Prosecco, FriSecco, Zerozecco: What's in a name? - WineUncorked: Wine Reviews and Tips

Aldi's new zero alcohol fizz Zerozecco and the Hungarian spumante FriSecco are not having to do battle with Italian Prosecco winemakers like Croatia's makers of Prošek. This sweet dessert wine is not in any way a sparkling wine, or could be confused for one, but Prosecco producers have now blocked their second application to the EU for Protected Designation of Origin (PDO) status and claim the right for Prošek wine to have similar brand name protection.

Italian winemakers will go to great lengths to protect the name of Prosecco and stop other wines calling themselves something similar. Prosecco has had PDO protection since 2009, so stopping other producers from using and registering names which could confuse consumers and prevent exploitation of “evocative power” of their brand, including translating them into other languages.

So far Prosecco has the upper hand but as both Prosecco and Prošek can claim a history that goes back as far as Roman times then it may not be long until the initial 2013 EU decision is overturned.

Zerozecco and FriSecco, however, can not claim a long history and both of these sparkling wines are boldly claiming the term 'secco' in their branding and are obviously nothing to do with the Italian Charmat method popular wine (England also has its own Charmat wines too, see Harlots and Princes).

FriSecco is a lightly fizzy (spumante) Hungarian wine made with the Irsai Olivér grape variety. With aromatic aromas and flavours similar to the other white grape types Viognier and Muscat, this cross bred variety between Pozsonyi and Pearl of Csaba, produces slightly lighter perfumed notes and has aromas of white roses. Available from the Welsh company Best of Hungary for £14.40, this online delicatessen has 74 other Hungarian wines in their extensive range - including the famous Hungarian dessert wine Tokaji and modern rosés.

Zerozecco is altogether different and isn't actually a wine at all - it's an alcohol-free carbonated flavoured drink based on de-alcoholised German wine that tastes remarkably like the Italian sparkling. Available at Aldi for only £2.49 a bottle (no alcohol means there's no alcohol-based VAT or duty to ramp up the price) it's a bargain - if you want a 0.0% alcohol drink that is. Basically sparkling grape juice but with a stylish label in a sparkling wine bottle, it tastes of lemon sherbet and fresh grapes. This could be mistaken for wine and is one of the few zero alcohol drinks that started out as fermented grapes and actually tastes nice.

Then there's Pri Secco, not a wine but sparkling fruit juices made in Germany that are blended with herbs and flowers then bottled and topped with that familiar flanged cork with a wire cage around it. No alcohol and organic these are availabe from Vintage Roots and Abel and Cole. So nothing for the Italians to worry about.

It appears there's plenty of opportunity to invent a sparkling drink with a brand name that ends in Secco - WineUncorkedSecco anyone?

Wineuncorked sparkling wine reviews

Aldi Zerozecco Sparkling wine 0.0% alcohol

£2.49 Aldi

four stars

 

It may be made with de-alcoholised wine with added carbon dioxide gas to give the sparkle, but this zero alcohol wine with the name that has nothing to do with Prosecco is a very pleasant fizz with flavours of lemon sherbet and grapes. Made from German wine, the process to remove the alcohol hasn’t dented the flavours too much, although grape must (freshly crushed grapes) and flavourings have been added back in, so it’s perhaps better to think of this as an alternative to other fizzy grape juice drinks rather than wine.

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Frittmann FriSecco Hungarian Sparkling wine

£14.40 Best of Hungary

three stars

 

This lightly sparkling wine is made with the Hungarian grape variety Irsai Oliver which results in a perfumed floral and fruity wine that tastes of roses and lime sherbet. It’s fragrance is quite powerful and so is perhaps not such a great comparison to the Italian sparkling wine whose name ends in ‘secco’, but the name choice does get the attention. Rather expensive at almost £15 a bottle but worth seeking out if you fancy a change.

 

Ca’Marina Prosecco

£12.99 Virgin Wines

three stars

 

This pale green lightly fizzy spumante Prosecco is floral and nutty with a honey on toast and crisp apple flavours. A nice Prosecco.

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Kylie Minogue Prosecco Rosé

£9 Morrisons, £12 Tesco

three stars

 

Another addition to the singer-actress branded wine range – the rosé Prosecco being added in April 2021. It has the familiar Kylie signature on the bottle label, pink foil capsule, cork and even on the pink metal tie holding down the cork in this pretty sparkling wine. Yes the theme is pink – which as the wine is a light 1960s Mod lipstick pink colour then that is a bonus. The bottle itself is a mastery of design with heart indents repeated all over. The wine inside is rather ordinary though and is at best described as subtle – the good level of fizz hides the light lemon sherbet and apple flavours. Looks good but tastes ordinary. One for the Kylie fans.

 

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About WineUncorked and its editor, Paula Goddard Read more