Doug Sloan

Pick up some Prosecco for your festive feasting

Easy to appreciate, Prosecco wines have become the trendiest bubblies around.

Even the most dedicated wine lovers manage to forget to pick up a sparkling wine to add a little bubble and spritz to their festive feasting.  Pity, really, as most sparkling wines are multi-talented and pair well with most foods and make fine sipping all by themselves.

Fresh, fizzy, fruity and fun – as well as affordable! – Italy’s sparkling Proseccos continue to make a name for themselves.  Only Spain’s ‘Cavas’ gives these upstart Italian bubblies a run for the money in the price category.

Maintaining the largest share of the market by far, sparkling, fine and fizzy Villa Teresa Prosecco (268714) $17.99 – like all true Proseccos – is made from Glera wine grapes and features soft green apple and pear over a twist of marzipan.  In its flip-top re-cap-able bottle, this organic Italian bubbly doesn’t need a celebration to sizzle!

As well as being easy to appreciate on its own, it’s also the standard base for the famous Bellini cocktail, a mix of sparkling wine and peach nectar invented at Harry’s Bar in Venice, capital of the Veneto region, where all true Proseccos are made from the Glera grape.

A newcomer to British Columbia, Stellina di Note Prosecco (994848) $17.59 sizzles with delicate aromas of citrus, pear, melon, lemon and almonds. Light bodied, like almost all Proseccos, it has a satisfying balance between crisp acidity and a touch of sweetness with a hint of chalky minerality in the finish.

No advanced degree in winegeekspeak is required to enjoy Prosecco.  Chill the bottle to within an inch of it’s life, pour into tall thin flutes – to help retain the simmering spritz – and pour short glasses that can be topped up frequently to keep the wine fresh and fizzing.

Elegantly packaged, Mascareri Prosecco (637595) $18.20 is an ode to the elite mask maker’s guild of Venice. Those who made the Venetian masks in the age of the Serenissima were the ‘Mascareri’, associated in the Arte dei Maschereri since 1436. Look for aromas of ripe golden apple, with melon and pear flavours and hints of hazelnut and acacia blossoms and a touch of sweetness.

While we in North America are still discovering it, Prosecco has been enjoyed as far back as ancient Roman times. It has always been popular in Italy as an everyday kind of aperitif long before finally making the leap into the mainstream U.S. and Canadian markets.

Mionetto Prosecoo Treviso Brut (86256) $18.50 is made from Glera grapes grown in the Veneto region of Italy, in an area near the Valdobbiadene D.O.C.G. area, on the sloping hills just north of Treviso. Pale straw in color with bright yellow highlights, it offers aromas of golden apples, pear and honey, with intriguing notes of black liquorice, and acacia blossom.

Although its affordable price begs the question, don’t look at Prosecco as being just the poor man’s Champagne. Produced by the much less labour intensive ‘Charmat’ method – Prosecco is held in large stainless-steel containers for 8-12 weeks before being bottles under pressure, helping it retain all the fresh, bright, fruity flavours.

All about that fresh and fizzy fruitiness, Prosecco doesn’t have to be aged. This is a sparkling wine that has no pretensions. It’s meant to be drunk this very afternoon in the sunshine – or at the very latest this evening, as the opening sipper sliding into your Easter feast.

With a touch of residual sugar adding immediate interest La Marca Prosecco (321182) $18.50 brings apple pie to mind on first sip with sour lemon and the ubiquitous sweet ‘n’ sour flavours of pink grapefruit and a light creamy chalky texture on the palate.

Standing out from the competition in its snazzy blue bottle embossed with an holographic dragonfly Blu Giovello (817791) $19.99 starts with aromas of lemons, pears and even pineapple – with a twist of mandarin orange rind and white and pink grapefruit that is immensely enjoyable.

Leap into trendiness and enhance your festive feasting all at the same time.

Get creative and go beyond the classic, traditional ‘Bellini’ cocktail.  Any glass of Prosecco can be enhanced with a generous splash of your favourite fruit liqueur.  Be bold and create your own signature cocktail!

 

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