I love prosecco – well, I love most fizz, but prosecco is always fresh and has a story to tell. For instance, the very first time I was tempted by it was in Zurich where it seemed that prosecco (as well as German Sekt) was sold by the glass as often as coffee. ‘It’s 10.30 am and I need a coffee’ says long suffering husband to a coffee detesting wife. ‘No problems – you have your coffee and I will have the prosecco’ was the surprising answer. No stopping me after that!
Often dry & fresh with a citrusy zing & green apple crispness, sometimes with stonefruit ripeness, Prosecco evokes zippy Vespas, lyrical Veronese & veritable Venetians. There may also be a distinct almond nuttiness as well. Its higher acid makes it a great compliment for Italian style appetisers, or tapas if you wish, but it is also a fizz that can be enjoyed as an aperitif & should be more …. and often.
It is almost impossible to visit a pub or a bar without Prosecco on offer. According to Harpers (December 2016), the value and volume of Prosecco sold throughout UK is growing at 25%. Now a whopping €600M worth, over three quarters of all European sales of Prosecco, is sold in the UK. The USA is not far behind. Bloomberg has reported that 17 percent of the 2015 Prosecco harvest of 450 million bottles being sold into the USA.
Here are three to watch out for …..
Fili Prosecco Extra Dry DOC (NV) (£13) – This makes a tasty afternoon aperitif for any weather or occasion and hits the spot when served with a plate of pastizzi or antipasti. The floral apple and pear fruit has some nutty cashew notes to offset all that sweetness. An offdry style, balanced with some sherberty acid offering some good value. Available from various on-line sellers.
Bortolomiol Ius Naturae Brut, Valdobbiadene Prosecco Superiore DOCG (£11+) – Organic. A vintage offering that is softly rounded and firm finishing. A dry style of Prosecco with the flavours of apple, nut and lemon rind. Fresh and feisty. Try www.winestyle.co.uk.
Mionetto Prosecco Cartizze DOCG Extra Dry (NV) ( £20) – Made from 100% Glera grapes from the Treviso region, this Prosecco has been made in the Extra Dry style using the Charmat method with around 14g/l residual sugar. A small batch Prosecco that has more to offer. The pear and floral fruit have the added interest of some mineral and nutty almond and last long in the mouth. With its crisp, refreshing finish this is a beguiling Italian that you might find hard to put down. Check out Laithwaites. If you cannot find the Cartizze Extra Dry, the Mionetto DOC Treviso is available in Tesco. You cannot miss its distinctive bottle.