I have always thought that the perception that sparkling wines should be reserved for celebrations does the holder a disservice. It only serves to ensure that we don’t drink enough of this wonderful beverage. Part of the problem is that when people think of sparkling wines they think of champagne and decent champagnes are expensive. It’s become pretty much impossible to find a good one for under $40. And bad champagnes are just that- bad. However, does that mean you shouldn’t drink bubblies? Heck no- it just means you need to expand your horizons! In the Fred household we drink a lot of sparkling wine. Once you try it you’ll see that sparkling wine goes tremendously with a wide variety of food. Hands down our absolutely favorite type of non-champagne sparkling wine is prosecco. Prosecco is an Italian wine grown from, logically enough, the prosecco grape. It hails from the region of Italy known as Veneto. Specifically it is grown in the Valdobbiadene and Conegliano wine regions, both north of Venice.
Prosecco wines are crisp, sparkling, pale golden whites. They typically are characterized by flavors of citrus, melon, lemon, almonds, or honey with an acidic finish. Prosecco is made in two types: spumante, which have the usual amounts of bubbles one would expect in a sparkling wine and frizzante, which is semi-sparkling and has less bubbles. The bottles don’t always indicate which type they are but you tell from the type of cap they use.
Most proseccos are non-vintage, although there are a few vintage proseccos out there. Either way they are fairly simple wines and are meant to be consumed rather than cellared, although I have read that you can keep vintage proseccos up to three to seven years. The sad fact of life is no prosecco has made it past three months in the Fred household so I cannot attest to the validity of this.
NEXT: prosecco recommendations.