I drink more than my fair share of sparkling wine. By my count, last year I enjoyed 50-60 bottles of sparkling wine. Which type of sparkling wine I chose is driven by my mood, the food, and my budget. I tend to like Cava, and Prosecco for my “weeknight” sparklers, while enjoying more expensive sparkling wines, and Champagne for special occasions, or on the weekends.
What I enjoy about Prosecco is that it tends to be a bit fruitier, less demanding (no significant contemplation needed), and lower in alcohol than Champagne and other sparkling wines. That’s because its secondary fermentation takes place in a stainless steel pressurized tank, rather than individual bottles. Nor is Prosecco aged, which is what gives sparklers that undergo secondary fermentation in individual bottles their complexity (click here for a great explanation of how sparklers are produced).
For many years Prosecco was used to describe both the grape, and the region where the grape are grown. In mid 2009, Italian wine regulations were revised to clearly state that Prosecco was no longer to be classified as a grape, but a region that was clearly delimited. There are two such regions classified as a DOCG, the highest status for Italian wines. Additionally, there are at least eight regions classified as DOC, the next to highest status for Italian Wines. Nowadays, the grape is known as Glera.
This wine is produced from grapes grown in the Cartizze DOCG, a sub-zone of Conegliano-Valdobbiadene. The hill of Cartizze is 107 hectares, which is divided amongst 140 small growers. Renowned throughout the region for the quality of its fruit, it one of the world’s most expensive bits of vineyard real estate. And it produces relatively minuscule amounts of fruit. Of the approximately 150 million bottles of Prosecco produced annually, only about 1.4 million bottles originate from Cartizze. It can certainly be considered to be the grand cru of Prosecco.
The producer, Mionetto is the importer of the best-selling brand of Prosecco in the US. They have been making Prosecco since 1887!
Variety – Glera
Residual Sugar – 2.5%
11% a.b.v. Retails for about $25
Production method: Methodo Italiano (Bulk Charmat)
My tasting notes follow:
Very light straw color with pretty floral, stone fruit, and cracker aromas. On the palate, fresh, fruity ,and approaching medium bodied with moderately creamy mousse, and extra dry-ish with honey, clementine, and a touch of stone fruit flavors. Medium finish.
Pair with: The beauty of sparkling wines is their versatility with food, because of their palate cleansing quality (think scrubbing bubbles;-). This was very nice as an aperitif, and just as nice with food. I enjoyed with spicy Cioppino. Pair with shellfish, or this sparkler has enough sweetness to pair with a light dessert like cream puffs, or fruit tart.
If you want to try upscale Prosecco, this one is a good place to start. This one was a gift from a friend in the wine business (Thanks John!). I’m glad I tried it, but at $25 or so a bottle I can’t recommend – 89pts (Click here to find this wine)
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