Prosecco is a phenomenally popular drink in the UK – it’s sweetish and soft in flavour, plus, importantly, it’s more affordable than other sparkling wines like champagne.
But what makes a good prosecco? We’ve rounded up eight top bottles, all available across the UK for a range of prices. Read on to discover which prosecco is best. For more, visit our review section and find over 200 practical buyer’s guides, including the best prosecco gifts, taste tests of champagne, cava, rosé wine, gin, vodka and more.
Best prosecco 2020
Aldi Valdobbiadene prosecco superiore NV
Best budget prosecco
Probably the best value prosecco on the market. Though there’s quite a bit of sweetness, it’s light, clean and not in any way cloying. The creamy, slightly yeasty finish gives it a note of sophistication.
The Wine Society prosecco brut NV
Best prosecco for entertaining
Prosecco is actually a much better drink than champagne to serve at events such as weddings, as it’s cheaper, lower in alcohol and much less acidic, so it’s easier to drink. This dry, refreshing sparkler would be our pick for entertaining.
Taste the Difference prosecco di Conegliano brut 2016
Best crowd-pleasing prosecco
Most prosecco is non-vintage, but this one comes from a specific year. We loved the mixture of very fresh fruit and floral notes with a finish that was a little sweet and cakey.
Sacchetto prosecco extra dry Fili NV
Best prosecco for complexity of flavour
There’s lots going on with this one. It initially tastes quite sweet but finishes with a dry and refreshing flavour. There’s a nice saline quality with peachy fruit and even a touch of toastiness at the end.
Romeo & Juliet prosecco di Treviso brut DOC NV
Best easy drinking prosecco
Brut-style, and you can really taste it. There are pastry notes on the nose, then on the palate it’s really dry with some bitter lemon and almonds. It’s a really nice prosecco that’s easy to drink.
Majestic Wine (£9.99)
Prestige Drinks (£12.25)
Alpha Box & Dice zaptung glera
Best global prosecco
A real curiosity: Australian prosecco – though they’re not allowed to call it that. This smells deliciously of fresh pears. There are gentle bubbles and a tangy quality. This is dry, with some toasty flavours on the finish.
N D John Wine Merchants (£9.95)
Casa Belfi prosecco colfondo frizzante NV
Best prosecco with a twist
This is a very different to regular prosecco. The term ‘colfondo’ means that it’s fermented in the bottle and the yeast is left in the wine, which makes it cloudy. It’s totally dry with nutty, bready flavours. Not one to add peach juice to and don’t serve too cold.
L’Art Du Vin (£17.95)
What is prosecco?
People often ask what the difference is between prosecco and champagne. Well, they’re both sparkling wines from specific regions: Champagne in northern France, and Treviso in north-eastern Italy, but there the similarities end. Champagne is dry, highly acidic and usually expensive, whereas its Italian rival is soft, sweetish and affordable – no wonder it’s so popular.
Part of the difference in price is down to prosecco’s production method. To make champagne and most sparkling wines, a still wine is fermented for a second time in the bottle with added yeast and sugar, which creates carbon dioxide – aka fizz.
In prosecco, this secondary fermentation takes place in a tank, then the wines are filtered and bottled under pressure. This method is less labour intensive – unlike champagne, which has to be aged for a minimum of 15 months – so prosecco can be sold straight away. Not only is this method cheaper, it preserves fresh fruit flavours, too. This is the fundamental difference between the two wines: champagne tastes of mature yeasty flavours, whereas prosecco should be all about fresh fruit. The term frizzante on the label, as opposed to spumante, means the wine is less fizzy.
Only wines from the Prosecco region, not far from Venice, can be called prosecco. The principal grape is called glera, but it used to be called prosecco, before the wily Italians changed the name so that the Australians couldn’t use the magic word prosecco on their bottles. Prosecco tends to be much sweeter than champagne. Confusingly, wines labelled dry are actually quite sweet. Extra dry is drier, though it still contains between 12-17g of sugar. If you want a proper dry wine, look for the word ‘brut’ on the label.
In a good prosecco, you’ll often find green apple, peach or citrus flavours and often some floral notes, too. With better examples, you may notice flavours of almonds and biscuity champagne-like notes. Don’t be afraid to mix it with peach juice to make a bellini, Aperol or Campari to make a spritz or, most hedonistic of all, lemon ice cream and vodka, which is called a sgroppino. Our version, icy kir, swaps the ice cream for berry sorbet.
How to open prosecco
When opening a bottle of prosecco, remember it will behave far better and more predictably if it has been left to sit and chill for a few hours. Warmth and/or rough handling both make for an explosive cork situation, meaning more mess and waste. Fizz should go into glasses, not onto ceilings.
- Make sure you have your glasses ready and within easy reach. Then, take your bottle and remove the foil; there should be a tag or perforation line to make this easy and neat.
- Once this is done, grip the neck of the bottle in one hand with your thumb over the top of the caged cork.
- From here on in, keep the bottle pointed away from yourself and anyone present, especially people’s faces – about a 45 degree angle is good.
- With your other hand, untwirl the cage fastening. Uncover your thumb, lift off the cage and replace your thumb over the cork.
- If you can feel the cork pushing to leave the bottle already, get a glass ready. Otherwise, with the bottle gripped in one hand, slowly pull up the cork with the other. It may be quite stiff at first – if so, alternate pulling and twisting motions – but as you go you’ll start to feel the pressure from within helping you out.
- Ease it up, always with your hand over the cork in a firm grip and, as you hear a pop, you know you’ve opened it.
If everything went smoothly, you have a bottle at 45 degrees, with a touch of vapour wafting out. Let that excess gas escape for a few seconds, then in smooth, gentle motions, pour a small amount – just a splash – into each glass in turn.
Now return to the first glass and, tilting it also at around 45 degrees, top up slowly, until no more than two-thirds full.
If the champagne is very lively and the mousse is rising to the top of the glass despite a slow pour, just move onto the next one and come back to it. That mousse is the fizz escaping, and in excess, leaves you with a flat drink, and nobody wants that.
Don’t overfill the glass, as it will warm up far faster there than in the bottle, and warm prosecco is a shame.
If you have a bottle where the cork is straining to be free as soon as the cage is removed, then you will have to move fast.
Once the cork is out, it will be followed by froth, which should go straight into that readied glass. Keep pouring off the excess into your glasses one by one until it subsides, then top up as before.
Prosecco recipes and tips
Sparkling wines taste tested
This review was last updated in January 2020. If you have any questions or suggestions for future reviews, or spot anything that has changed in price or availability, please get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org. For information on alcohol guidelines, read our guide to drinking responsibly.