Not So Sweet on You
Wine can be delicious and bubbles are fun, but informed choices have become a prerequisite before buying a bottle of wine these days. Wine connoisseurs are actively looking for increased information before they select bottles to purchase and share.
One of the main talking points has to do with levels of sweetness or ‘residual sugar’ in wine. In a health-conscious world, sugar is something to steer clear away from. While too much of anything is not recommended, in the world of wine, a bit of sugar is actually quite perfect.
The Conegliano Valdobbiandene appellation is located in the Veneto region of Northern Italy. It is a beautiful place filled with rolling hills covered with vineyards. Prosecco has been made in this area for approximately 300 years. Sparkling wines from Conegliano Valdobbiadene Prosecco Superiore DOCG are crafted with the Glera grape which displays subtle and fruity flavours of lemon and lime citrus, stone fruit as well as a hint of floral and a dusting of almond.
The popular sparkling category of Prosecco Superiore DOCG has varying levels of sweetness and the wines are available in Brut, Extra Dry and Dry options. However, it can get downright confusing when the sweetest of these three options is labelled ‘Dry’. So, let’s take a moment and break it down:
If you are searching for a dry style of Prosecco that is low in residual sugar (RS) with up to 12 grams per litre (12 g/L), select a bottle labelled ‘Brut’. If you want a bottle of Prosecco with more weight and seductive roundness, reach for a bottle labeled ‘Extra-Dry’ – this will contain anywhere between 12-17g/L RS. Finally, if you have a Prosecco with ‘Dry’ on the label, the RS will range from 17-32g/L – this wine will be unctuous and pair beautifully with Asian cuisine and baked apple desserts.
- Brut 0–12 g/L RS (residual sugar) – Up to a half gram of sugar per glass
- Extra Dry 12–17 g/L RS – Just over a half gram of sugar per glass
- Dry 17–32 g/L RS – Up to 1 gram of sugar per glass
They now also allow for:
“Sui Lieviti” (On the Lees/Yeasts), these sparkling wines have been refermented in the bottle. This style pays tribute to a traditional type of product for the zone and to the long history of making sparkling wines in the area.
“Extra Brut” (Residual sugar between 0-6g/L). This style is becoming more popular as it highlights the mineral elegance of the area’s top wines and appeals to those looking for a more gastronomic style of Prosecco Superiore DOCG.
The global move toward drier styles of wine is what motivated the Conegliano Valdobbiadene Prosecco Superiore DOCG to allow for some changes within their production regulations that were announced earlier this year. The 2019 vintage is first vintage where the new regulations will be in place.