Of course, you really only need one: It’s terrific.
Some say no other beverage defines the Italian philosophy of la dolce vita, or the good life, quite like Prosecco.
It’s long been the aperitivo of choice for Italians up and down the peninsula, and it’s now the most sold sparkler in the U.S.—and for good reason: It’s refreshing, flavorful, light-bodied, (usually) dry, and features a wallet-friendly price tag.
But that’s not all. Here are 11 other power points you need to know about this iconic bubbly.
Kerin O’Keefe explores the recovery and rise of Timorasso, the indigenous varietal that has achieved eminence in obscurity thanks to the creative determination and passion of one man.
John Lennon once described his wife Yoko Ono as “the world’s most
famous unknown artist: Everybody knows her name, but nobody knows what she does.” The same description can easily be applied to Timorasso, one of the most exciting wines coming out of Italy: Everyone in the wine world has heard of it, but no one knows much about it, apart from the fact that it’s a singular white and comes from Piedmont.
Discover Conegliano Valdobbiadene, home to Prosecco’s most celebrated vineyards.
I’m not a big fan of slogans, but after a recent trip to Conegliano Veneto, home to Prosecco Superiore, I have to admit that the consorzio’s motto describing their growing zone as the place “where Prosecco is superior,” nails it.
Prosecco, the affable sparkler that has taken the world by storm, comes in two family groups: Prosecco DOC—from nine provinces spanning the Veneto and Friuli-Venezia Giulia regions—and Prosecco Conegliano Valdobbiadene Superiore DOCG, which can only be made in the Treviso province of Veneto on the hills between the towns of the same names. There’s also a more obscure branch of the Superiore DOCG family, Asolo Prosecco Superiore DOCG, produced near the town of Asolo. But the most celebrated Proseccos come from the hillside vineyards of Conegliano Valdobbiadene, the historical production area for Prosecco.
The idyllic island is not just a vacation destination: Consider it your new go-to region for compelling Italian wines.
Situated off the west coast of Italy, postcard-perfect Sardinia, the second-largest island in the Mediterranean after Sicily, is celebrated for its clear turquoise waters, white-sand beaches and wild coastline. But it’s also a paradise for wine lovers.
The island is home to a variety of native grapes, like the island’s signature white—the rich yet refreshing Vermentino—and the lighter-bodied Nuragus. Fans of red wines can turn to selections made from Monica, Carignano and Sardinia’s flagship red, Cannonau, which range from savory and light-bodied to complex and structured. Although not household names, the best bottlings from Sardinia (Sardegna in Italian) are among the most fascinating wines coming out of Italy.
O’Keefe is a Bostonian wine journalist and author (published books include Franco Biondi Santi: The Gentleman of Brunello and Brunello di Montalcino) residing in Lugano, Switzerland (and therefore within easy driving-distance of Alba) with her husband, Paolo Tenti. She is responsible for numerous articles in magazines like this one and Decanter and is presently working for the American publication Wine Enthusiast as well.
A number of her articles have been on the subject of Barolo and/or Barbaresco, and she has spent years tasting the stuff (a happy fate, you might think; but that would be to underestimate the palate-coating, tannin-accumulating effect of Nebbiolo, which can turn the prospect of a 100+ lineup of individually excellent Barolo samples into a living nightmare). So, she is eminently qualified for the authorship of such a tome…
…Indeed, it’s a very useful tome to have to hand: measured, informative and very readable. I thoroughly recommend it.