The Secret to Selecting the Best Bubbly Year-Round

It's National Prosecco Day, and in continuation of our summer cocktail series, we're taking a moment to learn more about the sparkling wine.

Photo: BFA

The next time you pop open a bottle or order your preferred brunch cocktail (i.e. a Mimosa or Kir Royale), consider that there are many other tasty sparkling options to sub in for a classic French champagne. Enter Prosecco, one of Olivia's drinks of choice as it's a staple ingredient for Bellinis, Italian Spritz cocktails, and more. The origin of the white wine is Italy, but how can you order or purchase a truly great one? We tapped expert mixologist Cody Goldstein to share his sommelier knowledge as he recently created our "Dressed for Success" cocktail recipe using this special bubbly. Read on for his suggestions and pour yourself a glass.

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What do you think makes Prosecco so compelling?
I think Prosecco as an ingredient gives you the best of both worlds. It adds light and refreshing bubbles with subtle hints of sweetness while also contributing to the drink's overall alcohol volume. Additionally, it's best served cold, which helps keep a cocktail chilled over an extended period of time.

Do you have a favorite drink to make using it?
My favorite drink to make with Prosecco is the "Negroni Sbagliato," which means "messed up" or "mistaken" in Italian. This is like the cooler, edgier older sister of the Aperol Spritz. Aside from Prosecco, the drink calls for Campari, Sweet Vermouth, and a fresh slice of orange over ice. It's bitter, sweet, citrusy, and absolutely delicious on a hot summer day or by the water in Positano (when we can travel there!)

Prosecco vineyards, Veneto, Italy / Photo: Getty Images

What are important tips before selecting the best type?
First and foremost, always ask if they have a bottle refrigerated already. Prosecco should be served cold (38–45 °F / 3–7 °C), and the best glass to serve it in is a sparkling tulip glass or flute. Remember also that there are three distinct kinds. Spumante is the most well-known style and has persistent bubbles. It also has different sugar contents and varies from brut, extra-dry, dry, or demi-sec. Then there is Frizzante, which has light bubbles, and the Tranquillo type has no bubbles.

Try and look for wines labeled D.O.C.G. aka "Denominazione di Origine Controllata e Garantita" which is the highest designation for Italian winemaking. Another key tip for anyone looking to drink Prosecco is to make sure the wine is made in Italy and of the Giera grape variety. "Conegliano Valdobbiadene Prosecco" is the region in Italy where the best bottles are made.

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