Toast­ing the Bub­bly


India Today - - HOTSHEET -

Sparkling wines are al­ways in vogue. They're not only a sym­bol of sim­ple joy but also stand for pres­tige, lux­ury, and of course, ro­mance. For those who like their wines soft and fruity, Ital­ian Prosecco can be a very good choice.

Prosecco wines come from Conegliano and Val­dob­bi­adene in Veneto, North­ern Italy. This wine, made with a lo­cal grape, is sealed with the high­est Ital­ian wine stan­dard of DOCG se­cur­ing con­sis­tent and strict qual­ity con­trol.

Be­tween these two hills is a smaller hill called Car­tizze, one con­sid­ered to pro­duce the most trea­sured of Pros­ec­cos. Since the land is so highly re­garded, the 140 own­ers who share this 106 hectare stretch rang­ing from pears, bananas, and hon­ey­dew mel­ons, to a seam­less, rich min­er­al­ity. One of the best pro­duc­ers of this is the Villa Sandi with their wine, Vigna La Rivetta.

Villa Sandi is one of the most re­spected fam­ily-run winer­ies. Set in Tre­viso, in a Pal­la­dian-style villa dat­ing back to 1622, the win­ery is a desti­na­tion in it­self. Their Car­tizze is one of the most awarded wine in its group, in­clud­ing ac­co­lades from the pres­ti­gious and revered Gam­bero Rosso guide of Italy. Pro­duced in a small quan­tity, its com­plex multi- lay­ered flavours range from midly aro­matic to in­tensely per­fumed, cit­rus and white fruits to flo­ral, with toasted almond flakes on the fin­ish. All this have suc­ces­fully claimed the most ex­pen­sive agri­cul­tural land in Italy.

The steep, white chalky low-yield­ing soil, along with cool breezy cli­mate, and bright sun pro­duces the best qual­ity Glera in the world that wine­mak­ers turn into a divine bub­bly. A unique wine­mak­ing process, known as the char­mat method, adds bub­bles to the wine by fer­ment­ing it un­der pres­sure in stain­less steel tanks to pre­serve its true flavours.

Gen­eral Prosecco wines are fresh, fruity, aro­matic, and are most ex­pres­sive in their ex­tra dry ver­sion (with resid­ual su­gar upto 17 grams per litre). But what dif­fer­en­ti­ates Car­tizze from the oth­ers is its range and depth of notes, is well held to­gether with great min­er­al­ity, struc­ture, bal­ance, and fi­nesse. Paired well with scones, fruit flans, fo­cac­cia bread, cream, or even tra­di­tional Ital­ian Pan­doro cake. If not with the sweets, try it with fried white fish dishes, cheese souf­flé, creamy pasta dishes, po­lenta, or, more lo­cally, navratan korma.

Though the wine ages well it is best en­joyed while in its youth­ful prime. Prosecco wines are a great ad­di­tion to the world of bub­blies. They marry well with food and go down easy, not only on your palate but also on your pocket. Try hav­ing this elo­quent yet sim­ple sparkling wine next time around and see what makes the wines from this lit­tle hil­lock so spe­cial. Cín! Ga­gan Sharma is a som­me­lier and wine educator based in New Delhi


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