Prosecco is one of Italy's most beloved sparkling wines. Made primarily from the Glera grape (formerly known as Prosecco), it is generally made in two styles, frizzante (lightly sparkling) or as a traditional sparkling wine.
Most versions of Prosecco are made according to the Charmat (or Martinotti) method; unlike the classic method of Champagne, where the secondary fermentation takes place in a bottle, fermentation for Prosecco occurs in a steel tank. This is done as Prosecco is a lighter-styled sparkling wine and winemakers want to preserve as much freshness as possible. (Recently, a few producers have produced Prosecco via the classic method, but this is the exception.)
The most famous examples of Prosecco are from the Conegliano-Valdobbiadene area of the Veneto region, but the wine is also produced in other parts of Veneto and even in the neighboring region of Friuli. As the name has not been protected, Prosecco is also used as the name for inexpensive sparking wines made in such countries as Brazil, Argentina, Romania and Australia.
As Prosecco is generally priced in the low to mid-teens and has a reputation as a fun, easy-drinking sparkler, it has enjoyed tremendous sales success in the US and many countries. Consume these upon release; while a few examples can age, there is no reason not to enjoy Prosecco as fresh as possible. Drink on its own or with lighter meals (seafood, white meats, risotto) or with fresh fruit.