, the Italian government introduced guides to ensure that every bottle that left the country were of a high standard. The DOC and DOCG labels are now used on most bottles of Prosecco to signify designated quality.
Peter told us that the reason “Italians make Prosecco is because they need too, and the reason that French make champagne is because they can.”
In our first glass, we learnt how to spot a good prosecco; it must have a straw like colour and fine bubbles. To be called Prosecco, it must also be made up on 85% Glera grapes.
He also talked us through the process of production. Peter told us that most of the grapes are gown between 50 and 500 metres up the side of the mountain and the ideal conditions are hot summers, easy springs and poor soil. Everything is also done by hand during the harvest months of August to October! For every 100kilos of grapes that are harvested, 700litres of juice is made. By day 4 its cloudy, fizzy and sweet then after leaving it to lie for 21 days at zero degrees you have prosecco! Yeast is also added to produce the alcohol and gas.
Unlike champagne, prosecco is made and perfected outside the bottle and can actually worsen with age, whereas champagne is bottles and gets better with age. Prosecco also has a lower alcohol content than champagne, with most being around 11%-13% compared to champagne being 15%-16%
We tasted a non-gassy prosecco, not our favourite but popular in Italy, and a rose. Technically, ‘pink prosecco’ can not be classed as prosecco as it is not made up of Glera grapes, instead red wine is added to give the pink variety its colour and taste. However, the rose was my favourite as it’s great for summer nights, and we were lucky enough to take a bottle home!
The particular prosecco’s that we tasted are exclusive to Rosso in Manchester and we were lucky enough to take a bottle home with us! If you like the sound of this, head to Rosso where you can sample the fantastic and exclusive prosecco yourself! A bottle of costs around £35 (much cheaper than champagne!) and it also goes great with Rosso’s great selection of food!
Call 0161 832 1400 to make a reservation and visit http://www.rossorestaurants.com/ to check out their amazing menu!
By Emily Parker