Frizzante Prosecco

Villa Domiziano Prosecco Corda

Frizzante ProseccoAt Fareham Wine Cellar we sell Villa Domiziano Prosecco Corda a frizzante Prosecco sealed with a normal cork and secured a bit of string. I quite often get asked questions by customers wanting to know what frizzante Prosecco is and what spago means.

Put simply a frizzante Prosecco is semi-sparkling wine – the wine is bottled at a lower pressure than fully sparkling wines. Therefore, traditionally, the bottle would be sealed with a normal cork, secured with a bit of string – the Corda or Spago (these both mean string in Italian). Fully sparkling Prosecco wines are normally secured with a mushroom type Champagne cork held in place with a wire retainer. Frizzante is most commonly sealed either under screwcap (Stelvin closure) or crown cap whilst some producers, like Villa Domiziano still use cork and spago.

A lot of people ask how to open a string tied Prosecco. The best way to open a Spago Prosecco is to simply cut the string, or push it to one side, and open with a good waiter’s friend type corkscrew (try to avoid other corkscrews with a narrow screw).

What is Frizzante Prosecco?

There are three basic types of Prosecco

  1. Spumante – Sparkling, the most common and probably what everyone knows as Prosecco
  2. Frizzante Prosecco – Semi-Sparkling, not quite as common – also known as gentile, pétillant or perlant in French
  3. Tranquillo (or Calmo) – Still, quite a rare style, accounting for only 5% of Prosecco production. I have never seen any for sale in the UK and it is rarely exported outside of Italy.

Most Prosecco is made using the Charmat method. This means that, unlike Champagne or Methode Traditionelle sparkling wines, the wine undergoes secondary fermentation in tank rather than in the bottle. This is a much cheaper method of sparkling wine production. Prosecco Spumante, the fully sparkling version, is made with with secondary fermentation in the bottle and is thus usually the most expensive wine.

The duty on wine in the UK is higher for sparkling wine than still wines. In the UK a wine is considered sparkling if it is bottled with an internal pressure of carbon dioxide (CO2) of over 3 bars measured at 20C at sea level. A wine is said to be Frizzante or semi-sparkling if it has a pressure of between 1 and 2.5 bars.

Interestingly, even if your have a frizzante Prosecco / semi-sparkling wine and it is closed with a mushroom-shaped, Champagne-type cork, or if it is secured a spago / corda (string), or wire closure, the wine is still liable for sparkling duty.

Frizzante ProseccoThe duty on still wine is £2.05 per 75cl bottle and sparkling wine is £2.63 per 75cl bottle (correct at time of writing 22/01/15).
From www.gov.uk,

Wine or made-wine is chargeable at the sparkling rate

a) if the pressure in the container measured at 20)C is not
less than 3 bars in excess of atmospheric pressure

or

b) if the container has a mushroom stopper held in place
by a tie or fastening – regardless of the pressure

“Mushroom stopper” means a mushroom shaped stopper made of cork, artificial or plastic material (solid or hollow).
The Villa Domiziano Prosecco Corda is a frizzante Prosecco and is closed with a standard, i.e. not mushroom, cork so it attracts still wine duty.

Villa Domiziano Prosecco Corda Colla Trevigiani  is vinified from 100% Prosecco grapes (also known as Glera) harvested from selected hillside vineyards in the Veneto region. It undergoes soft pressing and fermentation at controlled temperature. Villa Domiziano Prosecco has a straw yellow colour with fine perlage. The bouquet is intense with notes of citrus and apples. It is a fresh, light and refreshing wine.

There is a lot more information about Prosecco at the Consorzio di Tutela Della Denominazione Di Origine Controllata Prosecco (the regulatory body for Prosecco) website.

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