Summer in a Glass

Category: Wine Buzz Written by JoAnn Actis-Grande / August 21, 2012

Toast summer all day long with everyone’s new favorite wine from Italy, Prosecco! It is a dry to softly sweet white wine, almost always bubbly, and the joy lies in the versatility of the grape, which can take you through the whole day.

Prosecco is straw-colored, crisp, clean, fun, and fruity with hints of lemon, citrus, apples, almonds, and honey. Prosecco recently emerged as a top selling wine all over the world, predicted to outsell French champagne, the other bubbly. A great alternative to champagne, the Italian sparkler is delicate and delicious, yet costs much less.

Prosecco is from Veneto, a leading wine region that has made some of Italy’s finest wines for centuries. You will find most of the wine production halfway between magical Venice and the powerful Dolomites (Italian Alps) in the breathtaking hilly area of Conegliano and Valdobbiadene. This is the heartland of Prosecco.

Prosecco is made in the Charmat method, also referred to as “bulk process,” using large glass and steel tanks for a second fermentation and then bottling the wine under pressure to create a delicate and refreshing wine. This process is cost effective, allowing Prosecco to be sold at very affordable prices.

Notably, in 2010 the Conegliano and Valdobbiadene region received DOCG (controlled designation of origin) status, the highest classification in Italy. This guarantees strict government control and allows producers to label its wine “Prosecco Superiore.” The upgrade additionally renames the grape to its ancient name “Glera.” And another triumph comes from Wine Enthusiast Magazine, naming Prosecco “Wine Region of the Year” for 2011.

Wake up to Prosecco by adding fresh orange juice for a morning Mimosa. During lunch you can enjoy the light bubbly with salads. As day turns to night, it is the wine to kick back and relax with, then serve with dinner and even dessert. Prosecco can perk up your parties by creating fun cocktails such as the “Bellini,” the signature drink of Venice. Giuseppe Cipriani invented the Bellini at Harry’s Bar in 1948. To make it, just add 1 medium ripe, fresh peeled, and pureed peach to 4–6 ounces of your favorite Prosecco.

There are so many wine choices, why not keep it simple by choosing Prosecco as your everyday summer wine…Salute!

The following are suggestions priced under $20. Visit your favorite local wine retailer, or purchase directly from the winery.

Biagio Prosecco Brut
A clean, tasty, sparkling wine made from 100 percent Prosecco grapes from the Veneto region. White with a greenish tint, a harmonious fruity flavor and a long finish. A perfect choice as an aperitif and also paired with light hors d’oeuvres and fish.

Bisol Prosecco “Jeio” Valdobbiandene Brut
Full of tiny bubbles with touches of apples, peaches, and pears, and a strong scent of wildflowers. Perfect party and porch wine, or serve with appetizers, salads, light dishes, and fruity desserts.

Carpenè Malvolti Prosecco DOCG Cuvée Brut
A pale yellow color with aromas of lemon, lime, and green apple, leading up to a long-lasting soft finish. Serve alone or alongside summer dishes, risotto, fish, and chicken.

Mionetto Prosecco Brut
From the heart of the Prosecco region, this wine is soft and subtle, with hints of sweetness including delicate aromas and flavors of apple, banana, and melon. The perfect everyday wine to complement your meal.

Nino Franco “Rustico” Prosecco di Valdobbiadene
True to its character, classic, consistent, both flora and fruity. A fashionable wine served at grand openings. Wonderful as an aperitif, or served with seafood and Asian dishes.

Ruggeri Prosecco di Valdobbiadene Gold Label
The wine is crisp, fizzy, with lots of apple and citrus. It is bright and clean, the perfect aperitif and ideal for celebrations. Pairs nicely with seafood—especially lobster and sea scallops.

Villa Cornaro Prosecco Extra Dry
This faintly colored fine wine gleams with greenish reflections, offering a nice, light, crisp taste. Outstanding as an aperitif and for special occasions, including marriage proposals.

Zardetto Prosecco di Conegliano Brut
Classic style displaying aromas of peach, citrus, and tropical fruits, and delicately soft and harmonious on the palate. Zesty and stylish, the quintessential sparkling aperitif, easily served with a wide array of food.

Photograph by © Uschi Hering/