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International Tempranillo Day

2015 El Cuentista, a white wine made with 100% Tempranillo
2015 El Cuentista, a white wine made with 100% Tempranillo

For wine enthusiasts, international grape variety days gives a cause to celebrate different grapes. In 2020, on November 12th, we can celebrate International Tempranillo Day. The grape is native to Spain, and is also planted in other countries throughout the world including the United States. Our favorite Tempranillo from the United States is from Southern Oregon.

This year, to celebrate the day, we tasted five Tempranillo wines from Pradorey winery in the Ribera del Duero wine region of Spain. The winery sent us samples. For this blog post, Terry wrote haikus for each wine rather than traditional wine notes. The wines included a white Tempranillo and a Tempranillo made in earthen vessels called tinaja. 

2015 El Cuentista, a white wine made with 100% Tempranillo

Haiku

White Tempranillo
Nectarines and vanilla
Fruit and mineral.

2015 Finca Valdelayegua, Tempranillo with a splash of Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot

Haiku

Single vineyard blend
Garnet color with black fruits
Spicy notes throughout.

2016 Adaro, 100% Tempranillo

Haiku

Adaro – founder.
A tribute with berry fruits
Baking spice finish.

2014 Élite, 100% Tempranillo

Haiku

Elite the unique,
Great fruit, spice, body, tannins.
Drinks expensively.

2016 El Buen Alfareo, 100% Tempranillo made in tinaja

Haiku

A good potter wine.
Grown in earth; made in earth.
No oak, delicious.

Cheers,
Terry

Learn About Maryland Wines the Easy Way

Prolific vineyards in Maryland

If you want to discover the wines produced in Maryland, the Maryland Wine Association has established a program called Maryland Wine Explorer.

During October 2020, the association began offering the Maryland Wine Explorer program. This allows wine enthusiasts to order Maryland wines and have it delivered. 

During the ongoing pandemic and safety issues, this program offers consumers a safe way to purchase Maryland wines. The program also makes it much easier to obtain Maryland wines by online ordering rather than traveling to wineries.

Below is a brief description of the Maryland Wine Explorer program.

Included in Maryland Wine Explorer

In addition to receiving direct shipments of wine, wine enthusiasts also have access to:

  • Wine Flash sales
  • Curated Maryland Wine Packs
  • Maryland Wine Explorer Club subscriptions

Maryland Wine Explorer accounts are free to setup. According to the website, there are several benefits for becoming a subscriber. “Subscribers earn discounted pack pricing, a 10% discount on all store orders (club packs do not qualify for additional discounts,) and flat rate shipping on all orders. 

Additionally, as a Maryland Wine Explorer Club Subscriber, you gain early access to future flash sales, exclusive wine releases, and subscriber-only packs, such as the “Governor’s Cup Case“ of top wines from our annual, professionally-judged, competition.

The benefits of subscribing don’t end with wine! Maryland Wine Explorer Club Subscribers will be invited to exclusive virtual and live events and will gain early access to event ticket sales.”

Currently Maryland wines through the Maryland Wine Explorer Club include:

Flash Sale Wines: Chardonnays, white blends, Vignoles, Pinot Grigio. The Flash Sale wines are only available while they last. 

Specialty packs are also available depending on the season. For instance, currently a Thanksgiving Pack is available. This holiday special includes one bottle of a sparkling Barbera rosé,  one bottle of dry Pyment (mead-wine blend) and a bottle of a red Bordeaux Blend.Three-packs and six-packs are sent out quarterly to subscribers. For Fall 2020 the options available are: 

Red Wine Pack: Available as a 3-pack or 6-pack
White Wine Pack: Available as a 3 pack and 6-pack

Currently, shipping for the Maryland Wine Explorer is only available to Maryland residents. Watch for updates when shipping may be available outside of the state.

Cheers!
Kathy

Country Style Spareribs with Red Wine Recipe

Choose a dry red wine for Country Style Pork Spareribs

If you have plenty of time this recipe for Country Style Pork Spareribs from SCHUG Winery is one to be sure to try. The recipe calls for 1/2 cup of a dry red wine and the suggested wine to pair with this entree is SCHUG Cabernet Sauvignon. The recipe starts with grilling the spareribs and then using a slow cooker. I suggest reading the entire recipe before beginning.

