You might have your perfect Valentine’s Day gift purchased and wrapped, cocktails ready to be mixed and dinner all planned out (word of advice: just add caviar), but to really amp up the romance, you’re going to need some bubbles. This year, consider Prosecco. It’s elegant, pairs beautifully with favorite Valentine’s Day dishes and can match a wide array of price points and taste preferences.
“Prosecco is an ever-evolving category of wine within the Italian sparkling wine world,” says Writer-at-Large Jeff Porter, Wine Enthusiast’s resident Italian wine reviewer. “It has truly become the world’s sparkling wine, from fresh, fruity and easy to complex and mineral-driven wines.”
This versatility is just one reason why sales have been skyrocketing. In 2022, 638.5 million bottles of Prosecco were sold according to the Prosecco DOC, adding up to a total value of more than 3 billion euros. The holiday of love is a huge driver—for good reason, says Porter: “As we near Valentine’s Day, Prosecco offers an array of styles to impress those closest to you and provides a Quality Price Ratio (QPR) that is hard to beat in the world of sparkling wine.”
So, whether you plan to have yourself a solo glass, pair it with a romantic dinner for two or create a cocktail for a girl’s night in (like this Venice-style Prosecco spritz or a classic mimosa) there’s a bottle of Prosecco to enhance your Valentine’s Day.
What Is Prosecco?
Any wine labeled with the DOC Prosecco is a sparkling wine that comes from the Veneto region in the northeast of Italy. It is produced from a base wine made with a grape variety called Glera. This base wine is usually—but not always—fermented in a tank (through a process called the Charmat method) to create a sparkling wine that can be brut, dry or off-dry. A bottle typically has apple, lemon, stone fruit and melon flavors, but some styles of Prosecco offer other notes. Good examples include bottle-fermented Col Fondo wines, which have recently captured Porter’s attention, he says, “as the wines present an intense savory quality that makes the wine not only good for apero but for the main course as well.”
For more information, check out our guide to everything to know about Prosecco.
The Best Prosecco Bottles for Valentine’s Day
Our Wine Enthusiast Tasting Department breaks down some of our current favorites to pop this Valentine’s Day that match whatever kind of evening you have ahead of you.
Best Col Fondo: UDO Cajvo Col Fondo Brut Nature
91 Points Wine Enthusiast
Ripe apple and yellow flowers, accompanied by a touch of hazelnut and river stones, define the nose of this sparkler. It exhibits liveliness and energy on the palate that brings forward the herbal and mineral notes leading to flavors of lemon oil and apple skin. — Jeff Porter$ Varies Vivino
Best Prosecco to Pair with Steak: Le Colture 2022 Rosé Brut Sparkling (Prosecco Treviso)
89 Points Wine Enthusiast
It is as though a fresh bouquet of wildflowers is in the glass, along with aromas of peach and citrus that waft by. The palate is refined and pretty with a creamy texture and vibrant bubbles, finishing with crisp acidity. — J. P.$ Varies Wine Searcher
Best Dry: Ruggeri & C. NV Brut
92 Points Wine Enthusiast
Focused aromas of Granny Smith Apples, lemon zest, broom and chalk lead the way on this very pretty wine. The palate is crisp, with a cutting acidity that makes you beg for another glass. The hill of Cartizze comes through in spades with a present minerality and an elegant finish. — J. P.$ Varies Wine-Searcher
Best Crowd-Pleasing Prosecco: BiancaVigna NV Brut
90 Points Wine Enthusiast
This charming sparkler has lovely aromas of hawthorn and orchard fruit. On the gently sparkling palate, fresh acidity accompanies ripe green apple, white peach and just a hint of fennel. — K. O.$ 16 Wine Express
Best Prosecco to Pair with Seafood: Masottina NV Contradagranda Extra Dry
91 Points Wine Enthusiast
Exotic aromas of white flowers waft from the glass with hints of lemon and orange. The palate is balanced between fresh green apple and a crushed stone minerality that makes the wine very exciting. — J. P.$ Varies Wine Searcher
Best Budget Prosecco: Domini del Leone NV Frizzante Col Fondo Organic
91 Points Wine Enthusiast
Fresh and lively out of the gate, this Col Fondo blends notes of Fuji apples, Bosc pears, alpine herbs and wet stone. The crisp palate pops with fresh acidity and notes of lemon zest and green apple are balanced by more savory and mineral-driven elements on the finish. Best Buy — J. P.$ Varies Primitive Selections
Best Prosecco to Drink Straight: Le Vigne di Alice 2022 Doro Nature Millesimato Brut
93 Points Wine Enthusiast
Aromas of an apple orchard in full bloom drive the nose of this fruit-forward yet bone-dry wine. Crunchy acidity and notes of green apple, river stone and laser-like focus make this a stunner of a wine. Editor’s Choice — J. P.$ Varies Wine Searcher
Best Rosé Prosecco: Ruggeri & C. 2022 Brut Rosé
88 Points Wine Enthusiast
Light and easy, this rosé Prosecco pops out of the glass with a mix of ripe red berries, red apples and fresh flowers. The strawberry-driven palate is generous with a touch of strawberry leaf on the bright and refreshing finish. Best Buy — J. P.$ Varies Alko
Best Prosecco for a Cocktail: Da Luca 2021 Rosé Brut Sparkling
88 Points Wine Enthusiast
This light pale pink sparkler pops with fresh strawberry and red apple aromas. Light and fresh on the palate, the wine is defined by the fruitiness and has a crisp and refreshing finish. Best Buy — J. P.$16 Calabash Art, Curios & Wine
How Do You Choose a Good Prosecco?
Just like any other bottle of wine, choosing a “good” bottle of Prosecco is based on your taste preferences, price point and purpose of buying. “Buy your Prosecco according to how you enjoy your still wines,” explains Wine Enthusiast Tasting Director Anna-Christina Cabrales. “If you enjoy a drier style, look for ‘brut’ on the label. For a sweeter option, pick up bottles that have ‘dry’ or ‘demi-sec.’”
How Much Does a Decent Bottle of Prosecco Cost?
Prices vary, but Cabrales says you can get a pretty decent bottle for around $15.
Is Prosecco Best Served Chilled?
Sparkling wines are most often served chilled, between 41 and 45°F. Then, pour it into a wine flute or white wine glass to help preserve the bubbles, Cabrales says.
How Is Prosecco Different from Other Sparkling Wines?
Prosecco is made in a specific DOC region and is often fermented in a tank (which is different from other sparkling wine methods). It comes from a base wine made from Glera grapes. Other varieties of sparkling wines like Moscato, Champagne or Cava come from different regions, use different base wines and may have different techniques for fermenting. If you’re looking for other options to try, we recommend these Italian sparkling wines.
What Is the Best Prosecco for a Mimosa or Aperol Spritz?
You’ll want to look for an option with some residual sugar, suggests Cabrales. She recommends picking up a bottle of extra-dry or dry Prosecco for a perfect pairing.
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All products featured here are independently selected by our team, which is comprised of experienced writers and wine tasters and overseen by editorial professionals at Wine Enthusiast headquarters. All ratings and reviews are performed blind in a controlled setting and reflect the parameters of our 100-point scale. Wine Enthusiast does not accept payment to conduct any product review, though we may earn a commission on purchases made through links on this site. Prices were accurate at the time of publication.
Published: January 31, 2024