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Wine Review: Prosecco can fit in place of Champagne

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For centuries, sparkling wines have been the beverage associated with celebrations. From weddings to graduations to sports events, the inevitable bottle of sparkling wine is to be found.

Unfortunately, the premier sparkling wine, Champagne, is usually too expensive to be used to celebrate lesser occasions. Enter Prosecco, a well-made sparkling wine with the exact same bubbles that have been produced in the exact same way as the more expensive sparkling wines but, because of their manufacturing method, cost considerably less than Champagne.

The question now must arise, is Prosecco a lesser wine than Champagne? The answer is a resounding no. Prosecco is not a Champagne imitator, nor was it ever intended to be. Prosecco is an excellent sparkling wine that offers everything that Champagne does but presents it in its own particular manner.

I recently sampled some Italian Proseccos that I must admit amazed me by their quality for their super affordable price tag. To make their wines more individualistic than the other Proseccos, each of the producers have a particular twist.

Zardetto Prosecco Brut ($17)
Made from glera grapes, blended with a small amount of pinot bianco, aka chardonnay, this Prosecco is a light lemony yellow, with elegant, refined bubbles. The wine displays aromas of white flowers, apricot and herbs, with citrus, orange blossom and peach notes in the finish.

Zardetto Prosecco Rose Extra Dry 2020 ($17)
This wine's delicate pink color is derived from a bit of pinot noir that accompanies the glera grapes. The glera brings a delicate, juicy fruitiness, with golden apple, white peach and floral notes. The pinot noir contributes red berry and spicy notes, and the wine ends with a refreshing acidity and creamy bubbles.

Marca Oro Rose Prosecco ($24)
This wine presents an attractive pink color and a stream of never-ending bubbles. The aroma presents floral notes of apple, pear and red berries. The flavor and finish are as fruity as the aroma, ending in an explosion of berries and summer white fruits. This wine is perfect as an aperitif, and it pairs nicely with pasta, fish and even pizza.

Gran Passione Rose Prosecco ($16)
Again, the basic Prosecco flavors and aromas are there to be enjoyed. This wine’s added extra is a positive strawberry flavor and aroma derived from the bit of merlot that is responsible for its attractive pink color. The strawberry carries right through to the finish where it is even more obvious. I found this to be an interesting and enjoyable Prosecco.

Brilla Prosecco ($16)
This Prosecco emulates all of the variety’s basic flavors, too, but it also presents its own individuality. There is a suggestion of ginger and honey in flavor and in the finish, along with an interesting mineral taste. This wine will be easy to spot on dealers’ shelves, as there are floral designs on the glass bottle and myriad tiny shining speckles on the label.

Lunetta Prosecco ($14)
A straw yellow color and crisp fruity palate are the distinguishing features of Lunetta Prosecco. A well-balanced structure, matched with aromatic fruity fragrance, make it the perfect pairing for delicate flavored seafood, while also being excellent as an aperitif due to its distinctive characteristic. The flavors of pineapple and peaches predominate with a honey and almond background. There also is the familiar yeasty overtones and a crispness. This wine should not be reserved strictly for special occasions but can and should be served with almost any meal of any ethnicity.

Ca’ Furlan Cuvee Mariana Rose Prosecco ($11)
Another example of blending glera grapes with pinot noir, this wine displays the aromas of cherry, strawberry and summer flowers that are intertwined with the characteristics imparted by the glera grapes. This wine, too, has long-lasting bubbles, which is a sure sign of a better Prosecco regardless of price.

Wine columnist Bennet Bodenstein can be reached at frojhe1@att.net.

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