As we get into late Spring with the Summer season on the horizon, I always make sure to have one thing cold in the refrigerator – and that is a good bottle of Prosecco. A well made Prosecco is one of life’s great, simple pleasures. Meant to be easy-going and refreshing, Prosecco can be enjoyed on its own or blended to make other cocktails – the most famous being mixed with peach puree, otherwise known as a “Bellini.”
Prosecco is in fact both the name of the wine as well as the grape variety. Native to the Veneto region in northeastern Italy, the Prosecco di Conegliano Valdobbiadene DOCG is the highest classification of the wine, made west of the township of Conegliano near the Piave river. The Prosecco grapes are typically harvested in mid-September and are vinified dry. They, in turn, achieve their characteristic bubbles in large tanks through the Charmat method. This process is much more cost effective than the traditional method used in Champagne where the secondary fermentation takes place in each individual bottle. The Charmat process combined with the inherent simplistic quality of the Prosecco grape results in an often-inexpensive wine. My favorites tend to be on the drier side, quite fresh with ripe fruit. Now beware, a lot of cheap Prosecco is made in the Veneto so it takes some effort to wade through the poor bottles.
Here are two of my favorites.