Why Costco's Kirkland Brand Prosecco Is A Big Deal

When it comes to big box stores, Costco has a real knack for stocking some hidden gems on its vast shelves. At Chowhound, you may have already read how Costco's extra virgin olive oil is a big deal and how its Parmigiano Reggiano cheese is a certified steal. You'll be pleased to know, then, that this trend of stocking high-quality imported products for very reasonable prices continues with Costco's Kirkland Signature brand prosecco.

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If you take a look at a bottle of Costco prosecco, you'll find that it ticks all of the boxes when it comes to purchasing a top quality, authentic prosecco. Not only this, but the taste and the price point are also factors that work in this prosecco's favor. Described as being wildly effervescent with only the slightest touch of sweetness as well as containing subtle notes of fruit, this prosecco has been received quite well by those who have given it a try. So when you throw in the fact that this wine sits at around the $7 price point, it's hard to find any reason not to pick up a bottle next time you peruse the aisles of a Costco warehouse.

What makes this prosecco the real deal?

To the uninitiated, prosecco might seem like a term that can be interchangeable with sparkling wine. However, that's definitely not the case. Like many other types of alcoholic beverages out there, there are certain rules and factors that go into making a true prosecco distinct from other kinds of bubbly wine.

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First of all, prosecco must be made with at least 85% glera grapes in its blend, although the remaining 15% leaves a little leeway for different wine producers to add a little bit of their own flair to the fold. It's also typically made in one of only a few different appellation regions in Italy — but you ought to be careful and always read the label, since some non-Italian brands still use the word "prosecco." This is related to Italy's controlled wine designation, which you may be familiar with if you've seen DOCG or DOC on Italian wine labels.

Costco's prosecco falls into the former of these two terms. DOCG ("Denominazione di Origine Controllata e Garantita") essentially means that the wine comes from a controlled and designated wine maker, but it also has a guaranteed taste as it was tested and approved by a panel prior to its distribution. Costco prosecco also boasts the term "superiore," meaning it has a touch more alcohol (0.5% to be exact) than it otherwise would have. So Costco really pulled out all the stops for this offering.

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Prosecco is a truly unique wine

Aside from its focus on using glera grapes and its official designation within the wineries of Italy, prosecco still manages to stand out as a type of wine independent from other sparkling wines. One of the more common comparisons you'll see with a simple search is to Champagne, and while Costco also stocks an authentic Champagne, the two are only comparable insofar as they're both sparkling wines made in Europe. They use different grape varietals and gain their bubbles in dramatically different ways.

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One of the more unique traits of prosecco is in how it gains its characteristic effervescence. Prosecco, like any traditional sparkling wine, goes through a second fermentation process, during which it gains its carbonation. While Champagne endures its fermentation process by adding sugar and yeast inside the bottle (which is then sealed), prosecco is fermented in a large tank and then transferred to the bottles. This option doesn't rely on aging a bottle of wine and keeps the taste of the wine fresh and quite bright. It also doesn't hurt that this method is relatively cheaper than the bottle-aging process, so it's a win-win when it comes to this bottle of bubbly.

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