Inside Stories

Say “I Love You” with Sparkling Italian Presecco

What’s not to like about Italian Prosecco?

It’s an easy drinking sparkling wine that’s bubbly delicious and much less expensive than French Champagne.

Plus, you can get creative and mix all kinds of fruit juices with Prosecco to make colorful and refreshing sparkling drinks.

One of my favorites is the Bellini, made famous at Harry’s Bar in Venice. Mix white peach juice with Prosecco and drink.

Another is Prosecco with cranberry juice. Top it with a few frozen cranberries and a sprig of mint and you’ve got a cool, relaxing, delightful red-nosed reindeer of a drink.

No wonder worldwide annual volume sales of Prosecco have surpassed those of Champagne over the past several years.

According to Fortune magazine, Prosecco sales hit 360 million bottles a year ago. Champagne’s total was 180 million.

The Italians and French are not going to war over bubbly – and there’s no reason to.

French Champagne is a one-of-a-kind wine that is luxurious in style and taste. And can’t be duplicated because of its place of origin (Champagne region and terroir) and its complex production process (two fermentations, one in bottle, and longer aging requirements).

Prosecco, on the other hand, is also quite unique. By Italian law, its wine-production zone is restricted to a limited area in the Veneto region. And the primary grape – Glera – must make up a minimum 85 percent of the Prosecco blend (there are eight other authorized grapes that can be used in the remaining 15 percent.)

Prosecco was the topic of this week’s Grapefully Yours Wine Podcast that is now playing on Here’s a link to the 32-minute show, co-hosted by the Wine Butler Mike Pigeon

If you watch the podcast/video, you’ll learn some interesting facts about Prosecco vs. Champagne.

The most important is that Prosecco’s popularity can be traced to its price: The average 750 ml. bottle, according to Fortune, costs $16.07. By comparison, the average price of a 750 ml. bottle of Champagne costs $57.

And while the price of Champagne has increased 30 percent of the past two high-inflation years, Prosecco’s price has stayed virtually unchanged.

If you are looking for a refreshing, sparkling drink for the holidays and beyond, here are the Prosecco brands featured on my podcast:

Tiamo Prosecco DOC Extra Dry, $11 – “Tiamo” translates to “I love you”, so this is a bottle that makes a very nice statement to guests, friends, and family. Tiamo is made from organic grapes grown in and around Valdobbiadene, one of the Veneto’s highest-quality Prosecco regions. The wine is aromatic, fruity and gleaming in the glass.

Mionetto Prosecco DOC Treviso Brut, $11 – The Mionetto family was one of the first to use the Charmat Method (pressurized stainless steel tanks) to trap carbon dioxide and create fine bubbles in the Prosecco process. That began in the 1980s and their dry sparkling wines remain consistently balanced and delicious. The bottle is a showpiece in itself, with a bright orange label and crown.

Kirkland Prosecco Asolo Superiore DOCG, $7.99 – A marvelous Prosecco at both its price and quality. Asolo is another excellent wine-growing district – noted by its top-tier DOCG quality designation – and Kirkland can’t – and doesn’t – cut corners with this gem. Pop the cork and enjoy aromas of apple, white orchard flowers and baked bread. The palate is crisp and clean. The citrusy taste is infused with sweet nuts and caramel. The bottle is stamped “Extra Dry” but the finish is more Brut than sugary.

Kirkland also crafts an Asolo Prosecco DOC Rose` ($7.99) that appeals for its soft mousse and bright citrusy flavors.

Brilla! Prosecco Rose` Extra Dry 2020, $19 – Note the vintage date which is a requirement for this new sparkling rose` category of Prosecco DOC. The wine must contain 85-90 percent Glera grapes and 10-15 percent Pinot grapes – all grown in the Veneto’s Valdobbiadene region. The bottle is stunning and, combined with the salmon-colored rose`, creates an attention-grabbing conversation piece. Dry, crisp and fruity – strawberries, raspberries – make for a mouthwatering bubbly.

La Marca Prosecco DOC, $13.95 – Nice mineral notes define La Marca’s golden-colored sparkling wine, giving this Prosecco a unique personality. Pleasant floral aromatics and lemon-citrus notes are very appealing on the palate. The finish is dry and effervescent.

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