Ever find yourself in the wine aisle staring at a bottle of wine, perplexed by the term frizzante? Confused, you whip out your phone, wondering why a bottle of sparkling wine is labeled frizzante.
If you’re wondering what frizzante is and what it means, look no further because it’s frizzante time.
What Does Frizzante Mean?
In short, frizzante refers to wines with bars of pressure between 1 and 2.54 when they have a temperature of 20˚C. By law, frizzante wine is classified as semi-sparkling. They are also taxed as still wines.
How Is Frizzante Made?
Frizzante can be made in one of two ways. Both methods affect the level of fizz sparkling wines have.
For example, the method used to produce the wine as well as how much sugar is added during the second fermentation affects the quantity of sugar that converts yeast into alcohol. This process causes carbon dioxide to be released. The carbon dioxide is entrapped within the wine, creating those fizzy bubbles we all love.
In contrast, another way to make frizzante is through carbonation. To carbonate wine, producers control the levels of gas that dissolve in the wine. The bubbles may span from partial fermentation or refermentation in a bottle.
Nevertheless, the majority of frizzante wines are produced via a second fermentation or the Charmat technique in a tank. In addition to this, the second fermentation is also used for most prosecco wines. However, halting fermentation before all of the sugar is converted into alcohol creates a less fuzzy, slightly sweeter wine.
In other words, instead of a second fermentation occurring, refermentation takes place. Refermentation is the end of the first fermentation.
Typically, the first fermentation is stopped by cooling the wine. This, in turn, traps carbon dioxide in the wine, creating a frizzante wine.
Is Frizzante Italian?
Yes, frizzante is Italian. It comes from the Italian frizzare. Frizzare translates to prick.
What’s the Difference Between Frizzante and Prosecco?
Prosecco and frizzante are often used interchangeably. However, they are not the same thing.
About 15% of prosecco is used to make sparkling wine. This is probably why people assume prosecco and frizzante are the same things.
Furthermore, the Italian phrase vino frizzante is equivalent to semi-sparkling wine. In contrast, the term secco is also used as a substitute for frizzante. However, this does not mean prosecco and secco are the same things. Moreover, the word “secco” also often appears in place of frizzante.
Prosecco is a protected term that refers to an Italian sparkling white wine. Secco is not protected and can be used in spite of where the wine is produced.
Frizzante also has a lower carbon dioxide profile than prosecco. If you were to taste a glass of prosecco and frizzante, you could clearly tell the difference. The decreased carbon dioxide gives the frizzante less fizz and bubbliness.
In contrast, most semi-sparkling wines contain external carbon dioxide that is introduced to the wine. However, the carbon dioxide found in sparkling wines naturally occurs via primary or secondary fermentation.
What’s The Difference Between Frizzante And Spumante?
Frizzante is often confused with spumantes, and yes, they are similar. However, true wine experts know the slight differences between these two wines.
As I mentioned above, semi-sparkling wines like frizzante receive fizz via secondary fermentation. In contrast, spumante wines or fully sparkling wines are produced using the traditional Méthode champenoise technique.
Essentially, this method allows a second fermentation to take place in the bottle to generate carbon dioxide. The result is the soft fizzy mouthfeel that champagne and sparkling wines have.
Moreover, frizzante wines have pressures between 1 and 2.5 bars. Some frizzante can even have pressure at 3.5 bars. In contrast, spumante has a pressure that is between 5 and 6 bars.
Prosecco is probably the most popular style of frizzante. However, prosecco wines can also be made into spumante wine.
What Does Frizzante Wine Taste Like?
Frizzante wines have a light yet fresh simplistic fruity flavor. They are not aged in a barrel and don’t go through the regular winemaking process. Hence the light flavor. In other words, frizzante wines are designed to highlight their naturally fruity tones.
Wine terminology is confusing, especially when there are so many different terms. The next time you walk into the wine aisle looking for something new to try, you don’t have to wonder what frizzante is or if it is a sparkling wine. You can pick up the frizzante wine bottle and try it.