Awards season in Hollywood pops the cork on lots of bubbly, and with Oscar concluding this year’s round of golden statues, get ready to toast the year’s finest films and performances with the star power of Prosecco, the very popular Italian sparkling wine. Fresh, fruity, effervescent, and affordable, Prosecco’s appeal propelled it past other competitors in this past year, becoming the top selling sparkling wine in the US in 2013.
What’s the difference between Prosecco and Champagne? Methods of production, flavor profiles, and cost distinguish these sparkling wines. Prosecco is young and charming, an ingénue on the red carpet. It’s flirtatious fizz is produced by secondary fermentation in large steel tanks, known as the Charmat method, that keeps the wine under pressure until it is ready to be bottled. The fresh, fruity character of the Glera grape is preserved, so when poured, the bubbles release aromas and flavors of golden apple and pear, white flowers and citrus.
Champagne, the glitzy grande dame that commands the spotlight, is made with either Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, or Pinot Meunier grapes, or a blend of all three. It is produced by the traditional method, which places the still base wine in bottles, where the bubbles are created through secondary fermentation, giving the wine a yeasty profile, and complex character through extended aging. Champagne is sold in the same bottle where it was produced, and consequently, retails for more than triple the average price of Prosecco.
The Prosecco DOC label reflects a commitment to quality wine from nine provinces in Northeastern Italy. While it can be made in three styles, the most popular version is Prosecco DOC Spumante, which has a fine, long-lasting bubble stream, and can be either Brut, Extra Dry, Sec, or Demise-Sec, depending on the sugar content in the wine. Moderate in alcohol, straw yellow in color, and crisp with good acidity, Prosecco is at its best when consumed in the year after the vintage on the bottle.
The 2013 Val d’Oca Blu Millesimato Prosecco Extra Dry DOC, produced by Cantina Produttori di Valdobbiadene, is an excellent example of the charm of Prosecco. Elegant in its mousse, with a lovely floral and apple bouquet, it’s crisp character has a creamy finish, delicious on its own or versatile with food. The Millesimato is a vintage Prosecco, not the usual blend of different years but 100% Glera from the 2013 harvest. This bubbly sparkles and shines for a mere $15 retail, and is representative of Prosecco DOC quality wines, which are widely available. This sample was provided by Colangelo & Partners PR for evaluation.
Prosecco’s floral, fruity, and fresh personality is a winning combination, and can light up any Oscar celebration, even if it’s just watching the show from the comfort of your own home. Raise a glass, and toast this year’s nominees!