Cheers and Happy Cooking!
Kathy

Country Style Pork Spareribs with Herbed Balsamic Glaze and Fresh Tomato Relish
Pair with SCHUG Cabernet Sauvignon

Ingredients:
Spareribs

  • 6 country style pork spareribs about 5-6 lbs total
  • Salt and pepper

Glaze

  • 1 T olive oil
  • 1 T butter
  • 1 c onion cut into very thin 1-inch slices
  • 2 T brown sugar
  • Salt large pinch
  • ½ c dry red wine
  • ½ c balsamic vinegar
  • 2 T rosemary fresh, very finely chopped
  • 2 T thyme fresh, very finely chopped
  • 1 T black pepper freshly ground

Relish

Directions:

1. Prepare Grill: Several hours before spareribs are to be served, turn grill on to medium-high heat, or prepare charcoal grill to medium-high heat.

2. Grill spareribs: Place spareribs on a sheet pan covered with two layers of foil. Generously salt and pepper them. Grill spareribs until very nicely browned on all sides, taking care to not let them break apart. It is not important for the meat to fully cook them, just to get them nice and browned/marked. Remove foil used for raw spareribs and put the grilled ones on the clean foil.

3. Continue cooking spareribs in a slow cooker: After grilling, place the spareribs into a slow cooker and fill with enough water to just cover them. Add a generous spoonful of salt to the water. Turn slow cooker to its “Low” setting and simmer pork for about 3 hours or until the meat is completely tender. Set aside one cup of pork broth, then carefully remove meat to a rack on a sheet pan covered with foil. Allow meat to drip dry for a few minutes. Brush glaze on all sides of spareribs and let dry for a couple minutes then brush them again. Do this several times until the ribs are a deep rich brown color.* Place the spareribs into a preheated 350 F oven, bake for about 30 minutes or until heated through.

4. Make Glaze: Prepare glaze while meat simmers. Heat the butter in a small saucepan over medium heat. Add the garlic and stir and cook for a minute or two. Add the onion slices and stir and cook several minutes or until they are translucent and soft. Reduce heat to medium-low and add the sugar. Cook onions until they are a deeper shade of brown, 6 or 7 minutes or so. Add the salt, red wine, and vinegar. Simmer glaze for several minutes or until it has reduced and thickened a little. Remove from heat, add herbs and pepper, then set aside until spareribs are tender.

5. Make relish once spareribs have been glazed and are in the oven: Heat a small sauce pan over medium heat. Add the olive oil and, when it is hot, add the minced garlic. Stir and cook the garlic for a minute or just until it is golden. Add pork broth and the rest of the glaze. Increase heat to high, then reduce to a simmer once sauce boils. Reduce liquid until it is fairly thick, allow to cool slightly, then add the tomatoes and herbs.

6. Serve recipe: Place each of the six hot spare ribs onto a serving plate and ladle a generous spoonful of the Tomato Relish over the top of each one. Add side dishes of choice to the plates and serve immediately. Makes 6 servings.

Notes
*At this point the spareribs can be put into a container, sealed and refrigerated for up to two days. Continue the recipe with reheating the spareribs.

Recipe provided by SCHUG Winery in California.

Idaho® Potato Gnocchi with Peas and a Bit of Wine

During the Corona-19 pandemic, more people are getting to know their kitchens better. Early during the pandemic even baking yeast was difficult to come by. The recipe below takes quite a bit of time and may be a great recipe for you to create in your kitchen when you have extra time. The recipe, from the Idaho® Potato Commission website, requires white wine. Pair the rest of the bottle with dinner or perhaps enjoy a glass while making the Gnocchi!

