Tag Archives: Prosecco

Going, Going, Gone! Prosecco Superiore DOCG

16 Oct

Prosecco Superiore 4Prosecco Superiore DOCG.

There’s only one question to ask: Why aren’t you drinking more of it? 

OK, I have to admit it: every year I get emails from various garagiste-wine vendors with deals on Prosecco Superiore DOCG. And I always buy them. Why? Because they are consistent in being crowd-pleasers and excellent value. They don’t last long in my cellar. And when I open them for friends, the bottles are empty almost quickly as they started: Going, Going, Gone! 

Prosecco 101: It’s Italian. It’s from mostly glera, an ancient Roman grape that classically exhibits both floral and fruit notes.  There is less yeast flavor in prosecco than champagne, due to the fact that it’s usually made in the charmat method of secondary fermentation in steel tanks, which helps in focusing those floral and fruit notes. And a good bottle of prosecco is a bargain, a bottle will usually run you from one-third to one-half the cost of a good bottle of champagne. DOCG refers to Italian regulations, confirming the highest quality terroir and strictest regulations, which is a promise of quality- DOCG is the top level, above both DOC and IGT regulations. Unlike serious champagne which should only ever be consumed singularly, it is considered acceptable, event cool to drink cocktails made with prosecco. The Bellini started it all, but any good bartender has a few recipes up their sleeves, including yours truly (see mine below) or find several hundred ‘easy to make at home’ with a quick internet search!

Here are four DOCG proseccos that are ‘any day celebration’ bottles with SRP’s from $15-$21 that will improve your day significantly! Click the blue links for the manufacturer’s winemaking notes (you can also see how we differ or agree on flavor profiles), or you can just read mine!

 

 

Frassinelli Rive di Manzana Extra Dry 2015 

Frassinelli Conegliano Valdobbiadene DOCG 2015; – (ABV 11.5%; SRP: $15)

Gentle floral nose with hint of orchid. Pale straw in color with gentle, tiny bubbles. On the palate: white peaches, a hint of baked apple, fresh croissant, grilled pineapple, and clay. Highly agreeable. I offered this to friends and in moments, we had devoured the entire bottle and were ready for more!

 

 

 

 

Bortolomiol Prior Brut 2015

Bortolomiol Prior Brut Valdobbiadene Prosecco Superiore DOCG – (ABV 12%; SRP $15)

Off-gold color with a tinge of green and a neutral, lemon citrus nose. On the palate: green apple, lemon verbena, &  sandstone. I enjoyed this by itself, but with a crazy whim and the help of some flowers and a mortal & pestle, I made a hibiscus & prosecco cocktail (prosecco with a dash of the juice of a hibiscus flower), and was in seventh heaven. This prosecco is absolutely delicious by itself and almost a crime to tweak, but in adding the touch of hibiscus flavor, I found a new favorite floral sparkling cocktail and I killed the bottle quickly with this tasty spritz!

 

 

La Farra Rive di Farra di Soligo Extra Dry 2015

La Farra Rive fi Farra di Soligo Valdobbiadene Prosecco Superiore – (11% ABV; SRP $20)

Pale yellow with the slightest hint of pink. Extra dry, this prosecco features a more forward floral nose, with a much heavier concentration of bubbles from the charmat fermentation method. The expansive mouthfeel features a white flesh fruit profile of yellow apple, peach, and lime zest.

 

 

 

Mongarda Brut NV 

Mongarda Brut NV Conegliano Valdobbiadene Prosecco Superiore– (SRP: $21), 11%ABV

Pale straw in color, gentle nose of minerals and yeast. Beautiful effervescence, a touch more acidity to balance the lime, peach, and lemon citrus flavor profile. Elegant; ideal to drink by itself or to pair with a meal. This bottle also went far too quickly for me.

 

 

 

What do we learn from these bottles? They are quite tasty,  superbly fun, with gentler bubbles making them easy to imbibe, so they finish quicker. They are delicious by themselves, and  provide a party atmosphere when mixed with a tiny bit of flavor, or paired with food. They are affordable, and a touch on the lower side in alcohol by volume.

And remember, they are just as easy to pick up at your local retailer as anything else you might find.

Share your comments and your favorite sparkling with us, below!

 

à votre santé!

 

My Summer Wines are SPARKLING!

13 Jun

Have a glimpse into the joys of warm weather and the delights you can find in your wine glass!

There are so many lovely and affordable sparkling wines. Crémant, Cava, and Prosecco are some of the easiest words you can say this summer to keep joy in your glass without damaging your wallet.

