Prosecco: The Life of the Party
I love this time of year, marked by the chill in the air, sweet smells of baking, and golden bubbles at every occasion. From now until we ring in the New Year, Sparkling wine is the omnipresent backdrop to gathering with friends and loved ones. And while Champagne is great for those splurge-worthy moments and intimate gatherings, Prosecco is really the life of the party. Reasonably priced, Italy’s sparkling wine is a fantastic crowd pleaser. In general, it has a younger, fresher profile than Champagne and is loaded ample amounts of bright citrus and fruit. Its zippy flavors pair well with food and it also makes a great base for festive cocktails.
One of our current favorites this December is the San Venanzio Prosecco Valdobbiadene Superiore Brut. Priced at $13.99, this wine absolutely over-delivers for its price, which is always a bonus when you want to impress your guests at beginning of night, and yet not be heartbroken as bottles are being casually guzzled by the end of the evening. With its amazing charm, cocktail versatility and crowd-pleasing drinkability, it’s the ultimate party wine.
The winery, Terre di San Venanzio Fortunato, was founded by Gabriele Gregolo and his wife Monica Ganz. While Monica grew up in Valdobbiadene and has a background in wine, Gabriele’s background is in marketing and sales. Together, they decided to start their own winery and they started buying grapes from local vintners. Within a few years, they were winning awards. Today, they make eight wines in total, ranging from sweet to dry.
All the grapes for this wine are sourced from vineyards throughout the Valdobbiadene DOCG. In this region, where undulating hills of vines span as far as the eye can see, the vineyards themselves can be very small, and the vineyard owners often farm just a few acres. For Gabriele, who buys his grapes, this allows endless possibilities to produce a variety of wines and to grow his production as the demand increases. Our Italian Wine Buyer, Greg St. Claire, visits Gabriele often and they exchange notes on emerging wine styles and popular tastes. Unlike some producers, who might be married to a certain style or vineyard, Gabriele is open to creating the best expression of Prosecco by using a variety of vineyards. This wine is a reflection of this fresh perspective and constant refinement.
At K&L, we carry their SuperioreBrut. Unlike many Proseccos, which tend to be on the sweeter side, this wine has a very clean, bright profile with just a kiss of sweetness on the finish to balance the lively acidity and ample fruit. Elegant and balanced, it is an amazing deal for the quality you get in the bottle. With enough character to stand on its own, it makes a great aperitif. The other night I brought a bottle to a gathering with friends – only I made the mistake of bringing just one bottle. It was quickly polished off before dinner and replaced by inquiries for more. Mental note, this sparkling wine is best when multiplied. It is the holidays, after all.