Idaho Potato Gnocchi with Peas

Ingredients:

Potato Gnocchi – yield about 150 gnocchi

  • 4 pounds Idaho® russet potatoes, scrubbed, not peeled
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
  • 2 whole eggs
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • Semolina flour for dusting

Pea Tendril and Spinach Purée – yield 3 cups (24 oz.) 1/4 cup per serving

  • 12 ounces fresh pea tendrils, lightly packed
  • 6 ounces fresh spinach, lightly packed
  • 1/4 cup canola oil
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt

Sauce per serving

  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 teaspoon garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon shallot, minced
  • 1/4 cup white wine
  • 1/4 cup pea tendril and spinach purée
  • 1 cup snap peas, trimmed
  • 1/2 cup fresh green peas, shelled

Garnish 

  • Shaved Parmesan cheese
  • Extra virgin olive oil

Directions:

Gnocchi

  1. Prick each potato once or twice with the tip of a knife. Place on a tray or on oven rack and bake at 400°F until centers are soft, 45-60 minutes. Remove skins while warm.
  2. Working quickly with warm potatoes, push through a ricer or food mill into a large bowl or onto a lightly floured work surface.
  3. Whisk together eggs, yolks, and oils in a small bowl. Pour over potatoes and mix in with hands or large silicone spatula, while gradually adding about 2 cups flour, working just enough to form a soft dough. Do not over-work.
  4. Before proceeding, test-cook a few gnocchi in boiling salted water. Allow to cook until they rise to the surface, usually 3-4 minutes. Cooked gnocchi should be light and pillowy. If too soft, work in a little more flour to the remaining dough before proceeding.
  5. Divide dough into 12 equal pieces. Keep the dough covered while rolling gnocchi.
  6. Working on a flour-dusted work surface, roll one piece of dough into a rope 1/2 to 3/4-inch diameter. Using a floured bench scraper, cut into 1-inch pieces. If desired, roll each piece on the back of a fork to make indent lines.
  7. Place rolled gnocchi on semolina flour-dusted sheet pan while preparing remaining gnocchi. Cover tightly with plastic if not using immediately. May be refrigerated up to 1 day but best to use immediately.
  8. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Working in batches, or cooking per serving, drop the gnocchi into boiling water and cook as directed above. Remove from water with a slotted spoon or large mesh sieve. Serve immediately or transfer to a sheet pan to cool.
  9. If not serving immediately, cover and refrigerate. Reheat in a skillet with butter until lightly browned.

Pea Tendril Purée

  1. Blanch pea tendrils and spinach in boiling salted water for 3 minutes. Drain and transfer to an ice water bath. When cool, drain well.
  2. Blend with oil and salt in a blender or processor until smooth. Store refrigerated in a covered container for up to 3 days.

Per serving, à la minute

  1. Melt butter in a skillet over medium heat; sauté garlic and shallot until softened.
  2. Add wine and simmer until reduced by about half.
  3. Stir in 1/4 cup Pea Tendril Purée, peas and snap peas. Cook just until peas are tender-crisp, adding a few teaspoons of hot gnocchi water if needed to thin sauce.
  4. Spoon sauce over hot boiled or browned gnocchi. Garnish with Parmesan, fresh black pepper, and a drizzle of olive oil.

Recipe provided by the Idaho® Potato Commission.

Wine Media Conference

The Wine Media Conference, formerly known as The Wine Bloggers Conference, was to be held in person in Eugene, Oregon which is in the renowned Willamette Valley. Due to the pandemic, the wine conference for 2020 was postponed until 2021. In its place there were a series of sessions. Terry and I attended three of the online sessions which took place last week.

Dr. Konstantin Frank Vineyards close to Keuka Lake

The first session we attended was “Wineries, Wine Writers and the Pandemic.” The presenters included Craig Camp from Troon Vineyard, Meaghan Frank from Dr. Konstantin Frank Winery in the Finger Lakes, Leah Derton at William Chris Vineyards in Texas and Joy Sterling from Iron Horse Vineyards. The moderator was Fred Swan, a wine writer.

Vineyards at William Chris Vineyards in Texas

Each winery representative talked about the challenges the pandemic has been for wineries and explained enthusiastically what their specific winery is doing to cope with COVID-19. Tasting experiences have changed a great deal; but everyone was enthusiastic about the positive steps their wineries are taking in order to make visiting welcoming and safe. Safety for visitors and staff was mentioned throughout the session. Some of the wineries are doing virtual wine tastings. William Chris Winery offers picnic packs. At Troon Vineyard one staff member is assigned to visitors throughout their visit. Craig noted that their customers are supporting their efforts to stay open and safe. At Dr. Konstantin Frank Winery, they are focusing on tastings based on themes. Meaghan also mentioned the Cornell Experiment Station when discussing the winery’s new tasting experiences.

