For bubbles without pretension, you can't go wrong with Prosecco. Italy's most famous sparkling wine is celebrated for its deliciousness and affordability but don't overlook its capacity for elegance. The next time you're in your local wine shop, ask for a bottle of Conegliano Valdobbiadene Prosecco Superiore DOCG to experience a very special expression of Prosecco. The name is certainly a tongue-twister for those of us who don't speak Italian but the taste is worth a bit of linguistic acrobatics - Conegliano Valdobbiadene Prosecco Superiore DOCG represents Italy's highest quality designation in the Prosecco category.
Like all Prosecco, the sparkling wines from Conegliano Valdobbiadene are produced from the Glera grape (a minimum of 85%) but these wines come from a very specific region - hilly countryside situated around 30 miles north of Venice and 64 miles south of the Dolomites. Vines have been grown in the region since ancient times but the first written document linking Prosecco to this area dates back to 1772. Alan Tardi, US Ambassador of Prosecco DOCG said it perfectly, "Prosecco isn't a new variety invented so we could have Mimosas and Bellinis!"
While Prosecco DOC also boasts some lovely wines, there are many mass-produced brands in the category that are more fizz than finesse. Prosecco from Conegliano Valdobbiadene beautifully express the terroir and its limited production make it even more special - around 83 million bottles compared to 355 million bottles in the Prosecco DOC region. For a great introduction to this very special Prosecco, here are four delicious examples. Salute!
Astoria "Corderíe" Valdobbiadene Prosecco Superiore DOCG Extra Dry ($20)
Fresh and lively flavors of fresh green apple and citrus.
Sanfeletto Conegliano Valdobbiadene Prosecco Superiore DOCG Brut "Bosco di Fratta" Millesimato 2015 ($15)
Crisp with a touch of creaminess, balanced acidity, and flinty minerality.
This is just a very brief introduction to Conegliano Valdobbiadene Prosecco Superiore DOCG - there is even a still (tranquillo) Prosecco with no bubbles! Visit www.prosecco.it to learn more.