Friday, September 7, 2012

Wine of the Moment: Prosecco!

This week's wine is Prosecco. Oddly enough, Prosecco is a grape, a wine, and a place in Italy. While the grape is now called "Glera", the primary region where prosecco is produced is about an hour and a half north of Venice, in the Veneto region (commonly in Valdobbiadene--try to say that one fast!)

Prosecco is light and refreshing and is quite food-friendly like other sparklers Cava and Champagne. It is typically produced ‘charmat’ style (where secondary fermentation takes place in stainless steel tanks vs. ‘methode champagnoise’, the traditional in-bottle fermentation of fine French champagnes). As a result, prosecco is meant to be consumed young, typically within 3 years of bottling or it can become flat! As Italy’s most popular sparkling wine, the bulk of production is either Frizzante (lightly sparkling) or Spumante (fully sparkling). As a comparison, Moscato can be also frizzante but definitely sweeter, while champagne is more crisp but equally ‘spumante’ or fully sparkling.

Proseccos are traditionally dry, with creamy notes of peach. In fact, world-famous Harry’s Bar in Venice created a signature cocktail known as the Bellini, by mixing prosecco with white peach puree. Other characteristics of prosecco include notes of citrus, apple, baked bread with a hint of bitterness on the finish. As such, prosecco pairs with lighter fare, such as seafood (like smoked salmon; yum!), lighter balanced cheese, and pastas with lighter sauces or even fruit desserts such as sorbet or fruit tarts. Right now, as summer comes to a close, it’s perfect to sip on the deck watching the sun go down!

The final attribute of Prosecco, and perhaps one of its best features is the price—you can find most Proseccos in the $10 range. Mionetto is one famous producer; they have one line with a bottle cap (the “IL” line) that is $10 but they also have their ‘best’, named Sergio, after their founder. Sergio is more expensive and a bit tough to find but typically is highly rated by wine publications. I found a 92 point Nino Franco at Smyrna World of Beverage (LOVE that place) for $15 and Sam’s and Costco both have offerings in the $10 range. So pop a bottle of Prosecco this weekend and enjoy the bubbles! Cheers, Bo

CHEAPIE ALERT: Kroger has Apothic Red on sale this week for $7.99! See prior posts about this yummy blend!