Last Updated on September 25, 2023 by Jo Fitzsimons
Interested in food and wine pairing? Love Prosecco? You’re in the right place. Because in this guide we’ll give you a simple introduction to food and wine pairing with a special focus on Prosecco pairing. At the end we’ve included a handy wine pairing chart which tells you what food goes well with Prosecco.
Many people enjoy drinking Prosecco on its own, whether out at a bar or as a pre-dinner aperitif, but it’s not always the first bottle reached for when it comes to accompanying food. However Prosecco is actually a fantastic pairing wine. Its crisp, refreshing flavours and delicate bubbles pair well with everything from sweet treats and salty snacks to a whole variety of appetizers, mains and desserts. Below you’ll find everything you need to know about pairing Prosecco with food, as well as the best Prosecco food pairings.
First step to food & wine pairing – understand Prosecco sweetness
First thing’s first, when deciding what to pair with Prosecco, it’s important to consider the sweetness of the wine.
Prosecco in general tends to be a little sweeter than other sparkling wines, such as Champagne or Cava, due to its light fruity notes. However, Prosecco can still vary in sweetness and can, in fact, also be very dry.
The Italian system for classifying wine sweetness can be very confusing to non-Italians, with dry Prosecco actually being the sweetest.
The different sweetness levels of Prosecco are:
- Brut zero – the driest/least sweet Prosecco you can get, rare to find outside Italy.
- Extra Brut – the driest/least sweet Prosecco that you can easily get hold of outside Italy.
- Brut – medium-dry.
- Dry – sweet.
- Extra Dry –very sweet.
Brut and extra brut Prosecco tend to pair better with savoury foods, while dry and extra dry Prosecco can be very sweet so generally work best when paired with sweet foods such as pastries, cakes and desserts.
In the below wine pairings, we’ll specify which type of Prosecco works best with each food or dish.
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Prosecco Food & Wine Pairing – General Rule
The beauty of Prosecco is that it’s an extremely versatile wine that can be paired with a huge array of different foods and dishes.
The general rule when pairing wine and food is that the flavours should either complement or contrast with each other. Therefore with its high acidity and natural sweetness, Prosecco pairs best with acidic, sweet, fatty and salty flavours.
Sticking with this rule, these are some of our favourite Prosecco food pairings.
Prosecco also makes a pretty good cocktail if you have any left over or are planning a party: 12 Easy Prosecco Cocktails To Make At Home
Prosecco Wine & Cheese Pairings
When it comes to wine and cheese pairings, you might be surprised to know that Prosecco and cheese is truly a match made in heaven. So put away those heavy reds and try serving something a little lighter.
It’s highly unlikely that you’ll ever attend a Prosecco tasting, especially in Italy’s Prosecco hills, without being offered a plateful of cheese to compliment the wine. It’s one of the best parts of the tasting in our opinion! But which cheeses pair best with Prosecco?
Prosecco is a delicate wine, with light citrus and floral notes, so doesn’t tend to pair well with the powerful flavours of very strong cheeses.
Brut Prosecco’s acidity helps it to cut through buttery, creamy cheeses. Try pairing a brut or extra-brut Prosecco with mild soft cheeses such as buffalo mozzarella, burrata, ricotta, gorgonzola or goat’s cheese.
Thanks to the relative sweetness of Prosecco, it also pairs well with rich earthy cheeses such as fontina, brie and camembert.
The delicate bubbles of Prosecco can help cut through the saltiness of some hard cheeses too, such as aged asiago, parmesan and pecorino romano.
You really can’t go too wrong when pairing Prosecco and cheese. In fact, lots of cheeses pair well with sparkling wines. Just be sure to avoid strong, pungent cheeses that will overpower the delicate flavour of the Prosecco.
You might also like: 14 Types of Italian Cheese Everyone Needs To Know
Did you know? In Italy, cheese is often served before your main meal as part of an antipasti platter (more on that below). If you want to mix things up or want to enjoy your cheese at the beginning rather than end of your meal, when you might be too stuffed to enjoy it, try serving a small amount as part of an antipasti platter, with Prosecco, of course.
