Soft and sweet, fruity and fun, Prosecco really knows how to get a party started like no other fizzy wine.
It can be a bit tricky to tell whether a Prosecco is sweet or dry, which is why labelling terms have become so important.
How do labels and sweetness levels affect our favourite celebratory aperitif, Prosecco? Is Prosecco a sweet or a dry wine?
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Is Prosecco a Dry or Sweet Wine?
Depending on the style, Prosecco can either be dry or sweet, which is why it’s such a versatile fizz.
Frivolous and effervescent, Prosecco often gets a reputation for being a sweet wine, although that’s not always the case.
Prosecco actually comes in a whole range of sweetness levels from dry to off-dry to plain old sweet.
So how does Prosecco get to come in so many styles?
What makes Prosecco sweet?
Why Is Prosecco Sweet?
Prosecco wine is made from Glera grapes, and is Italian in origin.
Prosecco can become a sweet wine because the Glera grape has the potential for having a very high sugar content.
You see, the higher a grape’s sugar content the more likely it is that there will be some residual sugar leftover once the yeast has finished fermentation.
So a grape with high sugar levels tends to make a wine with good levels of sweetness, too.
It’s that simple.
So if Prosecco can come in a whole range of sweetness levels how does this affect it’s taste?
What are Prosecco’s tasting notes?
What Does Prosecco Taste Like?
Prosecco may be the life and soul of every party, but what exactly does Prosecco taste like?
Typical tasting notes of Prosecco include:
- Green pears
- Apple blossom
- and Lemon sherbets
Think large half moons of honeydew melon, taking a bite into a very good peach and the perfumed aromatics of fresh honeysuckle.
Prosecco is a wine as romantic as it is delicious.
The 6 Sweetness Levels of Prosecco
Here’s how to tell your bone-dry from your softly sweet when it comes to Prosecco.
- Brut Nature/Zero - Zero sugar in the name means exactly what you think, zero sugar to be found in the bottle, too. This labelling term is used for the driest styles of Prosecco.
- Extra Brut - The next level up, this style of Prosecco is still very dry with only the slightest hint of sweetness.
- Brut - Although further up the sweetness chart, this is still technically a dry style of Prosecco. Prosecco’s zingy lemon acidity will balance out any hint of sugar here.
- Extra Dry - Confusingly, when it comes to Prosecco Extra Dry actually means a little bit sweet! A little bit of residual sugar will be detectable in this style
- Dry/Demi Sec - Okay you’re really going to start to notice the sugar here. All those delicious fruit flavours will start to taste a little bit confected and sugared in this style of Prosecco.
- Sweet/Dolce - Last but certainly not least, this is your ultra sweet style of Prosecco for those of you with a sweet tooth. Perfect as an aperitif and even as a dessert wine, there will be lots of mouth watering residual sugar to detect here.
Read more about how to serve and store Prosecco in our full guide below:
But sweetness aside, what are the main characteristics of Prosecco?
Prosecco Wine Characteristics
There’s more to Prosecco than sweetness, so what characteristics does a Prosecco typically have?
- Alcohol Levels - When it comes to alcohol levels Prosecco tends to be no different than other sparkling wines like Champagne and Cava, with alcohol levels never crossing over the 12% ABV mark.
- Sweetness Level - As we’ve seen, Prosecco can come in a whole range of sweetness, from the very dry to the softly sweet.
- Acidity Level - Part of Prosecco’s charm is its zingy apple and lemon acidity. These crisp characteristics help to balance out any sweetness to be found.
- Tannin Level - Prosecco has no tannins, which helps to keep the style so light and fresh.
- Body - Prosecco wines have a very light body, which is fitting for such a fizzy and perfumed style of wine.
So is there just one type of sweet Prosecco? Or are there multiple types of sweet Prosecco to be found?
Sweet Types of Prosecco Wine
As with all things in wine and in life, there is more than meets the eye with Prosecco wine.
The joy of Prosecco is that it can come in a whole range of styles. There really is a Prosecco for everyone.
If you’re a sparkling wine fan with a bit of a sweet tough however you’d be best opting for the following styles of Prosecco.
- Extra Dry - Don’t be fooled by the name, there’s some beautiful sweetness to this style of Prosecco.
- Dry/Demi Sec - Semi sweet and all the more delicious for it.
- Sweet/Dolce - Lots of mouth watering residual sugar here that can even make this style of Prosecco a good dessert wine option.
Related Guides: How Many Calories Are In Prosecco?
So with all of these different styles of sweetness, how does Prosecco compare to Moscato?
Is Prosecco Sweeter Than Moscato?
No, for the most part, Moscato is sweeter than Prosecco.
You see, whilst there are sweeter styles of Prosecco, Moscato tends to have more naturally occurring residual sugars than Prosecco.
Always check the labels though, as some of the sweeter styles of Prosecco have enough residual sugar to give Moscato a run for its sugared money.
Why not open a bottle of Prosecco alongside a Moscato and see for yourself?
Who said learning about wine had to be all textbooks and geography?
Before You Go...
We hope this article answers any questions you may have on Is Moscato Sweet?
Make sure you take a look at how long Moscato lasts?
And find out all about how to store this sweet wine correctly.
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