If there was ever a time to crack open the bubbly, it’s the festive season. In the run-up to Christmas and the New Year the satisfying sound of a cork popping is almost an everyday occurrence.
Nowadays, it’s highly likely that the bottle being opened is one of Prosecco – the easy-drinking fizz that has taken the world by storm. Through my work with The Prosecco D.O.C (Registered Designation of Origin) Consortium, I present on Prosecco across the UK and am overjoyed at the level of interest in this fantastic, versatile fizz that is as accessible yet also complex and nuanced.
The different levels of sugar content with the ‘Brut’, ‘Extra Dry’ and ‘Dry’ styles and the different types of effervescence, with Spumante or Frizzante, offer a whole range of flavour profiles. And that’s before you begin to look at different producers across the two regions of Veneto and Friuli-Venezia Giulia that make up the home of Prosecco in north east Italy. The Proseccos produced by producers across the nine provinces in these regions – Treviso, Venice, Vicenza, Padova and Belluno in Veneto and Gorizia, Pordenone, Trieste and Udine in Friuli-Venezia Giulia – offer their own unique characteristics that mean there really is something for everyone.
You may be looking for an aperitif or perhaps you’re on a quest for a perfect pairing with food, whether it’s Grana Padano PDO (Protected Designation of Origin), sushi or Parma ham. Whatever you’re after, there is a Prosecco for you. It’s just a case of knowing which one to choose.
I’ve picked out six top Prosecco producers whose wines will suit a variety of occasions this Christmas and New Year:-
This company, begun by Francesco Mionetto 1887 in Valdobbiadene, has an excellent range. The Extra Dry is a great example with lovely balance and notes of green apples, acacia and apricots, but for me their Treviso Brut is also really impressive.
La Gioiosa is owned by the lovely Moretti Polegato family, who produce this is delicious, elegant and soft Prosecco, which has floral and citrus character and is a delicious match with seafood. Make sure you have a bottle nice and chilled.
A great one for a party or aperitif, this Prosecco is packed with lively fruit flavours. As well as a standard bottle, it’s also available in magnum for that showstopping moment, currently £20.99 down to £15.99.
Located in Prosecco’s Conegliano region of the Veneto and owned by the Dal Bianco family since 1946,Masottina produces a range of high quality Proseccos and this DOC remains as popular as ever. This Decenter Gold Medal winner is stylish, smooth, elegant and creamy, it will be a winner at any party and family celebration.
This is a very well known producer and popular Prosecco, which should be part of your Christmas selections. Full of freshness and light, lemony fruit flavours, with lovely creamy character too.
Biancavigna make beautifully elegant styles of Prosecco and they are most definitely a Group One runner. Their Brut is soft, floral, creamy, very stylish and delicious. Great as an aperitif with my favourite pairing of Grana Padano aged between 16 and 20 months, which is ideal for any cheese board or the cruncher, intense Grana Padano Riserva aged over 20 months. Grana Padano is available in Waitrose, M&S, Harvey Nichols, Sainsbury’s and Co-op.
The Prosecco story is still developing and its growth and popularity will no doubt continue to expand. The important thing is to try and to understand the nuances between different producers, different regions and different contexts.
You can enjoy checking out Oz Clarke’s new World of Wine (£30 Pavilion Books) and dive into the world of wines, grapes and vineyards. But when it comes to finding the Prosecco for you, you’re best off indulging in a bit of tasting. So pop that cork and get the fizz flowing, and come and join me on one of my masterclasses in 2018.
For more details regarding the Prosecco D.O.C Consortium check out www.discoverproseccowine.it facebook.com/prosecco @DOCProsecco
The Wine Tipster
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