Pair brut or extra brut Prosecco with cheese:
- buffalo mozzarella
- goat’s cheese
- pecorino romano
Prosecco pairing with antipasti & cured meats
Cured meats are another of the best-known Prosecco food pairings.
Especially when they come on an antipasti platter alongside cheeses (as above), breadsticks, olives, artichokes, stuffed mushrooms and nuts such as almonds or cashews. The ideal way to start a dinner party.
Some great cured meats to pair with Prosecco include prosciutto di parma, salami and capocollo. Salty and fatty meats work best. The acidity of Prosecco balances out the fattiness, while salty meats bring out the sweet and fruity notes of the Prosecco.
Pair brut or extra brut Prosecco with antipasti:
- prosciutto di parma
- stuffed mushrooms
- cashew nuts
Pizza and wine pairing
Two Italian favourites, pizza and Prosecco. What more could you want!?
Prosecco and pizza are an unexpected yet unbeatable (in our option) wine pairing, and a particular favourite in the Veneto region of Italy where the highest quality Prosecco is produced. There are several amazing pizzerias in the region to prove it.
So why is Prosecco such an excellent pizza wine pairing?
The crisp acidity of the prosseco offsets the twang of the tomato sauce while cutting through the chewy dough and softening the fats of creamy mozzarella cheese. Plus Prosecco works well with plenty of other pizza toppings too.
Some of the best pizza toppings to pair with Prosecco include a classic margarita, goat’s cheese and spinach, fresh parma ham and rocket, and seafood. You also can’t go wrong with a pizza bianco (without tomato).
Pizza Capricciosa, which consists of a tomato base topped with cooked ham, mushrooms, artichokes and olives, is also a great pizza to pair with a brut Prosecco. Really not that surprising given that all of these toppings could also be served on an antipasto platter (see above) that pairs perfectly with Prosecco.
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Pair brut Prosecco with pizza:
- classic margarita pizza
- goat’s cheese and spinach pizza
- parma ham and rocket pizza
- seafood pizza
- pizza bianco
- pizza capricciosa (ham, mushroom, artichoke & olives)
Prosecco Pairing with Shellfish
There’s a popular saying amongst wine lovers and chefs: ‘What grows together, goes together.’
This means that if the food and wine are grown and produced in the same region, there’s a good chance they’ll make a great pairing.
With northern Italy’s Veneto region being home to the highest quality Prosecco, as well as being at the forefront of Italy’s shellfish farming and fishing industry, it’s no surprise that Prosecco and seafood go hand in hand. This is something you’ll certainly see in the region’s coastal city of Venice, where the two local products are regularly enjoyed together.
While most seafood pairs well with Prosecco, shellfish such as shrimps, lobster, mussels and oysters are some of our favourite pairings with a delicate brut Prosecco. The acidity and citrusy notes of the Prosecco work beautifully with the saline flavours of fresh shellfish.
Pair brut Prosecco with shellfish:
Prosecco pairing with salmon
Prosecco is one of the best wine to serve with salmon. It’s also one of the most versatile Prosecco pairings.
You can match a glass of brut Prosecco with salmon and creme cheese bites as a pre-dinner aperitivo or as canapés at a party, a prosecco cocktail like Bellini goes great with smoked salmon and eggs on toast for brunch, or open a bottle with dinner to accompany a grilled salmon main dish or a light salmon salad.
The possibilities with this pairing are endless.
Pair brut Prosecco with salmon:
- salmon and cream cheese bites
- smoked salmon & scrambled eggs on toast (also great with a Prosecco bellini cocktail)
- grilled salmon
- salmon salad
Prosecco and Fish & Chips
One for us Brits… Prosecco with fish and chips.
Yes, you did hear that correctly.
As we mentioned previously, the acidity and subtly sweet notes of brut prosecco pair well with fatty and salty flavours. Meaning a glass of prosecco alongside deep-fried fish and a portion of salty chips is an absolute winning combination.
The ultimate way to upgrade your Friday night takeaway.
Pair brut Prosecco with fish and chips:
- classic British fish and chips
Pairing Prosecco with Pad Thai & Spicy Dishes
Another lesser-known food pairing for Prosecco is medium-spice south and east Asian dishes such as Pad Thai or Thai Green Curry.
