Thu 27 Dec 2007
Yes, that’s right, prosecco, the soft, fruity, floral and appealing sparking wine from northeastern Italy that makes a perfect light-hearted aperitif, especially when you’re serving bubbly to hordes of revelers or before a dinner party. “Prosecco” is the name of the grape and the name of the product. Prosecco fills in nicely for sipping with fish and shellfish hors d’oeuvres and antipasti, occasions and food on which the best champagnes and sparkling wines would be wasted. Well, depending on your attitude and fiduciary prowess, maybe not, but when you’re having the Swiss Guard for New Year’s Eve and the pocketbook is a consideration, prosecco neatly stands to attention.
Prominent today is the Maschio dei Cavalieri Prosecco di Valdobbiabene Brut, non-vintage. Valdobbiabene, near the Piave river in the Veneto, is the official D.O.C. for the production of prosecco. The grape is also grown nearby in Colli Trevigiani. Prosecco sparkling wine can be frizzante, lightly fizzy, or spumante, fully bubbling. These products are rarely made by the champagne method of the second fermentation in the bottle, but are made in the bulk “charmat” process.
Anyway, the Maschio dei Cavalieri Prosecco di Valdobbiabene Brut is a superior rendition of the style. It sports a lovely medium gold color, a satisfactory stream of moderately tiny bubbles and a delicate cloud-like bouquet of peaches and lemons with hints of limestone and toast. This sparkling wine is slightly sweet at the entry, but it quickly turns dry in the mouth, the sweetness leveled by crisp acidity and a steely backbone. Very charming, with a rating of Very Good+. VB Imports, Old Brookville, N.Y. brought 1,000 cases to the U.S. Suggested retail price is $20.