Over the past decade or so, sales of the playful Italian sparkling wine known as prosecco have soared, and it’s no surprise why. As Champagne prices continue to climb—and the fervent interest in delicious bubbles remains as enthusiastic as ever—prosecco has emerged as the affordable, fruit-forward solution to satisfying one's sparkling needs. However, while every prosecco is made from the glera grape and hails from the same region in northeastern Italy, not all proseccos are created equal. So how to separate the lesser examples from the ones that are molto bene?
"A great prosecco is one that has typicity and a respect for authenticity,” says Stefano Zanette, the president of the Prosecco DOC Consortium. “It all starts in the vineyard, by picking the best glera grapes during harvest. Then it's followed by a strict production method that continuously controls the first and second fermentations to obtain a high-quality product that truly represents our land and culture.” Zanette notes that prosecco's signature aromas are floral, fresh, and loaded with flavors of bright citrus, green apple, and pear.
In short, vineyard sites, vinification choices, and final amounts of residual sugar all play a role in how a final wine tastes. To help you find the right bottle, here are our picks for the best proseccos to drink in any situation that calls for bubbles.
Fascino Organic Prosecco
ABV: 11% | Tasting Notes: Citrus, Apple skin, Sweet spice
Organic, budget-friendly, and delicious? It’s no surprise that Fascino’s Organic Prosecco claims the top spot on our list. The wine shows a pale yellow hue in the glass and opens up with aromas of banana, apple skin, and white flowers. On the palate, crisp and refreshing notes of tart citrus and sweet spice lead to a thirst-quenching, acid-driven finish. This bottle promises to carry you through an entire meal, from light hors d’oeuvres to cream-based pastas and beyond. And should no food find its way onto the table, worry not: this bottle is equally ideal for sipping solo.
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Best for Brunch
ABV: 11.5% | Tasting notes: Green apples, Honeydew, Citrus, White flower blossom
Brunch and bubbles go hand in hand. This delicious prosecco from Scarpetta pairs perfectly with a variety of brunch favorites, including eggs benedict, french toast, and simple yogurt parfaits. Notes of tart green apples, honeydew, citrus, and white flower blossoms make this wine pleasant to drink at any hour of the day (we don’t blame you if this bottle carries you straight into aperitivo hour).
“Prosecco used to be a dry aperitivo sparkling wine 25 years ago, then the RS [residual sugar] started creeping up,” says Bobby Stuckey, Master Sommelier and co-founder of Frasca Food and Wine and Scarpetta Wines. “Scarpetta has less than 4 grams of RS, compared to many top brands being around 13 grams. We look to make a dry, light and aromatic prosecco.”
Best for Mimosas
Tiamo Organic Prosecco
ABV: 11% | Tasting notes: Citrus, Fresh cut apple, Gardenia
The fact that your prosecco will be splashed with some orange juice doesn’t mean that quality should be sacrificed. When you need a base for your at-home Mimosa, Bellini, and other brunch cocktail concoctions, look no further than Ti Amo Organic Prosecco. This fruit-driven sparkler offers flavors of citrus, fresh cut apple, and gardenia. Simply add your favorite juice and get to enjoying—but don’t forget to save a pour to enjoy solo (sans juice) on the side.
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Alberto Nani Organic Prosecco
ABV: 11% | Tasting notes: Spiced apple, Tropical fruit, Toast
Affordable wine certainly needn’t sacrifice taste or quality, and when it comes to budget-friendly Prosecco, Alberto Nani’s offering checks all of our boxes. Beyond simple organic farming, Nani focuses on biodiversity, sustainability, and preserving the land for future generations. His affordable bottle of bubbles bursts with flavors of spiced apple, tropical fruit, and a hint of toast. Serve at casual gatherings, work happy hours, and graduations of relatives you don't know that well.
Best for Weeknight Bubbles
Sommariva Prosecco Superiore Brut
ABV: 11.5% | Tasting notes: Granny Smith apples, Lychee, and Toast
Gone are the days when bubbles were designated for celebrations only. Enjoying delicious sparkling wine on any night of the week should be normalized, and Sommariva’s brut prosecco is a great start. Notes of Granny Smith apples, lychee, and toast ooze from the wine’s textured and tasty palate. This bottle’s certain to give your favorite Champagne a run for its money.
"Prosecco’s fresh and light taste, along with its affordability, make it the perfect choice for weeknights,” says Zanette. “Drinking prosecco regularly also allows you to experience the culture from the land where it comes from.”
