In December the Italian Food Wine Travel folks are exploring the sparkling wines of Italy in An Exploration of Italian Sparkling Wines for the Holidays hosted by Camilla of Culinary Adventures with Cam. Read her invitation post to find out more. Fraciacorta, Prosecco, Lambrusco, they're all going to be there! So see what everyone's poured and paired below, and join us on Twitter under #ItalianFWT at 8 AM PST on 5 December to tell us your thoughts!
- Terri of Our Good Life says Beviamo alla nostra! Prosecco Superiore and Happy Christmas!
- Marcia of Joy of Wine is Celebrating the Season with Sparkling Freisa.
- Cindy of Grape Experiences writes about Pure Trentodoc – Sparkling Wines from the Mountains.
- Jill of L'Ocassion encourages us to Be in Italy for the Holidays with This Bubbly Wine Lineup.
- Gwendolyn of Wine Predator pushes Beyond Prosecco? Try These Sustainable Sparkling Wines from Italy's Erbaluce, Franciacorta, Lambrusco, Pignoletto.
- Lynn of Savor the Harvest gives us Valdobbiadene DOCG Prosecco to Make Your Holiday Sparkle - La Tordera Rive Di Guia.
- Wendy of A Day in the Life on the Farm says Cheers to 2021...2020 Don't Let The Door Hit You On The Way Out.
- Susannah of Avvinare pours Versatile Lambrusco for the Holidays.
- Deanna of Asian Test Kitchen serves Val D'Oca Prosecco Paired with Party Starters.
- Payal of Keep the Peas offers A ‘SeeYaNever2020’ Toast with Italian Bubbly.
- Linda of My Full Wine Glass says Hello Again, Lambrusco - Everyone Deserves a Second Chance.
- Jane of Always Ravenous pairs a Frizzante with Holiday Sweet Treats.
- Robin of Crushed Grape Chronicles pours Prosecco - Joyful Bubbles to “Wring” Out 2020.
- Jen of Vino Travels is ready to Sparkle up the Holidays with Prosecco Superiore.
- Martin of ENOFYLZ Wine Blog offers A Taste of 21st Century Lambrusco; Paltrinieri Lambrusco di Sorbara Radice.
- Nicole of Somm's Table shares The Wide World of Italian Bubblies.
- Camilla of Culinary Adventures with Camilla is Celebrating with Conegliano Valdobbiadene Prosecco Superiore Amidst the Pandemic.
|Photo: Payal Vora|
Prosecco is a wine dear to me... it brings back memories of family summer holidays in Europe, of parties at university where Prosecco was often the affordable sparkling wine of choice, of summer in Treviso a few years ago. Little else is more perfect for a sweltering Italian summer than cold Prosecco and good company. A few years ago I had grant money I needed to finish up before I moved on to my next project and an architect friend in Munich happened to be free that summer so we drove over and explored every corner of Treviso. We stayed in agriturismos everywhere and every afternoon just when we got back to relax before dinner the staff would greet guests with a complimentary bottle of Prosecco... per room. Between Rolle, Conegliano, Asolo, Cison di Valmarino, and every other village in Treviso, we had a glorious summer full of photography, buildings, art, fashion, food, espresso, and all manner of Prosecco.
Prosecco is arguably the most well-known Italian sparkling wine in the US although it ought to be more popular - it is light, bright, crisp, great with food, and a perfect porch sipper. Made in the Veneto region in NE Italy primarily from the native grape Glera (85% min. in a blend), although only the sparkling type is most known in the US, there are three types of Prosecco: tranquillo (still), frizzante (lightly sparkling), and spumante (sparkling). The Treviso province in Veneto has the perfect climate and soil types for the higher-acid Glera grapes which are well-suited for dry sparkling wines. The best Prosecco comes from the steep hillsides but even the wine from the plains is perfect for casual drinking. As such, Prosecco is classified as Denominazione d’Origine Controllata (DOC) and Denominazione d’Origine Controllata e Garantita (DOCG). Prosecco DOC is a broader, less stringent category and the DOCG is stricter and the wines are from specific areas of Veneto, and supposedly better quality.
Read more about all things Prosecco and the region's recognition as a UNESCO World Heritage Site (since 2019) here.
VAL D'OCA + THE WINE
The Val d’Oca co-operative founded in 1952 is one of the oldest producers of Prosecco. Their sparkling wines are made from Glera grapes cultivated and vinified in the hillsides of Valdobbiadene. Val d’Oca produces Prosecco Superiore DOCG from the hills of Valdobbiadene and Prosecco DOC from the greater Treviso province. The winery has always had a forward looking approach and their recent efforts include a sustainability budget that follows the UN Sustainable Development Goals 2030.
|Clusters of Glera grapes (Payal Vora)|
Val d'Oca Prosecco
11% ABV | SRP $13
85% Glera, 15% Pinot Grigio and Chardonnay
Lemon, fine bubbles
Citrus, ripe peach, green apple, white flowers
Similar to nose: A bright citrusy opening leads into juicy peach, apricot, and green apple with fragrant white flowers bordered by a slight mineral edge. A very crisp balanced wine with juicy acidity, medium body, medium+ finish. This Prosecco would be terrific on its own as an aperitif, paired with a slew of foods, or in a cocktail. Best now or within 2 years but not meant for prolonged cellaring.
Most meals at our house are lively affairs but in 2020 I think we've been celebrating even more than usual as a way of encouraging the year to just end already! I suspect that we'll continue this throughout December so we can charge on with real life where exciting things happen and where we freely hug and mingle with humans in all corners of the world and where if we get sick we have treatment options. I.e. real life in our real world with boundaries beyond home. And so, on this evening dinner was a bottle of Val d'Oca Prosecco paired with the first course, entrée, and main, and for dessert we had a silky cognac flip with a sprinkle of freshly grated nutmeg.
|Photo: Payal Vora|
ENTRÉE: We got past that pairing fiasco and moved on to the thing we were eagerly awaiting: East Coast oysters. Briny, meaty, and perfect for any dry sparkling wine, especially this Val d'Oca Prosecco. We had Cotuit, Blue Point, and Wellfleet oysters with a squeeze of lemon. They were all terrific with the Prosecco but the Blue Points, the briniest of the lot, were exceptional with the fine bubbles and citrusy mineral notes in the wine.
|Photo: Payal Vora|
Overall it was a splendid meal and I would absolutely recommend pairing Val d'Oca Prosecco with any course, not just the beginning of your meal. It offers such an excellent QPR that I would extend this pairing to a large dinner party, not just intimate gatherings. You can count on the Val d'Oca Prosecco being offered at our first garden party of 2021 when we reacquaint with real life! I'll take the liberty of speaking for all of us and say: We Cannot Wait!