The second session we attended was “Reporting Techniques for Better Wine Writing” by W. Blake Gray. There were 242 people who attended this online presentation. 

Gray began by stating that if you are blogger, you are a journalist. During his presentation, he noted the importance of asking questions. He also commented that “facts are interesting.” Gray believes that talking with winemakers and winery owners is important and that a good question to ask is “What is your philosophy of winemaking?” Gray helpfully provided resources for wine writers including California Grape Acreage Report. California Grape Crush report. Wine Institute. COL search online and OIV.int/en.

The final session we attended was “Easy Wine Photography – Tips to Getting Great Wine Shots Every Time by Christina Peters. Much of the presentation by Peters was an emphasis on how to deal with the reflections on bottles of wine. She noted that reflections vary not only by the location of the bottle of wine but whether the wine is red or white.

She also strongly suggested that when photographing a plate of food with wine, pour the wine into a stemless glass.

These were just three of the many sessions offered this year. The wine media conference offered informative sessions to wine media.

Cheers, Kathy and Terry

Discover Low Calorie Wines

Pure the Winery Low Cal Wine

We were sent four samples of the wines from Pure the Winery. These wines included two still wines, a red and white. It also included two sparkling wines, a white and rosé. The wines were produced in Italy and offered zero carbohydrates and 81 calories for a five ounce pour. The range for many wines for a five-ounce pour is between 120 and 130 calories; higher for sweeter wines. The alcohol content for all of the Pure the Winery wines is 10.5%. All wines are non-vintage. The Pure Red and Pure White have a price range of about $18 – $22. The sparkling wines have a price range between $20 and $25.

Sparkling Wines

Our first bottle to open was the sparkling rosé. It was a hot summer day and we had a few neighbors over sitting ten feet apart in our back yard. Those wine drinkers in the group liked the rosé. The salmon colored sparkling wine was crafted with Pinot Noir, Pinot Grigio and Chardonnay. The Charmat method was used for the secondary fermentation. There were multiple columns of bubbles forming a central and circumferential mousse on the wine’s surface. The aroma included berry fruits. The taste had raspberries and citrus. The smooth mouthfeel was lively. The finish was refreshing.

The Pure White Sparkling Wine was a blend of Pinot Grigio and Chardonnay. This sparkling wine made in the Charmat method, had a yellow color with light gold hue. The wine had multiple columns of bubbles forming a circumferential mousse on the wine’s surface. Apple was on the aroma, while the taste included apple and pear. The wine had a very creamy mouthfeel with a bit of liveliness. It too had a refreshing finish, perfect for hot summer days and throughout the year as an aperitif.

Still Wines

The Pure White was a blend of Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc. The wine had a yellow color. Apple with a hint of lemon were noticed on the aroma. The taste included apple, lemon, lemongrass, some flowers and mineral. The wine had a smooth mouthfeel and a crisp finish.

Red Wine from Pure the Winery

The Pure Red Wine was a blend of Barbera and Merlot. The translucent ruby colored wine had a dark red hue. The aroma was reminiscent of a red and black fruit salad. The taste included red and black raspberries, plums, baking spices and leather. Fruit yielded to spices on the finish.

If you are calorie conscience you may want to consider the wines from Pure the Winery. They are incased in a white plastic bottle covering and are perfect to match as an aperitif and with a variety of food dishes.

Cheers, Terry

Discover Cambria Estate Wines

Cambria Estate Winery tasting room

An email from Cambria Estate Winery in Santa Maria, California triggered very enjoyable memories of our visit to the winery several years ago.

All of the wines produced at Cambria are estate grown. Large productions of Cambria wines are for distribution; small productions are served in the tasting room

Ready Willing & Mabel singers

As enjoyable as the wines were, we also continue to remember a small group of performers who began to sing among themselves. After they concluded, we introduced ourselves and learned that this small group was from the Los Angeles region and had formed the group “Ready, Willing & Mabel.” Mabel refers to their 1938 RCA microphone.

In my article about Cambria Estate Winery, I wrote, “Visitors to the tasting room will discover that the Cambria wines available for tasting are the smaller wine productions. The large production wines are put into distribution.” At the time of our visit, the vineyards covered approximately 1,600 acres with a concentration of Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. Smaller plantings include Syrah, Viognier and Pinot Gris.

