You can guess what was being popped in the Prosecco region of Italy this week. The big news is that Prosecco, that ever popular Italian sparkler, earned its "G." That is, it was upgraded by the wine authorities their from a D.O.C rated region (abbreviation for Denominazione di origine controllata) to a DOCG, which adds a "Garantita" to the acronym. What does that mean? Not much to us, really. Technically a DOCG region has more strict controls, lower maximum yields, and the wines have to meet the standards of a tasting committee. But to the Italians making superior Prosecco, the designation is long belated offical acknowledgment of the quality of their product and the legitimacy of their region. Specifically, the DOCG is conferred upon a part of the Prosecco area known as Conegliano-Valdobbiadene, which is the best part. So when shopping for the wines, that's what you want to look for.
It's timely news, I think, as Prosecco is in many ways the bubbly of the moment. Not too many people can afford Champagne anymore, so this less expensive, wonderfully effervescent wine from northeastern Italy fills in wonderfully. And there are some truly great proseccos out there. They're too different to be compared directly to Champagne, but I will say that they have enough complexity and style to make me very happy. What also makes me happy? The prices on this enormously well-crafted product are often too good to be believed.
- La Tordera Prosecco "Alne" crisp, dry, sophisticated and palate cleansing ($18 at the Ferry Plaza Wine Merchant)
- Sorelle Bronca one of the most interesting Prosecco's with a complex structure and diverse array of flavors from citrus to flowers ($17 at K&L)
- Adami "Dei Casel" Extra Dry richer and fuller in the mouth than most, the wine is still mineral a deep with stone fruits ($17 at K&L)