Italian prosecco is the new toast of the town.
By Tobin Sharp
The weather is warming nicely as we sail on toward summer. With May and June famed for weddings and graduations and general conviviality, what beverage is called for to celebrate the good times? Champagne is often the answer, natch. But because we covered that subject not too long ago, let’s look at a non-Champagne sparkling wine that’s usually much less expensive than its older French cousin yet still quite delicious and, we must say, certainly a celebratory drink: Prosecco!
Prosecco is an Italian sparkling white that is generally dry or extra dry and is usually made from the Glera grape. DOC stands for denominazione di origine controllata or “controlled designation of origin,” and this designation limits what can be labeled from a certain area, á la Champagne or Napa or Willamette Valley. Prosecco is produced in the northeast Italian regions of Veneto and Friuli Venezia Giulia, mainly near Conegliano and Valdobbiadene (north of Treviso). The main reason Prosecco is less expensive than Champagne is the method of fermentation. Whereas Champagne undergoes secondary fermentation in bottle, Prosecco makers use the Charmat method, which sees the wine undergo secondary fermentation in stainless steel tanks.
That sounds great, you may muse, but how does it taste? What’s the flavor profile? Well, to start, Prosecco is great for spring/summer as it’s relatively low in alcohol (11-12 percent by volume) so won’t make you too logy after a glass or two
in the sun. Beautiful orchard fruit flavors and scents come
to mind when enjoying Prosecco: apples, pears and stone fruits like apricots and peaches. Unlike Champagnes, Prosecco does not age at all so should be consumed young. So celebrate spring and the coming of summer with a glass of delicious Prosecco!