Weekend Wine

Countdown to the Holidays: Sparkling Wines

The fine folks of Italy have developed a system to determine the quality of their wines. It is imperfect, but it basically offers three primary quality levels.

Photo Courtesy of the Winery

Photo Courtesy of the Winery

DOCG is the highest, followed by DOC. IGT, also known as IGP, brings up the rest, although in a few instances the IGT wines are actually better than the DOCG wines.

Prosecco is Italy’s most famous sparkling wine, though the folks in Franciacorta and Asti might disagree. Asti and Prosecco use a variant on the Charmat method (pressurized in a tank) versus the Champagne method, used in Franciacorta, of developing the bubbles directly in the bottle. Charmat’s large format way of getting effervescence has a benefit to consumers: lower price.

Adami’s Bosco di Gica Valdobbiadene DOCG Brut ($17) is a perfect example. It is a lovely wine with luxurious, tiny bubbles, a tad of pear and apple aromas, and well-judged acidity that makes the wine good for either aperitif duty or to match with a holiday meal. If you can’t find this wine, you’ll find a similar quality and price in our next-door-neighbor New Mexico’s Gruet Brut NV ($14), a wine you can find anywhere. Happy holidays.

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DOCG, DOC, IGT, Prosecco, Franciacorta, Asti, Charmat, Adami, Bosco di Gica, Valdobbiadene, Gruet, Champagne


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