Two glasses of prosecco wine with cork in background

What is Prosecco: The Prosecco Wine Guide

Bottle of Tempus Two Prosecco and a woman holding a glass of Tempus Two prosecco

Prosecco Wine Guide

Prosecco is like your favourite ‘casual’ friend. You know the one. That person you don’t see every day but that you look forward to hanging out with because they are bright, bubbly, fun, laid-back, and effortless to be around. Someone you’re guaranteed to have a great time with.

Prosecco truly hits the mark on all these sociable qualities. It’s an easy-to-drink Italian sparkling white wine meant to be enjoyed at lively social events while the wine is fresh and young. It’s perfect to pop on any occasion — whether it be a casual catch-up or a significant milestone celebration. And it’s versatile enough to drink as an aperitif, it can be matched with any meal (including breakfast!), or it can be used in a cocktail like a delicious Peach Bellini.

Prosecco comes in different styles and tastes, so we’ve come up with this handy guide to help you choose the perfect bottle for your next friendly gathering.

What is Prosecco?

Prosecco is a sparkling white wine named after a small village near Trieste in Northern Italy, where it was first invented.

To be classified as Prosecco, the wine must contain at least 85% glera grapes. And to give the wine its sparkly finish, it undergoes a secondary fermentation process, where the yeast is added to pressurised tanks before being bottled.

Prosecco is known for its zingy fruity flavours, subtle floral notes, and good acidity that is accentuated by the bubbles. It typically offers a lighter drinking experience than other sparkling white wines like Champagne.

Italian Prosecco has two major classifications:
  • DOC (Denominazione di Origine Controllata) — Applies to Prosecco produced in the Veneto and Friuli Venezia Giulia regions of Italy (including Trieste, Prosecco’s birthplace).
  • DOCG (Denominazione di Origine Controllata e Garantita) — Applies to Prosecco produced in a smaller region within Veneto and Fruili. Known locally as ‘Prosecco Superiore DOCG’, the classification standards are higher than DOC, so the quality is considered superior.


Australian Prosecco

Prosecco’s popularity outside of Italy has skyrocketed over the past two decades, and many international wineries have jumped on board to create their own versions.

In Australia, glera grapes were first grown in the late 1990s, and we are now the third-largest producer of Prosecco in the world, behind Italy and Brazil.

Eleven Australian wine regions currently produce Prosecco. The King Valley in northern Victoria, however, is where it was first made, and it is still considered the heart of Australian Prosecco, driven by the strong Italian heritage and influence of many of the local wineries there.


Is Prosecco the same as sparkling wine?

The short answer is: all Prosecco is sparkling wine, but not all sparkling wine is Prosecco.

Sparkling wine is the general term used to describe carbonated (bubbly) wines. It can be made from white or red grapes or a blend (rosé).

The difference between types of sparkling wines comes down to where it was produced, the kind of grapes used, and the fermentation method.

For example, Prosecco is a type of sparkling wine originally from Italy that is made using at least 85% glera grapes. It undergoes secondary fermentation (Charmat method), where the wine is carbonated in tanks before bottling.

On the other hand, Champagne is a type of sparkling wine made exclusively in the Champagne region in France, using a blend of Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier grapes. Champagne uses ‘méthode traditionelle’ (traditional method) in its production, which means the bubbles are added to each individual bottle. The additional work involved in using this method, along with the importation costs, helps explain Champagne's higher price tag.

While Europe may be renowned for its long history of making sparkling wine, the good news is that you can enjoy great-tasting, locally-made expressions right here in Australia. Whether it's Prosecco, a classic Chardonnay-based ‘Blanc de Blanc’ sparkling wine modelled after Champagne, or a pretty in pink sparkling rosé, Tempus Two has wonderful Australian-made sparkling wine options for you to try.


Is Prosecco dry or sweet?

Prosecco comes in different levels of sweetness, which can be a little confusing given that ‘dry’ is actually used to describe the sweetest style of Prosecco. Go figure!

Look out for the following descriptions on the label to determine whether it is the right style for you.

  • Brut: dry, up to 12 grams of sugar per litre (the most popular style)
  • Extra Dry: medium sweet, between 12-17 grams of sugar per litre
  • Dry: sweet, between 17-32 grams of sugar per litre


We recommend you try Tempus Two Varietal Prosecco. Made in the true Italian brut Prosecco style, this delicious bottle of bubbly is dry, zesty and fresh.

And if you are looking for a lower-calorie alternative, why not try Tempus Two Lighten Up Prosecco? It’s our modern take on a traditional style of Prosecco that is lower in alcohol and calories while still bursting with flavour.


How to drink and serve Prosecco?

Prosecco should be served chilled between 6-8 degrees celsius, so pop your bottle in the fridge for at least a couple of hours before serving.

Unlike Champagne, which is typically served in a flute, the traditional Italian way of serving Prosecco is in a large wine glass or a tulip glass. A larger glass allows the aromas of the Prosecco to breathe so that you can truly enjoy its fragrant fruity and floral notes.

Prosecco is the ultimate choice for brunch, baby or bridal showers, toasting special milestones, an aperitivo alongside an antipasto grazing board, or as the perfect partner for pizza and movie night.

Once you’ve popped open your bottle of Prosecco, it should be stored in the fridge with a Champagne stopper to preserve the bubbles. You should consume Prosecco within 24 hours of opening. Any longer than this, the bubbles will go flat, and the flavours of the Prosecco will be altered.


What food pairs well with Prosecco?

While Prosecco is most often enjoyed as an aperitivo, its versatility lends itself to any time of day or social occasion.

Here are some of our favourite Prosecco food pairings:

  • Breakfast/brunch: bacon and eggs, pancakes, smoked salmon bagels, fresh fruit
  • Aperitivo: mild cheeses, cured meat, olives and crackers
  • Italian food: pizza, seafood pasta, mushroom risotto
  • Seafood: grilled white fish and salad, cold seafood platter, fish and chips, sushi
  • Salads: Caprese, caesar, grilled chicken, or spinach and goat's cheese
  • Spicy food: especially fragrant and herby Vietnamese and Thai dishes
  • Dessert: cheesecake, lemon tart, crème brûlée
Bottle of Tempus Two Copper Prosecco next to two glasses of prosecco with strawberries

Discover Tempus Two Prosecco

Tempus Two Copper Prosecco

Made in true Prosecco style, Tempus Two Copper Prosecco is a brut sparkling wine that displays lifted lemon and green aromas complemented by an elegant palate featuring a fine, creamy mouthfeel and zesty, persistent finish.


Tempus Two Varietal Prosecco

Tempus Two Varietal Prosecco is bright and fresh with lifted citrus and green apple delivering vibrant fruit flavours with a zesty luscious finish.


Tempus Two Lighten Up Prosecco

The delicate bubbles of Tempus Two Lighten Up Prosecco mingle with notes of citrus and pear for a lasting, crisp finish. It’s lower in alcohol and calories while still bursting with flavour — the perfect way to moderate your drinking.


Tempus Two Zero Prosecco

Tempus Two Zero Prosecco may be zero alcohol, but it still has the same fresh citrus and pear aromas and bright, zesty palate you will find in full alcohol Prosecco.