WE DRINK TO LIGHTEN our lives. So it helps if most of what we drink feels lighthearted. Let me introduce you to the most light-hearted, the most fun, the most frivolous sparkling wine in the world.
Meet Prosecco. Don’t worry, nobody else has heard of it either. It’s one of those wines that gets drunk by a few million selfish Venetians in the northeast of Italy so there’s none left to export. Not really.
The Prosecco business is expanding and bottles are showing up in wine-savvy places such as Ontario. And they’re flying off the shelf because we have never seen sparkling wine at these low prices.
How do they do it? Well, we all know that Italians can work miracles when it comes to wine prices. Sparkling wine is usually expensive because it gets aged for years in deep, dark cellars — developing character and specialness. And costing money. Well, the folks in the Prosecco region take a different approach. Their wine is bottled and sent to market in the spring after harvest. Which means two things: the wine is not complex — it’s young and giddy — and it can be sold at an everyday price.
This is the most lighthearted season of the year and Prosecco is the perfect drink to set up that mood on your patio or deck. A glass of this sparkling will take you somewhere lighter, away from your work and worry. Take time out to toast your good life!
Part of your introduction to the world of Prosecco should include the purchase of a Champagne stopper. This gadget will allow you to reseal the bottle — and bring it out again the next evening. Take your lead from the Venetians and enjoy a single glass of Prosecco every evening. Val d’Oca is not the most attractive Prosecco bottle in the stores but it’s the best.
Billy Munnelly is author, wine critic and publisher of Billy’s Best Bottles Wineletter and Billy’s Best Wines For 2007, a guide to the best wines at the LCBO, available in bookstores or through www.billysbestbottles.com. Sign up for his free wine e-letter at www.billysbestbottles.com.
VAL d’OCA ’06 PROSECCO,
LCBO no. 340570