Fresh

Pick a perfect Prosecco for your Easter feast!

Wine Wise with Doug Sloan

Now that Spring is finally here, it’s time investigate Prosecco.  Chill and sip!

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 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.

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 relative newcomer and competitively priced Cinzano Prosecco (71712) $14.35 shows the classic bright straw yellow colour, an intense and floral aroma of fresh cut green apples and a full-bodied dry and lively finish.

No advanced degree in winegeekspeak is required.  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.

Saccheto Fili Prosecco (108555) $14.60 flaunts its floral aromas and crisp lemon meringue fruitiness. Using the latest methods, including a very gentle horizontal press to extract only the clearest juice from the grapes and slow, temperature controlled fermentation to lock in all their subtle aromas, this one’s a winner!

While we in North America are still discovering it – and at a rapidly growing rate! – 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.

Emotivo Prosecco (153981) $15.15 is an elegant sparkling wine made from the natural fermentation of specially selected Glera grapes. It is soft and fruity with delightful pink grapefruit aromas, mouth-watering natural acidity and a refreshingly bright lingering flavour.

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.

Villa Sandi Prosecco (520494) $15.20 exudes aromas of apple, pear with a sprinkling of spring flowers. Like its fellow fizzy Italian friends it is light in body with flavours of peach, lemon, tangerine and lime with oodles of fresh apple and melon notes.

All about 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) $15.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.

Maintaining the largest share of the market by far, sparkling, fine and fizzy Villa Teresa Prosecco (268714) $16.10 – 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!

Leap into Spring and enhance your Easter feasting all at the same time.  Beyond the classic ‘Bellini’ any glass of Prosecco can be enhanced with a generous splash of your favourite fruit liqueur.  Be bold and create your own signature cocktail!

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 at 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.

Reach WineWise by emailing douglas_sloan@yahoo.com