INsite Magazine

Monday, December 21, 2009

Wine of the Week

Astoria-Vintage Prosecco di Valbobbiadene

One of the first bottles I ever tasted of Italy's dry sparkling wine, Prosecco, had a cute story on the back of how the gnomes had enchanted the still wines made of the Prosecco grape into a bubbly, magical treat. There is some truth to the story if you think of the gnomes as "a warmer than usual winter," which would cause a secondary fermentation of the fruit sugars in the still wine and carbon dioxide to be given off. Whether it was magic or biological chemistry, the end product is a lightly dry sparkling wine from the Veneto region of Northeastern Italy. It is named for the grape used to produce it: Prosecco.

Unlike champagne or other Methode Champenoise wines, this sparkling wine doesn't use Chardonnay or Pinot Noir, so it is a little lighter and fruitier than the classic French style bubblies, but not as sweet as Italy's infamous Asti Spumante. Prosecco is a great, reasonably-priced alternative, that appeals to a broader fanbase by being a little lighter and fruitier. It makes a great Bellini (with either Peach juice or the Bellini peach liqueur), Poinsettia or a Mimosa. I like it best alone or paired with lighter cheeses like Brie or Havarti, some fresh grapes, strawberries or a fresh fruit salad. 

It can give your New Year's celebration an Italian flavor, so bring the panettone and Perugina chocolates and celebrate like the Italians do! Ti Amo is a great brand, that means "I love you" and is under $15 per bottle and available at Gator Spirits and Fine Wines, though most brands of Prosecco are consistently excellent. Cheers!

Daniel Eddy, Gainesville Wine Pairing Examiner and Store Mananger at Gator Spirits, Westgate Plaza


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