Safety Protocols at the Cambria Tasting Room

  • Fridays thru Sundays wine tastings are available only by appointment; for an appointment email brian.york@cambriawines.com or call 805.938.7318.
  • Seated Outdoor Patio Tastings Only
  • No picnicking onsite
  • Face coverings required as visitors arrive, depart and are inside.
  • Hand sanitizing stations are available
  • All team members have daily healthy screenings

Since travel is not easy during the COVID-19 pandemic, wine enthusiasts who want to try Cambria wines can order directly from the winery.

The winery is offering a Tepusquet Four Pack which includes 2016 & 2017 Syrah/2018 Viognier and 2016 Pinot Gris for $91.01. The wines will be shipped with complimentary temperature-controlled ground shipping.

The email from Cambria included a recipe from Jill Russell, Cambria Winemaker for Tepusquet Paella which follows:

Tepusquet Paella

INGREDIENTS
4 1/2 cups chicken stock
1/2 teaspoon saffron threads
1/4 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 yellow onion, finely chopped
1/2 red bell pepper, finely chopped
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
6 ounces mild dried chorizo sausage, sliced into thin half-moons
3 cups short-grain rice, such as Spanish Bomba rice
1 (14-ounce) can fire-roasted diced tomatoes
1 cup frozen green peas
3 lemons, sliced into wedges
1 pound large (21-24 per pound) shrimp, peeled and deveined, with tails
left on
1 pound mussels, rinsed and scrubbed
1 pound littleneck clams, rinsed and scrubbed
METHOD
1 Preheat the grill: Heat a gas grill to medium-high heat (375ºF).
2 Steep the saffron: In a saucepan over medium heat, bring the stock to a boil. Add the saffron and salt. Turn off the heat and let the saffron steep for at least 15 minutes.
3 Cook the sofrito base: In a 12- to 14-inch stainless steel skillet, cast iron pan or Paella pan, heat the oil. Add the onion and red pepper, and cook for 5 to 7 minutes, or until the onion is translucent. Stir in the garlic and chorizo.
4 Assemble the ingredients by the grill: On a table next to the grill, set the rice, tomatoes, infused stock, salt, peas, shrimp, mussels, and clams.
5 Begin cooking the paella: Add the rice, and cook, stirring often, for 4 to 5 minutes, or until the rice is coated with oil and lightly toasted. Stir in the stock, tomatoes, and peas. Spread the rice evenly over the bottom of the pan. Close the grill cover and simmer the rice without stirring for 15 minutes, or until the rice absorbs most of the stock. If the mixture looks dry, pour about 1 cup of hot water over it, but do not stir.
6 Add the seafood: Nestle the mussels and clams into the rice with the hinge sides up so they release their juices into the rice. Arrange the shrimp around the shellfish. Arrange the lemon wedges in a circular fashion. Cover the pan with foil, close the grill and cook for 6 to 10 minutes longer (depending on the heat of your grill), or until the rice and shrimp are both cooked through and the mussels and clams are open. (Discard any shellfish that remain tightly shut once everything else is cooked.)
7 Check to see if the bottom is browned: Slip a spatula under the rice and check to see if you have achieved the elusive golden brown socarrat. If not, set the pan over the heat, uncovered, for a few minutes to lightly caramelize the bottom.

Cheers and Please Stay Safe!

Kathy

Discover Effingham Manor and Winery in VA

Effingham Manor and Winery tasting room

Effingham Manor and Winery, located in Nokesville, Virginia offers visitors a lovely experience. The winery and tasting room are located on the grounds of historic property that includes a large manor house.

The winery is taking special care and following protocols to help protect visitors and workers from he current COVID-19 pandemic. They have updated their policy for visitors and are at the current time no longer requiring reservations to visit.  Visitors can make reservations for special table reservations. Traditional wine tastings are not available yet, although wine is now available in flights and by the bottle. The winery is open seven days a week. Seating is only available outside; when rain occurs covered areas are available.

Effingham Merlot

Effingham Manor and Winery is continuing to follow all protocols for sanitation. The winery is asking everyone to maintain six feet distance between groups as well as keeping pets and children home.

