They say that a classic is always in style. That’s why sparkling wine is our go-to when it comes to choosing a celebratory beverage – whether it be New Year’s Eve, Valentine’s Day, weddings, graduations, parties and more.
While Champagne may be considered the benchmark bubble, you’d be hard-pressed to find a decent bottle for less than $50 bucks on your local retail shelf.
Perhaps that’s why the wines from Northern Italy’s Prosecco Superiore DOCG region are becoming so popular. Not only can you pick up a bottle at often less than half the price of Champagne, but the quality of these wines often rivals those from France.
The very best Prosecco grapes are grown about 50 km from Venice, on the cool slopes in the Conegliano Valdobbiadene of Northeast Italy, which is now a candidate for UNESCO World Heritage Site status. The Glera grape is the most widely used, perfectly-suited to its method of production which was developed at the end of the 19th century.
Seeing the name Prosecco Superiore DOCG on the bottle certifies that the wine has passed a series of tests, which guarantees top quality flavours and balance within each festive sip.
Versatile enough to pair with almost any meal, Prosecco Superiore DOCG is made in fully sparkling (spumante) and lightly sparkling (frizzante) styles. Expect to see flavours of honey, hazelnut, green apple, pear and tropical fruits burst from the glass. The best wines tend to be dry, but sweeter examples are also available.
Here are three widely-available selections to seek out tonight:
Santa Margherita Brut Valdobbiadene Prosecco Superiore – Refreshing and balanced, this wine offers flavours of citrus, pear, stone fruits and a kiss of vanilla. Try it with a plate of cheese, charcuterie and antipasto.
Valdo Marca Oro Valdobbiadene Prosecco Superiore – Lightly off-dry, this crowd-pleaser can be served on its own, or with festive selections such as shrimp cocktail or prosciutto-wrapped melon. Fruity notes of cantaloupe and pineapple are balanced with bright lemony flavours.
Nino Franco Brut Valdobbiadene Prosecco Superiore – The driest in this trio, we liked the citrus and pear notes that combined with the creamy, frothy texture. Amazing on its own, but also great with anything from pasta to pizza, bruschetta to risotto.