Crémant: Love vintage champagne but don’t have the thick wallet? Never fear, Crémant is here! One of my favorites is Tissot’s Crémant du Jura. Delightfully expressive, unique, and easily found for $25/bottle. Grab it and enjoy, life is short! Drinks comparably to champagnes that cost 3-4 times the price. Just for the heck of it, I had a quick look at 67Wine‘s website. Ten crémants all under $30/bottle including the Jura region, just not the one below.

Cremant

Having spent a great deal of time tasting prosecco and vinho verde last year, I promised myself to spend more time tasting cava this year. And while I still love those wines, I found  both great taste and great value in the sparkling wines from Spain.

The best bargain I found this year was snapping up a mixed case of cava from Garagiste.

Pere Mata Cava

 

Each of the various types of cava found in the mixed case I sourced from Garagiste offered a slightly different pleasure. Last week, my neighbors and I enjoyed the Cupada Rosé  (below, far right) very much, along with some other still wines from the garden of earthy delights. The fact that a rosé cava could hold its own against classic Bordeaux blanc, high end Napa sauvignon blanc, and a killer Burgundian aligoté speaks volumes, does it not? 

 

Summer whites

 

 

Champagne. Need I say more? But not all champagnes are truly worth your time or hard-earned coin. Laurent-Perrier Brut is one I love, a non-vintage bottle I consider affordable in the low $40’s per bottle and better than many vintage (and more expensive) champagnes, but simply delightful on the palate.

 

perrier

 

Why not share this one, a glimpse into the high end of heavenly delights? One of the finest champagnes I’ve enjoyed in recent years was undoubtedly Taittinger’s 2005 Comtes de Champagne Rosé. Retailing at $300/bottle, it’s a rare and exotic enchantment that impressed me by tasting it blindly, and I was thankful I had a glass before I saw the price tag. But if your budget allows it, why not?

Unknown

So tasty, but the down side is that now even the sight of the box makes my mouth water.

Tattinger

 

Sparkling Reds! If you missed last year’s missive on Lambrusco or my discovery of sparkling shiraz in the summer heat then you missed out, but it’s never too late. Click the links on the names and read about my experiences with each of these wines.

 

So, do tell… what’s sparkling in YOUR glass this summer?

à votre santé!

 

Prosecco for Anytime? Prosecco for Everytime!

13 Apr

Montelvini Asolo Prosecco Superiore DOCG, Veneto, Italy. 12%ABV.

Sample provided by Studio Cru, International Wine PR, Vicenza, Italy.

There are people who think about drinking sparkling wine for special occasions, and there are people who want to drink sparkling wine all the time. GET READY to want to drink it all the time, because with this one, you can.

On a short, slightly squat bottle design is a beautiful gold and black label that says “Venegazzù Montelvini Asolo Prosecco Superiore Millesimato DOCG”. That’s all lovely. And then you put a glass of this elixir to your lips and have a sip, and then you say “Oh… that’s GOOD!” And you offer a glass to everyone near you, who taste it. Surprised, they too, exclaim, “Oh! That’s GOOD!” And ask you what it is. And you can only reply in your best James Bond voice, “It’s Montelvini Asolo Prosecco. Would you care for some more?”

Asolo

This is my exact experience. After my own taste, everyone I shared this with was impressed, and why not?  A bubbly the color of morning straw, the dry nose gives away little. In the mouth, there is a linear minerality, a delicate layer of white fruit, creaminess, and a distant hint of ripe peach sweetness that makes this an incredibly satisfying sparkling wine that is a mega crowd-pleaser. This blend of qualities also allows this sparkling wine to pair with just about anything, from appetizers to entrees, from afternoon sunshine to midnight moonlight- without breaking the bank. When I googled the Asolo Prosecco, I found a supplier that would ship to my state at a price so low (about $15/bottle) that I was honestly shocked. At this price, I could buy by the case and just keep two bottle cold all the time, to drink whenever- the way good bubbly should be enjoyed!

When I used to think about drinking sparkling wine, James Bond would pop up: the suave-as-hell guy who orders beluga and champagne. He has two bites of caviar, grabs the bottle, two glasses and a super-hot girl and he’s off to the bedroom. But now I can think of not only the white dinner-jacket clad Bond, but also the birthday party, the office celebration, the “because it’s Tuesday” or “just because I love you” with great value, without breaking the bank- because of  Venegazzu Montelvini Asolo Prosecco. And you can, too! Because once you taste it, you’ll also be impressed enough to say, “Oh… thats GOOD!”

This is a prosecco for any time, that will be a hit every time.

Montelvini

 

Imported to the USA by Wine In-Motion LLC, Union NJ.

 

à votre santé!

 

Pop The Cork!