Special Barrel Tasting Events

Reservations are required for the Barrel Tastings scheduled for August 1, August 2, and August 9. 

According to the winery website, “Get unique insight to the winemaking process, learn some tricks, and find your favorites among what is turning out to be a special Virginia vintage. The white wines are available now, with the reds being bottled in December (just in time for Christmas). To ensure safety and social distance, the event will have two groups of 10 visiting different stations on the property to sample the wines.

“At the conclusion of the tasting you will be able to purchase at our special pricing ($22.00 to $30.00). Whites can be taken home now, reds will be available after their December bottling.”

Other anticipated events to watch for include:

  • Wine Club Weekend – September 12/13
  • Wine Festival – September 26/27
  • Hallo’wine’ Party – October 24
  • Sip and Shop – December 6
  • Wine Club Weekend and Holiday Party – December 13/14

When you are looking for more information about Effingham Manor & Winery, check out Wine Trail Traveler about Effingham Manor & Winery article.

Cheers!
Kathy

Third National Prosecco Week!

In 2020, 13 Prosecco producers are participating in National Prosecco Week join the United States. It was interesting to note that the focus of the the Prosecco DOC Consortium is on millennials and women.

Mionetto from ProseccoDOC

This week, July 20 to July 26, is the third annual celebration of National Prosecco Week. As Terry mentioned yesterday’s blog, on Tuesday the Prosecco DOC Consortium hosted a virtual Prosecco tasting and info session using Zoom. The host of the Zoom session was Brooke Sabel, Wine Director at Gary’s Wine & Marketplace. 

In the last ten years, the Consortium has played a large role on the increased quality of Prosecco. Also, a large increase in Prosecco production has occurred since 2009. Back in 2009, 120 million bottles of Prosecco were produced. By 2019 the number of bottles had increased to 486 million bottles.

Much of the Prosecco DOCs are exported to the United Kingdom, United States, Germany and France. About 22 percent of production stays in Italy.

Among the data provided during the virtual tasting, participants learned a bit about the history of the development of Prosecco. The first production of Prosecco was in 1754. In 1970 the IGT accepted the name Prosecco. In 2009 Prosecco became Prosecco DOC.

The Prosecco DOC is located in northern Italy near Venice. The region is in Friuli Venezia Giulia and Veneto.

To be designated Prosecco, the sparkling wine must  have 85% Glera grapes. The other 15% of the grapes can be from particular varieties including:  Chardonnay, Pinots and some native grapes. The wines are produced using the Martinotti (Charmat) method for secondary fermentation.

Why and when should you drink Prosecco? Prosecco is delightful anytime. The serving temperature should be at 42° to 46° Fahrenheit.  It was suggested that Prosecco is great for breakfast, lunch or dinner. 

How to Identify Prosecco and avoid fraudulently labeled Prosecco?

  • Prosecco DOCs have a special label at the top of the bottle over the cage and capsule. 
  • Have a serial number
  • Have Ministry of on bottle
  • Prosecco is not found in cans
  • Prosecco is never served on tap

One of the last questions of the Zoom session was, “What to do with leftover Prosecco?” Answers included cocktails, fish, and use for a big family. For me, I’d like to have Prosecco poured over lemon sherbet!

Future of Prosecco
The concept of a rosé Prosecco is being worked on and winemakers hope to have rosé Prosecco available later in 2020. At this writing there is no rosé Prosecco on the market. 

 I am looking forward to tasting a rosé Prosecco when it becomes available.

Cheers! Kathy

National Prosecco Week

This week marks Prosecco Week in the United States from July 20th through July 26th. The Prosecco DOC Consortium is educating and promoting Prosecco this week. This is one of several posts that we will focus on Prosecco. We were pleased to be selected to attend an online tasting of eight bottles of Prosecco from seven producers. The format of the tasting was through Zoom. Participants were from the United States and Italy. The Zoom tasting was organized by Colangelo & Partners, the PR firm representing the Prosecco DOC Consortium.

Device used to open Prosecco bottles.