Spice brings out the subtle fruity and citrusy notes in the Prosecco, while the acidity of brut Prosecco cuts through the richness of curry dishes, especially when they contain ingredients such as coconut milk.
You could also opt for a dry Prosecco for this pairing as the sweetness helps to tame the spice and compliments the element of sweetness also found in many south and east Asian dishes (such as the brown sugar used in Pad Thai sauce). Dishes that combine sweet and savoury work well paired with a dry Prosecco.
The delicate bubbles in Prosecco also help to cleanse and refresh the palate which eating spicy foods. Want an easy pad thai recipe – we like this one?
Pair dry Prosecco with thai food:
- Pad Thai
- Thai green curry
Pairing Prosecco with Popcorn, crisps and nuts
Pairing Prosecco with food doesn’t only have to be for meals or special occasions. Prosecco also goes well with plenty of light snacks such as roasted nuts, salted crisps and popcorn.
One of our favourite snacks to pair with prosecco is popcorn. Lightly salted or buttered popcorn pairs nicely with a brut Prosecco, while sweet popcorns such as chocolate or caramel-coated are ideal pairings for a sweeter dry Prosecco.
That’s your next movie night sorted.
Pair brut Prosecco with popcorn and salty snacks:
- Salted popcorn
- Buttered popcorn
- Roasted nuts
- Salted crisps
Pair dry Prosecco with sweet popcorn:
- Caramel coated popcorn
- Chocolate popcorn
- Sweet popcorn
Prosecco dessert pairing
Prosecco is probably best known as a dessert wine – although we hope this article has proved to you otherwise – so it’s only fitting to include a few of our favourite Prosecco dessert pairings.
With its natural sweetness and delicate fruit and citrus notes, Prosecco is a great way to round off a meal along with a well-paired dessert. Most people would opt for a dry or extra-dry Prosecco as a dessert pairing, but there are desserts to suit the less sweet wines too.
For an extra-brut or brut Prosecco, you won’t want anything overly sweet. Try a classic Italian panettone or a British bread pudding. Fancy making your own Panettone? This recipe is an easy one.
High acidity brut and dry Proseccos pair well with rich creamy desserts such as crème brûlée or cheesecake. A fruit tart or a fresh fruit salad with creme will also compliment the sweet fruity notes of the Prosecco.
A very sweet extra-dry Prosecco is best served alongside something equally sweet or a citrus-based dessert such as lemon meringue pie or lemon tart. The sweetness will balance out the acidity of the lemon, while the light citrusy notes of the wine will compliment it.
Pair brut or extra dry Prosecco with less sweet desserts:
- Italian pastries
- British bread & butter pudding
Pair dry Prosecco with creamy desserts:
- crème brûlée
- fruit tart
- fruit salad
We recommend you steer clear of pairing prosecco with gelato or ice cream. Not only will the cold numb your palette, the intense sugar can knock off your tastebuds.
Pair extra dry Prosecco with citrus desserts:
- lemon meringue pie
- tarte au citron
Prosecco Wine Pairing Chart
We’ve summarised this article into a handy Prosecco wine and food pairing chart. If you want to download a high-resolution, printable version, click here. Laminate it, frame it, love it? We hope it helps you enjoy your exploration of Prosecco food and wine pairings.
That’s our guide to Prosecco food and wine pairing. Got any questions or suggestions for what pairs well with Prosecco? Let us know in the comments below.
Check out our other Prosecco guides
- 12 Prosecco Cocktails To Make At Home
- Classic Aperol Spritz Recipe (& Some Variations)
- Classic Negroni Recipe & 5 Twists on the Original
- 10 Top Italian Wines You Need To Know
- 25 Prosecco Gifts (You’ll Want To Keep For Yourself)
- What is Prosecco & Everything You Want To Know About Your Favourite Drink
- How to Buy Good Prosecco
- There’s a Prosecco Vending Machine in Italy & Here’s How To Visit
- 14 Types of Italian Cheese Everyone Needs To Know
- Prosecco vs Champagne: What’s The Difference?
- 14 Famous Italian Drinks To Try In Italy (Or At Home)
- 7 Simple Steps To Host a Wine Tasting at Home
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