Wine of the Week
Somewhere in Italy, there is a bureaucrat that deserves death by unga-bunga. They effectively ruined a great swath of the Italian wine business by not seeing to the quality of wine being released. A perfect example is what they allowed to happen with Prosecco.
This lovely sparkling wine used to be a charming, light wine with delightful aromas, delicious flavors, and perfect prices. As more and more people started to discover its charms, the U.S. marketplace became the dumping ground for the least and worst of these wines. Suddenly, where you used to be able to count on the quality of the wine by the word Prosecco on the label, exactly the opposite happened. Now, you can almost be assured that it means insipid, flavorless, and overpriced.
Thankfully, there are several brands of Prosecco that carry on the tradition of delightful wine at an equally delightful price. One of my favorites is Adami, both for value and because they are easy to find. The winery has been in operation since 1920 and each of its wines offers a true picture of what Proseccos should taste like (i.e., slightly floral with citrus and apple aromas with a tangy sparkle). Their least expensive wine is Garbèl Brut – Prosecco DOC Treviso ($15), and this is a perfectly acceptable wine for a summer splurge. My favorite Adami wine is the Dei Casel Extra Dry - Valdobbiadene DOCG Prosecco Superiore ($18). It costs just a little more, but I think it's well worth the price. If you find you like the house style, you might also look for Bosco di Gica Brut - Valdobbiadene DOCG Prosecco Superiore ($20) and Vigneto Giardino Dry Valdobbiadene DOCG Prosecco Superiore “Rive di Colbertaldo” ($25). These are their finest wines and much more difficult to find, though any good store can order them for you.
One last caution on all Proseccos – don’t wait to enjoy them. Drink them soon after buying, and fresher is always better. In fact, if it is not vintage dated (most aren’t), ask the wine merchant if they know how old the wine is. As always, your best friend is a knowledgeable wine seller. Otherwise, pick carefully and enjoy.