I’ve never felt sad while drinking a glass of champagne or prosecco. There is just something about the feel of a sparkling beverage as you sip it that is pleasing–the slight tickle in your noise, and the fizz on your tongue. Maybe it’s just psychological, I mean bubbles are fun and enjoyable: blowing bubbles as a child, chewing bubble gum, bubbles in soda, bubble baths, and popping bubble wrap. I’ve even heard of large bubbles you can get inside of for fun at music festivals (personally I’ve never participated, but I know a friend who has). Try saying the word “bubbles” with a frown or a mean look on your face – you can’t.
For a long time, I thought champagne was only for celebratory occasions, like New Year’s Eve and anniversaries, but it’s not. It’s perfectly fine to sip a glass of bubbly on a Thursday night when you get home from work. In fact, it makes Thursday nights (otherwise known as “Friday Jr.” in our house) that much better.
We all know by now that champagne only comes from the Champagne region in France, and that everything else is sparkling wine. Well, Prosecco is Italy’s “Champagne.” The name comes from an Italian village called Prosecco and is therefore, Prosecco DOC (Denominazione di Origine Controllata (controlled designation of origin). The DOC designation is similar to the AOC designation in French wine. However, it is not made using the same method, and is therefore less expensive than Champagne.
I like Prosecco both for the fizz and the flavor. It can range from sweet to dry: Demi-Sec, Dry, Extra dry, and Brut. I prefer the dry varieties, as I’m not much into sweet wines. I also like Prosecco because it is a little lower in calories than regular wine and it doesn’t give me a headache or heartburn like red wines occasionally do.
Here are some of my favorites:
Martelozzo – this can be found at Trader Joe’s. Honestly, it doesn’t get the best reviews online, but I happen to like the citrus flavor and tartness. It’s light and refreshing and pairs well with my grilled chili lime chicken . It has a nice pale color and lots of fizz.
Riondo Prosecco Spago Nero – this one is light and clean tasting. You can pick it up at Total Wine for just under $12. It has a smooth and more delicate taste and is slightly less bubbly, making it pair with fish nicely. Great summer time wine.
La Marca – this is my stand-by. It’s pretty mainstream (they even have an app!), widely available at grocery stores and big box chains, and their website has a hip vibe, with recipes for prosecco based cocktails. It also comes in these cute little mini bottles that I love to take to Book Club, because it limits my consumption! The little bottles are also fun to add to stockings or birthday gifts. It’s usually right around $15 and has good reviews. It also has a nice citrus flavor, and is clean and crisp.
Mionetto Prosecco Brut is another one I like. The bottle is just a little fancier looking than a lot of the other Proseccos out there, making it look more like a champagne bottle. It’s a little bit fruitier, but still on the dry side. It makes a great mimosa, and that’s very important when choosing a Prosecco!
There are hundreds more that I haven’t tried, of course, so I don’t limit myself to this list. I love trying new wines, and already have these two on my list for next time:
Zardetto: This one is supposed to be “clean, crisp, versatile and food friendly.” Sounds like a good combination to me! You can pick this one up at Total Wine for under $15. In fact, Total Wine has a pretty extensive selection of Prosecco.
Sorelle Bronca Valdobbiadene Superiore Extra Dry: When I read the description as “ripe, slightly acidic, and just slightly briny” I was intrigued. I’ve never described a wine as “briny.” And, since I prefer the dry Proseccos to the fruity ones, why not give it a whirl.