Posted February 05, 2010 in Wine, Wine Everywhere
Ealier this week, over 100 Italian wine producers invaded Chicago for the Italian Wine Masters Tasting. This US tour is focused on introducing the newest vintages of Tuscan wine as well sparkling Prosecco from the north.
Prosecco has become the go-to sparkling wine for many people in this economic downturn, along with Cava from Spain. Fearing being pigeon-holed as a simple, one-dimensional sparkling wine, the Italian producers have aquired a DOCG designation for Prosecco. What does this mean? The G on the end is the key. It is a guarantee of quality, place, and general flavor profile. Now anything labeled Prosecco will only come from a small designated region. This allows the consumer, in theory, to know the wine comes from a region historically shown to produce the finest Prosecco. Other limits, such as vineyard yields, production methods, and grape varieties are also set. Will this make the price of Prosecco rise? Producers say no, but producers outside the region will most likely have to drop their price to draw consumer interest since they will no longer be able to use the label Prosecco. Instead, the wines from outside the DOCG will be called “Gerla,” after an old name for the grape Prosecco.
The entire process is meant to help people see Prosecco as a place, not just a cheap sparkling wine. There are several beautiful Proseccos at the higher end of the price range that drink very well. BISOL makes an entire range of excellent Proseccos. Remember when you buy Prosecco, the name may be confusing regarding the amount of sugar in the wine. Brut, Dry, and Extra Dry cover the range, from driest to sweetest. Several of the highest end Proseccos are much better than a Champagne of the same price. We are not saying Prosecco in any way is going to knock Champagne off it’s pedestal as the world standard for sparkling wine. We are simply saying high end Prosecco offers a good bang for your buck. Some Champagne houses live off reputation and the name, not quality.
Step up from the $8 Prosecco and see what this new DOCG is all about.