Prosecco

Mother Nature’s final retort to wine coolers, lite beer, alco-pop and other fizzy, cold, but ultimately unsatisfying industrial crap, Prosecco just plain rules: It is not about being super dry and toasty and yeasty and all those things we love in great fizz from la Champagne….it chooses to forgo the cerebral path and head straight for the pleasure centers of your brain. It is lighter and zestier and more aromatic but never actually sweet with crisp, refreshing acidity to take on anything from traditional anti-pasti platters to chicken salad, ceviche, Thai food or even some serious BBQ.

Villa Chiara Prosecco, Veneto

Our #1 Prosecco for years, we give everyone a taste when they sit down in our Wine Bar and it sells itself….

 

Cortesia Prosecco Frizzante, Veneto

Borgo del Col Alto Prosecco, Veneto

Both of these are a little lower in pressure, a lot creamier on the palate and very easy on the wallet.

 

Azienda Agricola Le Manzane, San Pietro di Feletto, Veneto

We LOVE Prosecco, YOU love Prosecco, we just cannot get enough of what is surely the best aperitivo wine on the planet. So we sought out this tiny family estate last year after having been tipped off by Finnish friends of ours that it was special. The Balbinot family only makes wine from their own 30 hectares of meticulously cultivated vines that have been a living laboratory of clonal research since 1992 in cooperation with the Istituto Sperimentale per la Viticoltura di Conegliano. The results are stunning: pure joy in a bottle and the perfect start to any occasion.

Le Manzane Prosecco Brut Conegliano / Valdobbiadene, Veneto

A dry cuvée from the estate’s best vineyards, very crisp and refreshing.

 

Le Manzane Pròseo Rosé Brut, Veneto  Sold Out, Returning Soon

Ernesto is constantly innovating and fine tuning his products and the packaging. The big wave this year was Rosé Prosecco and his was the best: 95% Prosecco, 2% Merlot for color, 3% Moscato for aromatics (this is the bit that makes theirs the best we tried). VERY small bead, creamy texture, light salmon color, bone dry finish and really gorgeous packaging.

 

Le Manzane Pròseo Rosé Frizzante, Veneto

A slightly softer, fruitier version of the wine above with lower pressure (giving it a creamier texture) and a traditional “spago” (string) closure.

 

Le Manzane Prosecco Conegliano / Valdobbiadene Brut, Veneto  

Classic white fruit flavors and aromatics with a clean, refreshing BONE DRY finish. Got Sushi? Mariscos? Flamin’ Hot Cheetos? This works with most anything you can throw at it…

 

Col Saliz, Refrontolo Veneto

This winery is the dream of Antonio Faganello who, after doing stages at Bisol and Mionetto, wanted to do something smaller, personal and much more terroir driven. It’s working…

Col Saliz Servo Suo Brut Prosecco, Veneto

This is the result of harvesting low yield Prosecco ten days ahead of the normal harvest to retain a zinging, food friendly acidity and ensure a FIRMLY DRY finish. Try it with smoked fish, oysters, sushi, you get the idea! Very limited…

 

Col Saliz Prosecco di Valdobiadenne Millesimato Extra Dry 2008, Veneto

This is the top of the “normal” line, harvested an peak ripeness for classic, refreshing Prosecco flavor and texture.

 

Col Saliz Servo Suo Extra Dry Prosecco di Valdobiadene, Veneto

This is the result of leaving the fruit on aggressively pruned vines to ripen for a couple of extra weeks. It is lush and opulent like a big fat kiss or a really ripe pear. Serve it with some salty anti-pasti or some mixed nuts and watch the smiles erupt. Cheers!

 

Fratelli Zeni, Bardolino Veneto

This is a fifth generation family endeavor founded in 1870 but with roots in the local wine trade going back to 1800 when one of there ancestors was a hauler of wine, olive oil and fish from the shores of Lake Garda to the ancient city of Verona. The wines are elegant, food friendly and fantastic values for money.

Zeni Bardolino Chiaretto Spumante Brut, Veneto

This is almost literally Summer in a bottle (and has been a SENSATION when we pour it in our bar): gorgeous rose color, aromas of berries and red flowers, tiny bubbles and a firm dry finish make this a perfect aperitivo with all kinds of Summer al fresco appetizers.

 

More Fun Italian Bubbly 

in ascending order of sweetness:

 

Zanotto Col Fondo Vino Bianco Frizzante Rifermentazione in Bottiglia, Veneto  

So…What is THIS?!?!? It’s the most rustic / authentic / old school Italian bubbly we’ve ever brought you: literally farmhouse style, just like we get served when we visit some very traditional cantine. It is re-fermented in THIS bottle then sent to market unfiltered with the secondary fermentation yeast still in the wine. Just like a great Belgian Wit Biere, you ROLL it on the table before opening to integrate the lees into the wine. WHY?!?!? It gives a richer texture AND is a great source of Vitamin B12…Cheers! BONE Dry, Über Refreshing!

 

Balgera Vini Chiavennasca Terrazze Retiche di Sondrio Frizzante, Valtellina

Now THIS is interesting: 100% Nebbiolo (the varietal used to make Barolo, Barbaresco and, more importantly, Sforzato) vinified WHITE then fizz-a-fied to about the pressure and refreshment factor of a nice Prosecco but with a bigger mouthfeel and a drier finish. The culinary possibilities of this are approximately infinite so you had better get started tonight.

