Wine Wednesday Wordologie: “F” is for “Frizzante”


Frizzante ad

One of the reasons that I wanted to do Wine Wednesday Wordologie is because terminology in the wine industry can really get a little bit confusing sometimes. The more education you have, the better choices are that you can make about what you enjoy drinking. After all, this whole site is dedicated to enjoying life more especially when it comes to sipping the effervescent elixir of life and celebration, champagne. Just remember that I’m here for you; always silently judging you cheering you on in the background when you’re trying new bottles of bubbly to sip!

Okay, okay, I kid about the judging part. Maybe. In any case, on with today’s Wine Wednesday Wordologie!


Frizzante definition

“Frizzante” is a category of Italian wine that’s less effervescent and sparkling than champagne. The wines are low in alcohol content making them easy to drink. The most popular types of frizzante are Moscato d’Asti; Lambrusco; Prosecco {only some, not all}; and Vinho Verde {Portuguese frizzante}. These semi-sparkling wine’s small bubbles are considered to be only gently sparking which means fewer, slower bubbles in comparison to the vibrant, plentiful, and more robust streaming bubbles in champagne.


Unlike champagne, which undergoes a second fermentation in its individual bottle, frizzantes get their bubbles from a partial second fermentation that can either be the result of naturally occurring carbon dioxide or the result of a gas injection.

The natural carbon dioxide is always the result of the “Charmat Method.” Under this method the second fermentation takes place in large stainless steel tanks where it is then bottled under high pressure. This method allows for large scale production of sparkling wine at a lower cost than the traditional Method Champenoise associated with champagne. As for gas injection Frizzantes, you probably want to avoid these all together. Making a wine artificially bubbly with a method like a gas injection can really cheapen a wine, and most sparklers made in this way will typically be of low quality. A real life example of the idiom “You get what you pay for.”


Wondering how to pick the right bottle in terms of quality? Here’s a #BubbleistaApproved tip: when choosing a Frizzante Prosecco, a great way to tell if you are getting a good wine if to look for Prosecco di Conegliano-Valdobbiadene DOCG , or Prosecco DOC on the label. The DOCG and DOC designations are indicators of quality.

Ready to venture into frizzantes? A good bottle to start with is the Gia Frizzante by Gia Coppola. Yes, from that family of Coppolas. Gia is the granddaughter of Francis and, with daughter his Sofia having already making her mark in the industry, this “Godfather” of California wine {you see what I did there?} is clearly keeping the wine business all in the family. The Gia Frizzante was just released in the summer of 2014, so it’s a still relatively new to the market.

Gia Coppola Frizzante pic

The lightly effervescent Gia is “flower field” aromatic on the nose in a wonderful way. The nose also has notes of fruit {think pears and melon}. The palate is refreshing and full with notes of pineapple, pears, and citrus. With its tropical flavors, this semi-sparkler is perfect for sipping beach side.

Frizzantes can be a good entry point for those who are just embarking on learning how to drink sparkling wine; for those looking for something sweeter and lighter to drink; or for those who feel that champagne is too robust or complex for their palate {Don’t worry, you and I can still be friends. Maybe.}

Have you tried any Frizzantes before? I’d love to know what you think. Let me know you thoughts on my frizzante Instagram post, or in the comments below.