With the Sparkling Wine category expanding, we are seeing deluxe Champagne soar to new heights in pricing and designer packaging. The backlash, of course is that wine consumers will pay what they can afford to pay, and the rise of local method wines to fill the gap is one of the outcomes. The big winner around the world is Prosecco from Veneto in Italy. And maybe Cava will join the ranks of increasing popularity if they can get their unique flavours to become more accepted.
However it’s Prosecco’s turn to take the limelight now. Made from the Glera grape, which seems to thrive and produce the best balance and character around Treviso, the wine is made economically by the Charmat method with secondary fermentation in vat rather than in bottle, and the input of autolysis is not particularly desired. The wine sits at 11.0% alc. and with the same figure on average for residual sugar. I haven’t seen any vintage Prosecco here and the non-vintage concept makes it appear more uniform. The wine is easy, affordable and not challenging. Perfect for most occasions. The future for Prosecco continues to be bright and sparkling.
But one must not be lulled into a false sense of security that all is good and even, for like all wines, they can vary, and distinctly so. Some are drier, other sweeter. Some have greater character and balance. In essence, some are better than others. This came through in a small tasting of four wines. The NV Casa Bianca Prosecco Brut was soft, up-front with simple fruit flavours and a bit short. But still pleasant. The NV Divici Prosecco was more taut and elegant, quite mouthwatering due to its phenolics. A finer wine and a bit more classy by a slender margin. I did like the NV Masottina Prosecco Brut which was more sweet-fruited with freshness, and lovely elegance and length. The NV Sacchetto Prosecco Extra Dry was another good one for me, with more purity and lovely mouthwatering vibrancy. All different and all offering something for all people. You’ve just got to choose what works for you.