Thursday, 1 December 2011

Wine of the week – XMass Special – Prosecco (Sparkling/Italy)

Hi you,
If you’re not aware, the countdown to Christmas has started. For Christmas, I have selected a sparkling, a white, a red and a sweet wine to best accompany a Christmas meal.
This week, a fruitier and more affordable alternative to the sacred Champagne with a very affordable and elegant example from Waitrose: Prosecco. Should I mention it’s half price @ £6.49 until next Tuesday?
What it is
Sparkling white wine made from Glera grapes in the Veneto region of Italy, less than 60miles from Venice.

What to expect
Appearance: Very pale lemon colour, thin bubbles, light foam.
Nose: Delicate perfume of apples and pears with a hint of peach/vanilla.
Palate: very soft and foamy with a nice crunchy acidity perfectly balanced with elegant and slightly sweet fruit notes (apples & pears). Felt like biting in a Granny smith apple, just a bit more refreshing.
And all that for only 11% alcohol so it shouldn’t go straight to your head like Champagne sometimes can...
ELEGANT SPARKLING WHITE WITH DELICATE NOTES OF APPLES AND PEARS. Not overwhelmingly Prosecco and easy to drink. Very safe choice for a Christmas first drinks.
Score: 7-8/10 (wine shown)

You’ll like it if you like: Green apples and pears; light sparkling cider; Vouvray; Orvieto; light Champagne.
Have it with
Your guests on Christmas day as a first drink.
Otherwise, with aperitifs e.g. Prosciutto & Grissini or Salmon appetizers.
Where to find it
1) Waitrose - £6.49 (Wine shown) - HALF PRICE until 06/12/2011. Not your typical forward overtly fruity, slightly sickly Prosecco at very decent price. A good buy!
2) Majestic - £8.49 to £13.99. On offer until 5/12. Would suggest going for the Prosecco di Conegliano Valdobbiadene Extra Dry NV Italy
3) Tesco - £8.99 (down from £9.99 until 03/01/2012)

Did you know

> This week’s example is a DOCG (Denominazione d’Originata Controllata e Garantita). DOCG is reserved to the finest Italian wines (less than 30 wine zones can claim it) and is the highest, most rigidly controlled designation an Italian wine can carry. It is therefore meant as sign of quality, although a IGT (Indicazione Geografica Tipica) can easily outrule the quality of a DOCG. In a nutshell, indication of quality but to take with a pinch of salt.
> The Prosecco mainly comes from Veneto but also from the neighbouring region of Friuli. The sub-region of Conegliano Valdobbiadene has been a DOCG since 2009.
> Prosecco is produced differently to Champagne. When producing Champagne, a still wine is first produced and then re-fermented in the bottle for a few months. This is known as the ‘méthode traditionnelle’ ou ‘champenoise’. With Prosecco, the still wine first produced is then refermented but in a large stainless steel tanks and then rebottled. This the method ‘Charmat’ or ‘tank transfer method’. This partly explains why Champagne is more expensive than Prosecco.
> You can have spumante and frizzante wines. Spumante are the fully sparkling wines and frizzante less so.
> Most sparkling wine sometimes are labelled either as ‘Extra Brut’, ‘Brut’ or ‘Extra-sec/Extra Dry’ or even ‘Demi-sec/Riche/Semi-dulce’. These indications reflect the level of sweetness of the wine and goes from very dry (‘Extra brut’) to sweet (‘Demi-sec’). The wine shown is Extra Dry which means off-dry.
> 150 million bottles of Prosecco are produced every year.

The last thing you’ll need is obviously your best ‘tux’ for the evening or as we Froggies say: ‘se mettre sur son 31’.
Stock up for Christmas, have a sneaky preview of  Prosecco and let me know what you think of this week’s wine.
Any recommendation on main course (I was thinking Turkey, maybe) for Christmas pretty welcome.
Cheers! Santé! Salud! Salute!


  1. We had it on Wednesday, and can confirm it's a good one! We saw it at Waitrose, and Fran knew the brand and recommended it.

  2. Thanks Carolina!!
    Another option: Sainsbury's Prosecco Conegliano, Taste the Difference £6.99.
    It's very much in the same style as the Waitrose one i.e. quite subtle light pear scent and soft bubbles! Delicious!

  3. Christmas Day 2011. Just consumed Le Dolci Colline - excellent. Crisp, not too acid, friendly to the palate shame there isn't a second bottle to tuck into...

  4. Just in case you were wondering 82a68bee-2eff-11e1-8144-000bcdcb471e is me, Hazel!!

  5. Hey Hazel! Glad you enjoy the Prosecco! It's available for under a tenner on or in Colburn&Grant in Cirencester for just over it. Enjoy your next tipple! Cheers A


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