Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Italy’s Prosecco

Just as true champagne comes from a specific region of France, and cava is the “champagne” of Spain, Prosecco is a variety of white grape grown around 15 small towns on the hills of Veneto, in the Treviso province (north of Venice) at the feet of the Alps.

This Italian sparkling wine has long been enjoyed in Europe, and is gaining popularity in North America. My first contact with Prosecco was a few years ago, in Spain, when a German friend brought a couple of bottles along to a beach picnic. She said that it is a staple among her girlfriends, as a prelude to a soiree, or an afternoon delight.

(note: Europeans are allowed to enjoy an alcoholic beverage, on the beach, versus the U.S., where, by-and-large, we are not… but that’s fodder for another discussion entirely…)

Prosecco has a lower alcohol content than wine, and made in Italy's frizzante style, meaning it's fizzier than beer, though its bubbles are not ‘high-pressure,’ typical of Champagne. Generally, it is light and dry, with harvest-fruit undertones, and tends to be particularly popular among women.

Prosecco is a refreshing aperitif, and complements light cuisine such as grilled fish and vegetables, or a thin-crust gourmet pizza. And, as demonstrated in yesterday’s posting on Pinzimini’s signature drinks, it is super to use in sparkling cocktails!

Added bonus: Prosecco is priced quite reasonably, and not meant to be aged. So, buy a bottle, gather the gals and find an excuse to celebrate!

If you are planning a trip to Italy, tours of the Veneto region are available…


mike v said...

fantastic site! great perspective. although i have to wait until noon to read it, lest I find myself at a bar every afternoon. i have become a regular wino on wednesdays.

i have a request subsequent to your agave tequila piece. i've been looking for some recommendations on the smoothest sipping tequilas available. not that i would dare dilute them in such, but i'm also seeking the perfect margarita recipe. i'll be looking out for both soon!

Doctor No said...

As for sipping tequilas, there are a number of wonderful anejo tequilas on the market.

In Santa Fe, NM, which is a very artsy and sophisticated town (at times), anejo tequila on the rocks is one of the biggest seller among the art-scene.

Whether you go rocks or neat, I'd recommend El Tesoro anejo or Patron anejo. For a less refined taste (read: Johnny Walker black versus Johnny Walker blue), both manufacturers make a reposado tequila that's excellent, smooth and flavorful.


JR said...

Hey Natalie!

It's Ray and I'm scrolling through all your posts finally and enjoying it very much! I thought I might mention that the truist of true Prosecco comes from the city of Conegliano in Veneto. A Prosecco from any other area in Italy is really just a sparkling wine, unless of course it's from Asti, but that's a different thing all together!
Jeff and I will be in Friuli this Friday (March 23rd '07) for a week and are looking forward to eating and drinking our lives away in the best country in the world... ok, my opinion, but I'm always right! :)

If I'm really good, I'll take notes on some local Friulian drinks and send them your way.