Now that we’ve just finished the holiday season, Champagne is no longer on everyone’s mind. Of course, when people think Champagne it also often includes bottles that are technically cava, prosecco, or just plain old sparkling wine. Either way, after Thanksgiving most people think it’s time for sparkly dresses, sparkly ornaments, and sparkly wine. Then, on January second they promptly forget all about that. I love that people carve out a time to enjoy these wines, but I held off on the second part of my bubbly #WineStudio post for that reason. Bubbles are for every month! To illustrate that, this covers five more of the wines we tried during the session all about the Prosecco Superiore Conegliano Valdobbiadene DOCG wines. Try saying that three times fast. Also, try reading this post and saying you think these wines are still only meant for the time between Thanksgiving and New Years Day. I don’t think you’ll be able to do either.
Before this session, I knew next to nothing about Valdobbiadene or the Glera grape that stars in so many of these bottles. Sure, it’s always easy in the wine world to come across a new region, producer, or grape, and it’s easy to buy that wine, drink it, decide if you like it enough to buy again, and end there. Sometimes there’s something that makes it all more special though, and it makes you delve deeper into what the wine is all about. For me, besides these wines being a part of #WineStudio, it was the sheer variety of what these bubbles offered up and the point that they were made in the first sparkling wine district in Italy.
If you’re anything like me or my friends, your first few bottles of sparkling wine were overly sweet, opened to celebrate an occasion before a meal, and no one asked for a second glass. After the sound of the cork being popped faded, the beauty of the bubbles went with it, and it was forgotten on the wayside until the remaining juice was poured down a drain. That’s not the experience these wines warrant. Between photos we saw of the majestic area and the passion behind the wine, this area seems surreal as if it was plucked right out of the imagination and created for a movie. Anyone want to go on a trip there now? I’ll tag along!
In this lineup, the first bottle I popped was the Colesel Brut Valdobbiadene Superiore di Cartizze DOCG, a bottle that probably wouldn’t pop out at you in a wine aisle due to its simplicity. Yet not picking this one up would be a mistake. Apple and pear notes abounded in this glass, while it still had some complex brioche and nutty notes. Next, I dove into the Le Colture Dry Valdobbiadene Superiore di Cartizze DOCG, another winner for Italy. This wine had an electric buzz to it with notes of petrol on the nose and a round, sweet lemon linger on the palate. I liked the jump to it, although it still had some sweetness that appealed to the moscato lovers in my group. If you want something structured yet fun, this is what you need to buy. These were both mineral wines, an aspect I crave when picking up sparklers, so if you’re anything like me, add these to your repertoire and see what Italy has to offer.
After those stunners, I tried the 2016 Masottina Extra Dry Rive di Ogliano Conegliano Valdobbiadene Prosecco Superiore DOCG. This very pale wine had more floral notes and citrus than the previous two. It might not appeal to people who always crave zing, but it was refined and had a lot of layers to explore as the wine warmed. The Masottina runs about $16 to $20 a bottle, making it the ideal price for a wine to pick up for dinner with friends. Drink it before dinner, or while you’re eating sushi, or after dinner, or whenever you feel like it. The 2016 Bortolomiol Extra Dry Valdobbiadene Prosecco Superiore DOCG Millesimato “Banda Rossa” was up after this, and it was a bottle that demonstrated how “extra dry” can actually be sweet. Pale gold in color, the best part of this bottle was the millions of soft, tiny bubbles it produced. This was my grandmother’s favorite that she tried. It was a touch too sweet for my taste, but this is the wine that I know exactly which friends would appreciate as a gift.
The final bottle was that one that admittedly wasn’t for me, but that I could still appreciate. The 2015 Bellenda Conegliano Valdobbiadene Prosecco Superiore DOCG “Sei Uno” Rive di Carpesica, which I took to our beach house to enjoy with my cousin and her husband, had a hint of yeast, a touch of wet stone, and some flavors of green apples. This one wasn’t too sweet, which was an element I appreciated, but the overwhelming sense of white fruits in the glass toned the wine down for me and left me wanting something more. This was also the weekend I got to meet some of my fellow #WineStudio participants. I was a bit shy, but it was a fun evening that resulted in most of us trying a few grapes we’d never had before. But back to the prosecco. At around $15 a bottle, I will say it’s a good purchase for parties, especially since this wine would pair well with a wide range of foods. It might not be the bottle that I stock up on for everyday use, but I could see this one being a crowd pleaser, and sometimes that’s exactly what an occasion can call for.
Still, this isn’t the end! I still have a few more wines from this session to discuss. Look for that post in February after one about wines from (*GASP*) New Jersey. Until then, pick one of these bottles to open when you’re sick of the cold and just want to relax in front of the fireplace. I’ve already recommended one to my boss, and that won’t be the last suggestion I make this year. Cheers.