Best for Happy Hour
Valdo Cuvee 1926 Prosecco Superiore
ABV: 11.5% | Tasting notes: Grapefruit, Lemon, Tangerine
Valdo is one of Valdobbiadene’s most iconic Prosecco estates. Founded in almost a century ago, it is one of the oldest wineries within the region, and continues today to remain a benchmark for high-quality Italian bubbles. This special cuvée pays homage to the year that the estate was created. In the glass, this golden-hued wine shows aromas of ripe stone fruit and banana, leading to a palate laden with flavors of grapefruit, lemon, and tangerine. Pair with a variety of foods, from sushi to risotto and beyond.
Best for Parties
Botter Per Ora Prosecco
ABV: 11% | Tasting notes: Green apple skin, Canned pears, Stone fruit
When popping bottles at a party, finding a crowd-pleasing wine at a great price is key—enter Botter Per Ora Prosecco. This tart and tasty sparkler is loaded with flavors of green apple skin, canned pears, and stone fruit. The wine’s food-friendly nature and creamy mouthfeel make it a perfect pairing with a variety of appetizers, though we particularly love it with sushi, caprese skewers, and creamy cheeses.
"Prosecco’s versatility makes it easy to pair with any type of cuisine," says Zanette. "Who wouldn’t want to go to a party with a bottle of prosecco to pop to get the fun started?" (For the record, we agree.)
Best for Aperol Spritz
Zonin Prosecco Cuvée
ABV: 11% | Tasting notes: Fresh melon, Pear skin, Citrus rind
This super easy-to-find prosecco is loaded with flavors of fresh melon, pear skin and citrus rind—and after testing numerous options, we find that these notes pair best with the sweet-yet-bitter notes found in Aperol. Best of all, the wine’s approachable price tag—and availability in various sizes—makes it ideal for mixing into cocktails when not sipping solo.
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Best for Gifting
Bisol Cartizze Prosecco Superiore
ABV: 13% | Tasting notes: Sliced pears, White peach, Pastry dough
The word to remember when seeking out a bottle of Prosecco that goes above and beyond? Cartizze. This unique designation denotes the highest-quality wines coming out of the region, as fruit is sourced from the region’s best vineyard sites. Bisol’s expression shows a beautiful straw yellow hue in the glass, opening up to aromas of white flowers, tree fruits, and peaches. On the palate, flavors of sliced pears, white peach, and a touch of sweet pastry dough lead to a rich and palate-coating finish.
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For an affordable options that doesn’t sacrifice quality, Fascino (view on Instacart) is the way to go. When mixing into spritzes and brunch cocktails, look to budget-friendly, quality-focused brands such as Tiamo (view on World Market). If splurging for a gift (or yourself!), grab a bottle from Cartizze, the most respected designation within the Prosecco DOCG. Bisol’s option is superlative (view on wine.com), but should your budget call for a less pricey option, the estate also has an excellent line of entry-level cuvées.
What to Look For
When seeking out the ideal bottle of Prosecco, consider looking to smaller producers rather than larger names. While big brands may be easier to find, the quality of the wine is likely going to suffer as compared to those from family-focused estates—and, as often as not, the smaller guys’ wines will cost you the same (if not less).
How is Prosecco different from other sparkling wines?
Prosecco is produced almost entirely from the glera grape (with only 15% of other varieties permitted) and must come from within nine specific provinces in the Veneto and Friuli Venezia Giulia regions of Italy. As distinct from the centuries-old vinification style of bottle fermentation, which is employed in traditional method wines like Champagne and Cava, the majority of Prosecco is made using the Charmat method—which utilizes pressurized tanks for the second fermentation (in which carbon dioxide is produced, resulting in natural bubbles once the bottle is popped).
How long does Prosecco last once opened?
When sealed with a proper sparkling wine closure, Prosecco will usually last up to two or three days in the refrigerator, though some bottles’ lifespan will be slightly shorter or longer.
How do you store Prosecco?
Like all wines, Prosecco is best stored under cellar conditions (55 degrees in a dark and optimally humid environment) prior to consumption. As with other sparkling wines, Prosecco is best enjoyed chilled.
What is the best temperature to serve Prosecco?
Sparkling wines, Prosecco included, are best enjoyed at about 42 to 48 degrees fahrenheit.
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Vicki Denig is a wine, spirits, and travel journalist who splits her time between New York and Paris. Her work regularly appears in major industry publications. She is the content creator and social media manager for a list of prestigious clients, including Sopexa, Paris Wine Company, Becky Wasserman, Volcanic Selections, Le Du’s Wines, Windmill Wine & Spirits and Corkbuzz. She is a Certified Specialist of Wine.
This piece was edited by Jesse Porter, who still loves Prosecco despite the months of consternation he experienced in 2009 trying to remember the grape's new name after it was changed from "prosecco" to "glera."