Thursday, December 29, 2011

A Toast to the New Year!

I've never been particularly fond of champagne, though I've sipped plenty of glasses to ring in many a new year. It wasn't until I started working at my current job with all of its very educational wine tastings that I realized I don't, in fact, care for French wines, nor do I enjoy California wines. Both are too dry for me.

Italian wines, on the other hand, and for whatever reason, I find quite pleasant! So I was very delighted to be introduced to Prosecco, essentially the Italian equivalent to champagne. It is also sort of the latest trendy alternative here in the United States because it is less expensive (champagne is far more exclusive since it can only come from Champagne, France) and, in my opinion, a little sweeter and much more delicious.

Prosecco is a white wine, usually dry or extra dry, and sparkling. It comes from glera, or (surprise) “Prosecco” grapes, mostly grown in northern Italy. A band of traditional Prosecco growers is trying to get a protected designation of origin status, which means the name Prosecco will mean the same for northern Italy what champagne means for Champagne. Currently, Prosecco is also produced in Australia, Romania, Brazil, and Argentina.

The three main varieties of Prosecco that you will find in stores are brut, extra dry, and dry. I like all three, but my favorite is dry because it is the sweetest, though not as sweet as Asti, another sparkling Italian white wine that is another alternative to champagne. (The inventor studied the production practices in Champagne.) If you hate the dryness of champagne, or wine in general, I highly suggest Asti for your celebrations. It rather reminds me of soda pop in its bubbly sugary goodness, so I understand why many wine drinkers dislike it.

It has been suggested that mixing Asti or one of the sweeter Proseccos with grapefruit juice would make a tasty mimosa. Since grapefruit juice is less sweet than orange juice, it should blend better with the sweetness of the sparkling Italian wines. Orange juice would probably make it too sweet even for me!

1 comment:

  1. I love coming to this blog. There is always new information on wines and brings together people who love all types of wine together to discuss.