Heavy on Flavour… Light on the pocketbook

Nino Franco in the snow

One of the wonderful things about Prosecco is that you don’t have to sacrifice flavour for price. You can pick up a bottle of bubbles for at least half the price of Champagne.  And your friends will even thank you for it!  In our Introduction to Champagne and Sparkling wine speedTASTING, nearly everyone prefers Prosecco. Whilst only half of people preferred Champagne.

If you thought all Prosecco was sweet, think again. Although it is characteristically fruiter than Champagne, it is mainly sold with a dry dosage!  Dosage rhymes with massage, and it a whole ‘nother blog post, so I’ll just leave you with… read the label.  Yep, just one little word will let you in on the bottle’s secret – the sweetness of the wine…. BRUT (means it will be dry!)

At whatever price point, there are two key words to look for on the label to ensure you are buying a quality prosecco:

The code word on the label that you want to be sure to look for is DOCG.  What is this, you ask?  Well, I shall tell you!  DOCG or ‘Controlled Designation of Origin Guaranteed’ is  a quality assurance label.  The DOCG came about after the DOC (‘Designation of Origin’) was considered to be handed out far too liberally.  The main difference between the two (besides price!) is that DOCG-labeled wines are tested by government-licensed personnel, approved, then bottled and stamped with a government number.  What does this mean for consumers?  You’re guaranteed to be getting top-notch quality.

And the third word to seek out is Valdobbiadene.  This is the only region where Prosecco is legally allowed to be made.  It’s just like Cava or Champagne, it now has a ‘trademark’ protecting it’s name.

My favourite recommendation comes from one of Italy’s top producers of this well-known sparkling wine.   Nino Franco, is located in the heart of the Prosecco DOC, has been making wine since 1919. They are considered to be one of the oldest Prosecco producers and  unlike many of their peers, the Franco family owns their own vineyards.  This means that all decisions on viticulture are solely theirs to make: the fruit can be picked, transported and crushed at their own discretion.  A they focus on lower yeilds their Italian competitors, the quality is undeniably higher.  I recently had the pleasure of meeting Anthony Franco, and I must say, is was tastefully charming!  And I look forward to taking him up on the offer to stay at their vineyards, sounds like an excellent Tastour!

 

My top pick for the summer:

Nino Frano Rustico DOC Brut: Start with a scent of white flowers and lemon zest, but fall into the pleasantly complex flavour.  Though a dry bottle, this wine offers tiny bubbles and a green apple taste that lingers on the tongue, making it impossible not to think of summer.  Redolent of white peach, mint and pear, this wonderfully popular wine is one to try!

Price = £18 but on offer for £14 here

Enter to win a magnum here

 

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