28 Dec

I find it interesting that many of the emails I’m getting right now are ads for champagnes. It’s that time of year, when everyone celebrates with a bottle of bubbly. Of course, we also serve champagne at major life events- births, marriages, wakes, and other large celebrations.

So why don’t I feel like opening a bottle of champagne this year?

Perhaps it’s that I’ve learned not to follow into the trap of champagne. Sure, I can enjoy a good champagne. If you’ve read deeply into my blog, you might have seen my first “aha!” moment about wine, with Dom Perignon’s 1982 Vintage.

Sadly, those amazing vintages are few are far between. There are several great champagnes out there, but much of what I find doesn’t move me. Too dry, too lifeless, too simple for my tastes, for anything less than stellar- and stellar champagnes are very pricey, even by my standards.

Pair of champagne flutes making a toast.

If you are in agreement, then it’s time you do what I did, and rediscover prosecco and cava. Prosecco (from Italy) and Cava (from Spain) are the current climbing trends that are making huge gains in market sales while champagne slips another 5% of sales this year. 

I’m not the only one noticing this. Our friends in the UK are as well, as I started to do some research on the topic.

Why prosecco? Why cava? You ask. “WHY NOT?” They answer back. It’s all in the buyer’s control. We’re noticing and making choices with our wallets. Cava and Prosecco are largely inexpensive (many bottles from as low as $7-30) that drink very well, with critics scores from the 80’s to 90’s. Moreover, they aren’t as painfully dry- hence that old Italian practice I see of people dropping a sugar cube into their champagne glass (with or without the Angostora bitters and brandy that make a champagne cocktail).

So, it tastes better, it’s cheaper, it’s not as pretentious, and it’s fun to drink? No wonder people are buying it!

In this day and age, people are finally realizing that there are great options out there in sparkling wine that just as viable as champagne, and we’re taking the plunge. I find these days I am gifting cava and prosecco in the same way I’m gifting rioja and tempranillo wines- to introduce friends and family to today’s great values in wonderful wines.

Now- if you’re going to splurge, then why not- drop the $$ on a serious champagne and enjoy? It’s tough to beat a great vintage from a great house- champagne is hard to make, a painstaking process- hence the price tag. And there are some expensive bottles out there. Looking for some pricey gifts? I found a few: From the ’96 Krug Clos d’Ambonnay ($1,995 at Southeby’s Wine) to the 1970 Dom Perignon Oenotheque ($2,495 at Sherry-Lehman) to the  Roederer Cristal Rose ’04 which garnered a score of 98 points from Wine & Spirits Magazine ($525 at Zachy’s Wine & Liquor). Any of these would make a champagne lover giggle with delight, if you have the disposable income to part with.

Just for fun, here is a link to ten of the top most expensive champagnes on the market.

After you’ve enjoyed that, when you go down to your local wine store, as the clerk to show you the cava or prosecco sparkling wine that offers incredible value, and pick some of that up for New Year’s Eve. You’ll be delighted and amazed at how good it is.

Whatever cork you choose to pop on New Year’s Eve, I hope you enjoy it, and drink responsibly, using a designated driver.

à votre santé!

Prosecco? Please! Carpene Malvolti Cuvée Brut DOCG

2 Aug

Carpene Malvolti Cuvée Brut Conegliano Valdobbiadene DOCG Prosecco

This is a dry sparkling wine, made using the Italian ‘Charmat method’ (if you’ve never heard of this and you’re interested, read about it here).

Almost clear in color with the slightest color of pale straw, the flavor is effervescent with a slight citrus nose, vanilla and touch of green apple on the tongue. This is a delightfully gentle palate cleanser that maintains its personality as the temperature warms slightly and is delicious from start to finish.

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My stage manager buddy Lurie Pfeffer is a huge fan of prosecco and her interest made me reconsider this sparkling wine in general, to which I now must say- Champagne? I probably will not indulge when offered. But prosecco? I probably will! Many proseccos (but the Carpene Malvoti’s DOCG Cuvée Brut in particular) are still slightly acidic yet less dry and have a delicious, cleansing taste that make you want to keep sipping over and over, whereas a brut champagne needs something else to make it special- a cube of sugar, a tiny spoonful of caviar, strawberries and cream perhaps. Not so with Carpene Malvolti, it was amazing first on its own, then with a warm slice of buttered bread, even more as a foil to my appetizer of fish tacos. I’ll be keeping this prosecco up my sleeve for future use, and urge you to seek it out if you need a sparkling wine.

Purchased in a restaurant by the individual serving for $9, I have seen it online from $9/375ml half bottle, and $13-18/750ml bottle.

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From their own website:
http://www.carpene-malvolti.com/index.php?area=86&menu=134&lingua=1

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