 

Tenuta Uccellina Pagadebit di Romagna Vino Frizzante Libertino 2009, Emilia Romagna

Bright pear and apple flavors with a hint of lemon zest and lime flowers on the nose, crisp acidity but plenty of fruit, all with just enough bubbles to get that hot sauce or fancy vinaigrette off your tongue so you can dive in for more. And, at just 11.5% ABV, feel free to dive in! 100% Bombino Bianco, called Pagadebit (the debt payer!) in dialect for its early ripening and high yields.

 

Terre da Vino Cortese dell’Alto Monferrato Frizzante 2010, Piemonte

Sort of a Piemontese retort to Vinho Verde: 100% Cortese (the Gavi variety) harvested early, fermented bone dry and then bottled while still retaining a nice light fizziness (and just 11.5% ABV), just perfect for cleaning spicy or oily foods off your palate. We LOVE this!

 

Palamà Malvasia Frizzante Skarabocchio 2009, Puglia  

Wildly aromatic, gently fizzy, just 11.5% ABV, dry enough to enjoy with real food (but fruity and flowery enough to please your Riesling / Moscato / White Zin loving friends and loved ones), this wine has something for everyone and is also both affordable and beautifully packaged. Serve it with anything from Baja style mariscos to charcuterie or even just some Triscuits and store bought spinach dip, Skarabocchio is sure to delight.

 

Puianello Malvasia Dolce Le Gemme, Emilia-Romagna  

Diplomacy: the search for the 3rd option. If, like us, you have been desperately searching for a wine that is just a tad sweeter and more aromatic than Prosecco but not quite as hedonistically explosive as Moscato d’Asti, then here it is. And just in the nick of time as the Summer Goofing Off Season is coming up fast.

 

Terre da Vino Asti Solia 2010, Piemonte

Bottled Love (or at least lust)? Full on froth meets the insane aromatics of perfectly cultivated Moscato with just a touch of sweetness, all backed up by bracing acidity. If this does not put a smile on your face perhaps you just need to be put out of your misery….“Hold it just a friggin’ minute there! First you guys were touting Lambrusco and now you want me to drink Asti Freaking Spumante? You have GOT to be kidding me….right?”  Uh…No, we are deadly serious. THIS Asti is actually a high quality DOCG wine worthy of your attention no matter WHAT Martini & Rossi put in their bottles. Try one, you just might get lucky…

 

Cà ed Balos Moscato d’Asti 2011, Piemonte

Our best value Moscato still brings the utter joy of life this DOCG is famous for, fun label too!

 

Il Falchetto Moscato d’Asti Tenuta del Fant 2011, Piemonte

The fresh orange blossom and citrus zest aromas and refreshing sweet / tart finish of this wine burned its sheer excitement into the brain cells of so many of you that you never let us forget about it no matter how many other wonderful Moscati we threw at you when we were out of stock. Recently we were quoted in the City Beat Summer Guide as saying that we call Moscato d’Asti “the Zombie Detector” because if you don’t like it you are probably dead. What the editor cut out (and what made the reporter do a spit take and nearly fall off his chair when we said it) was we also noted that “neurologists will tell you that there are receptors for crack cocaine and marijuana right in your brain…well, the one for Moscato d’Asti is right between them”. Fun, fizzy, low alcohol, bursting with bright citrus aromas and LOVE, serve this with salty snacks (Corn Nuts, Prosciutto e Melone, Honey Roasted Cashews and Dried Fruit, ect) in the afternoon and all will be well with the world.

 

Cascina Fonda Moscato d’Asti 2010, Piemonte  Sold Out, New Vintage Soon!

A deliciously fun, completely non snobby tipple that is light in body, low in alcohol, lively and fizzy but not full on sparkling, this virtually explodes with citrus, tropical fruit and floral aromas. Yes, it is sweet but so are stolen kisses and homegrown tomatoes so just relax and enjoy this when you need to be reminded of the joy of life and the beauty of nature. It smells like orange blossoms and tastes like love and you just can’t put a numerical score on that….

 

Terre da Vino Malvasia Dolce di Castelnuovo Don Bosco, Piemonte  

Our notes from VinItaly: “Sex on wheels! So fragrant and fun you could drink a whole bottle. Ali will go crazy with this in Hawaii and we need an endless supply in Santa Monica too.” This is RED Malvasia with a wondrous nose of ripe red berries and rose petals, just a touch of sweetness and full pressure fizz but just 6.5% ABV so you can have a third glass.

 

Cascina Fonda Vendemmia Tardiva Moscato d’Asti 2010, Piemonte  

We call even normal Moscato d’Asti “The Zombie Detector” because if you don’t like it you might be already dead but this is a whole ‘nother thing. It is not labeled as DOCG due to its unique production methods and flavor profile: it is made from Moscato grapes left to hang an additional three weeks on the vine which give it notes of walnuts and toffee on top of the burnt orange peel, dried fruit and hibiscus flower base. OUTRAGEOUS, unique, undeniable, this has earned serious cult status over the years. Uh…Ladies Man…this is goooooooood…wink, wink.