There's no shortage of sparkling pink wines, but none of them can be called Prosecco.
Two of the most buzzed about topics in wine recently have been rosé and Prosecco. Now, the two may be set to officially merge for the first time. Just imagine how crazy people will get if some winery decides to put that stuff in a can!
If your gut tells you you’ve had a pink Prosecco before, you’re not entirely wrong. According to The Drinks Business, sparkling Italian rosés made with grapes from the Prosecco area have existed in the past, but the wineries could not use the controlled designation of origin (DOC) “Prosecco” on the label because regulations only allowed for white wines to bear the name. However, for the 2018 harvest, the organization that governs the Prosecco DOC appears poised to allow a small proportion of red wine to be added to the mix for the first time, leading to an inevitable influx of Prosecco rosé—or “rosato”—to go with the existing “spumante” (sparkling), “fizzante” (semi-sparkling), and “tranquillo” (still) designations.
“There is a good chance with the 2018 harvest that pink Prosecco will be allowed, using red grapes from the same specific area [as the Prosecco DOC],” Francesco Zonin, vice president of one of Italy’s largest Prosecco producers, Zonin1821, told The Drinks Business in a recent interview. The site also points out that, earlier this year, Prosecco DOC Consortium President Stefano Zanette stated that he believes “now is an appropriate time to propose that Prosecco Rosé be officially introduced into Prosecco DOC regulations.” However, in a statement to Food & Wine, the Prosecco DOC Consortium clarified that the blended rosé Prosecco wouldn't be possible until the 2019 harvest. "If everything follows the indication of the Consortium’s Board of Management, it will be possible to produce the Prosecco DOC Rosé starting from the grapes of harvest 2019, not before.”
Zanette also admitted that any new regulations wouldn’t throw the floodgates wide open to all sorts of new Prosecco offerings. Instead, only a small proportion of red wine—likely Pinot Noir grapes, which are currently already allowed when used in their white incarnation—would be permitted, and the resulting rosatos would still have to be produced using the standard Prosecco method. Additionally, it’s possible only the more sparkling spumante variety would be able to get the pink treatment.
Still, with wine drinkers still embracing both pink and sparkling wines, Prosecco would likely see plenty of excitement should these wines jump on the bandwagon, regardless of what the specific rules may be. The only rule plenty of people care about is can we drink it?