Glera: The Unfamiliar Name for a Favourite Wine...it's Prosecco!
Odds are you've never heard of Glera, but you've almost certainly drunk your fair share of it. Glera is none other than the Prosecco grape. In fact, the green-skinned variety was known as 'Prosecco' until a group of Italian producers put a halt to that in 2009 by protecting the name legally à la Champagne. Here's a funny thing and a cause for a bit of confusion: in Australia, we can still legally call Glera by the name Prosecco in spite of the EU ruling. An appeal to register Prosecco as a protected name denoting Friulian origin was denied by the Aussie powers that be. However, in the EU only Glera wines made in the officially delimited areas in Friuli, Italy can carry Prosecco on their label.
Prosecco as we know it is a favourite at brunch, bachelorette parties, and as a sparkling substitute in Champagne cocktails – Mimosas anyone? It's fruity, fabulous and oh-so-easy to drink. Being fairly light in alcohol is just one of the reasons it's a staple of weekend warriors the world over. It has grown to such popularity that in spite of producers' rush to make Prosecco and get out on the market, there has been a temporary on-going shortage!
Prosecco by any other name...
...Would taste just as delicious. Glera or Prosecco, whatever you want to call it, tastes like ripe peaches, a mix of mandarin/lemon and heady white flowers. In north-east Italy, its main region is Friuli near Venice, where it makes up the commonly seen wines of Prosecco Conegliano Valdobbiadene Superiore DOCG (the highest quality level) and Prosecco DOC (the second highest, main, and still very good quality level).
Outside Italy, Glera is found in Slovenia; in fact, research suggests Slovenian origins, and right here in Australia. King Valley is becoming the hot spot and it's made into sparklings in Western Australia as well. A quick look at the label should tell you where your bottle was made. Here and there, Glera is made as a still wine, but these are in the minority.
Brunch, Lunch or Dinner, Prosecco's a Winner
Tasty and incredibly affordable, Prosecco can be dry or off-dry – another fact that makes it a brilliant entry level wine for those looking to get into sparkling, because everyone loves a little sweet. Hosting a big bash? Prosecco is a delicious, cost-effective purchase to ensure the wine flows at your next party. It's a great mid-week pick me up, because as we all know, a bit of fizz adds a nice sparkle to brighten the day. Usually around 10-11% alcohol, you can let loose a little bit without fear of a morning-after Champagne headache.
Naturally, its status as a weekend wine will remain unshakeable, but really it's fantastic whenever; it can take you from appetiser through to dessert. How many wines can say that? Surely that's why it's now one of the world's favourite bubblies. The numbers don't lie, in the past few years, Prosecco has overtaken Champagne in sales for the first time ever. Yes, Prosecco is more than just a Champagne substitute; it's a fantastic wine in its own right that deserves all the love it gets.