Fourteen years ago we at Zambri’s helped to put Prosecco on the map in Victoria. At that time there was only one dusty bottle sitting on the shelves at the local liquor store. We started offering a five course tasting menu every Saturday night and we included a glass of Prosecco. Many people had never even heard of this light sparkling wine from the north of Italy. It became an instant hit to the point that the Manager of the local liquor store demanded to know what we were doing over at Zambri’s because he had never seen somany customers asking for Prosecco. Now you can easily find ten different types of Prosecco on the shelves.
Prosecco is actually the name of the wine and it’s legal designation. So, just like Champagne, no one can call a wine Prosecco unless it is made in a specific way in a specific region called the Veneto in the North East of Italy.It differs from Champagne in that it is made in the Charmat or Tank method where the secondary fermentation (where the bubbles come from) happens in a tank rather than in the bottle itself. This makes the wine somewhat lighter both in body and taste but also on the pocketbook.
My favorite Prosecco this summer is the Riondo Prosecco which is currently on sale at many government liquor stores for just $11.99 before tax. It is great just by itself and we had it for lunch with a fresh tomato and bocconcini salad. Light and crisp and slightly off dry, a perfect summer sipper.