Bubbles for the New Year
Happy New Year, my dear readers! Last year I gave you my crash course on sparkling wines and as we prepare to enter 2017 (what?!) I'm going to go a little more in depth with Prosecco. Firstly, there is a plural of Prosecco and I really want to use it in this post: Prosecchi. All Prosecchi are made with the Glera grape (previously called Prosecco, but was renamed to avoid confusion) which is grown in two regions in Italy.
Prosecco DOC: grapes are sourced from a widespread area of Veneto and Friuli
Conegliano Valdobbiadene DOCG: grapes are sourced from a small area between Veneto and Friuli where the slopes are steep and made of limestone. It's a higher quality wine than Prosecco DOC. If the terms "Cartizze" or "Rive" appear on the label, that's an indication of a superior vineyard.
Most Prosecco is non vintage, meaning that it is a blend of multiple vintages. Winemakers choose to do this with many sparkling wines because it ensures that a producer's style of Prosecco remains consistent year to year. It's fermented like any wine is, then the vintage mashup happens and the wine undergoes a secondary fermentation to give it all those bubbles. Here's how it's done:
- The wine is placed in a sealed tank along with sugar, yeast, and nutrients for the yeast to survive
- The yeast feeds on the sugar, converting it to alcohol
- This process releases carbon dioxide and because the tank is sealed the gas has nowhere to go but back into the wine
- The yeast sediment is filtered out of the wine and then it's bottled. The wine, not the sediment. Yuck.
- Voila! Prosecco
Because I'm feeling
fizzy fancy, I'm going to taste a wine from each of the designated regions. First up is the Tiamo Prosecco. I'm cheating just a teeny bit with this one: although it's labeled Prosecco DOC, a portion of the grapes used to make this wine are sourced from the village of Valobbiandene. Which explains why I liked it better than most Prosecchi that I've had. I found that it's not as bold in flavor as I was expecting, which I enjoyed. Not that I dislike Prosecco, but I really appreciate it when a wine kills it while still being delicate. It was juicy and light and showed flavors of peach, pear, lemon, and yellow apple. I thought that it had a really great balance of flavors, body, and acidity and I enjoyed this one. It's definitely worth snapping up for your New Year's bubbles.
Next on the docket is Bortolotti Valdobbiadene DOCG and I thought it was amazing. Like the Tiamo, this wine was light bodied with delicate but fruity flavors. The Bortolotti was more dry and I was getting notes of nectarine, pear, green apple, and lemon juice. In short, it tasted like a really delicious fruit bowl. This is your brunch wine if you're feeling up to it on New Year's Day ;)
Once again, have a very happy New Year and I'll catch you on the other side of all those bubbles. Cheers to 2017!