With temperatures in Maryland reaching the upper 90s, a cold glass of Prosecco is refreshing. Given Prosecco’s value, this is a great time to drink this sparkling wine from Northern Italy. For the eight wines we tasted, the prices ranged from $12 to $17 at Total Wine and wine.com

Having eight Prosecco wines to open just before tasting in 90 minutes offers challenges. While in the province of Pordenone, a few years ago, we visited a few wineries. Some of these wineries were crafting Prosecco. San Simone Winery had a unique device they used to open Prosecco bottles. They gave us two of these plastic devices, and we used one of them to help open the eight bottles of Prosecco. After removing the foil and cage, you press the plastic onto the cork and turn the cork. The pressure in the bottle helps lift the cork.

The Prosecco Wines

We tasted the wines in order of dosage from dryer to sweeter. There was not a large range though. The sweetness of the wines began with 10 g/L residual sugar and ended with 18 g/L of residual sugar. There was little color variation. The wines were either a light straw color or a straw color. All wines except for the first were 11% alcohol. The first wine tasted, the Bianca Vigna had 11.5% alcohol.

Eight Prosecco wines tasted during Prosecco Week.

Bianca Vigna

The Bianca Vigna Prosecco DOC Brut had a light straw color and was the driest of the Proseccos with 10 g/L of residual sugar. The wine showcased multiple columns of bubbles forming both a central and circumferential mousse. The aroma had floral notes and some freshly baked bread. The wine had a lively mouthfeel and tastes of peach and freshly baked bread. The finish was crisp. The wine retails for about $17 at wine.com.

Mionetto Prestige Collection

Mionetto Prosecco DOC Treviso Prestige Collection was a straw color with 12 g/L of residual sugar. The wine exhibited multiple columns of bubbles forming both a central and circumferential mousse. Apple and peach were on the aroma and taste. The creamy mouthfeel was also lively. There were earthy and fruity notes on the finish. The wine retails for about $12 at Total Wine.

Valdo Marco Oro

Also with 12 g/L of residual sugar and a straw color, The Valdo Marco Oro Prosecco DOC Brut also had multiple columns of bubbles forming both a central and circumferential mousse. There were apple and citrus on the aroma and taste. The mouthfeel was lively and creamy. The finish was crisp. The wine retails for about $16 at wine.com.

Zardetto

The Zardetto Prosecco DOC Brut had a light straw color and also 12 g/L of residual sugar. The wine had multiple columns of bubbles forming a central mousse on the wine’s surface. The aroma was floral, fruity and earthy. The mouthfeel was silky and the taste included apple and freshly baked bread. The finish was crisp and fruity. The wine retails for about $12 at Total Wine.

The last three wines all had a residual sugar of 12 g/L. However, the perceived taste of sugar was different. The acidity levels had a lot to do with this. 

Torresella

The Torresella Prosecco DOC had a light straw color with 15 g/L residual sugar. The wine formed multiple columns of bubbles producing both a central and circumferential mousse. Freshly baked bread and apple were on the aroma. The taste included apple, peach and freshly baked bread. The lively mouthfeel was also creamy. The complex finish offered fruit and earthiness. The wine retails for about $17 at wine.com.

Tenuta Sant’Anna

The Tenuta Sant’Anna Extra Dry Prosecco DOC had 15 g/L residual sugar and a light straw color. The wine exhibited multiple columns of bubbles forming a total surface mousse. Apple and pear were on the aroma and taste. The mouthfeel was creamy and lively. The finish was crisp and fruity. The wine retails for about $16 at wine.com.

Borgo Magredo

The Borgo Magredo DOC Prosecco Extra Dry had a straw color with 15 g/L of residual sugar. The wine had multiple columns of bubbles forming a total surface mousse. The aroma reminded me of peaches, flower blossoms and apples. The taste included peach and apple along with velvety mouthfeel. The finish was clean and crisp. The wine retails for about $17 at wine.com.

Mionetto (Organically Grown Grapes)

The Mionetto Prosecco DOC was crafted from organically grown grapes. This wine with a straw color had 18 g/L of residual sugar. Multiple columns of bubbles formed a central and circumferential mousse on the wine’s surface. The aroma was very peachy and the taste had peach and apple with a slight earthy character. The finish was clean, crisp and refreshing. The wine retails for about $12 at Total Wine.

Throughout the year, Prosecco is a great value for those who like sparkling wines.

Cheers,
Terry


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