Thu 29 Jul 2010
O.K., on the left side of the plate, a slice of olive-oil toasted bread piled with marinated red onions, roasted red peppers, roasted eggplant, roasted Portobello mushrooms and arugula; on the right side of the plate, another slice of olive-oil toasted bread with match-stick slices of hard salami and shredded feta cheese. Slap ’em together, hold ’em with both hands, and dive it! I think LL and I each said, practically simultaneously, “This is the best freakin’ sammich in the universe!” It was; they were. We had all these marinated and roasted vegetables on hand because we had arranged for the catering of a reception last week and brought home a tray of leftovers. I used some of the stuff on Saturday’s pizza, and more went into a simple pasta dish.
Still on the theme of Prosecco sparkling wines from the Cartizze region, with these glorious sandwiches I opened the Bisol Cartizze Prosecco Valdobbiadene Superiore, non-vintage; the producer also makes a vintage version. Again, as with Le Colture Cartizze mentioned a few days ago, the Bisol Cartizze is an extraordinary effort, especially compared to all the soft, sweet, vapid Proseccos that dominate the market. This is a very pale straw-gold color. Pungent aromas of ripe peaches and pears, orange zest and lime peel make an immediately impression, followed by a subtle strain of almond skin and apple skin, all making for a super-seductive bouquet. A touch of sweetness entices the palate, but this is a sparkling wine largely about structure framed by steely acidity that gives you a taste o’ the lash and limestone that sings the highest poignant notes of minerality. What’s so intriguing about the Bisol Cartizze is a paradoxical quality that combines slightly sweet lip-smacking “drink-me” viscosity with a spare, bone-dry savory character. As always with sparking wines, the alcohol level is low, about 11 percent. Excellent. About — ahem — $43 to $48.
I’ll admit that I would feel more comfortable with the Cartizze category of Prosecco if the price range were $25 to $30 instead of $35 to $45 or so. When the cost of these (granted) superior sorts of Proseccos crosses $40, then we’re in the realm of non-vintage Champagne, and comparisons may start to falter.
Vias Imports, New York. A sample for review from a trade group.