Bolla Prosecco NV, Italy
I never tire of Prosecco. You can drink this Italian sparkler in any season, for any occasion, or for no occasion at all.
There are so many good Proseccos on the market it’s fun to try different brands, but this is one of the best I’ve had. It’s bright, lively, refreshing, with plenty of bubbles.
The wine is a pale straw in the glass, almost colorless. There is some fruit in the nose, but taste is where the wine really delivers. It’s fresh and fruity, with peach, pear and melon flavors and a hint of citrus.
A good balance of acidity gives this a crisp finish and a touch of minerality. There are no oak or yeasty tastes. Unlike some Proseccos, the bubbles last a long time, even when you pour the wine into a regular wine glass instead of a Champagne flute.
The wine is made from 100 percent Glera grapes, which used to be called Prosecco, named after the town north of Venice where the vines are concentrated. It is speculated that the grapes were grown by Romans 2,000 years ago, but there is no proof of that.
Fermentation takes place in stainless steel tanks. The secondary fermentation that produces the bubbles takes place in sealed tanks. This cuvee close method produces sparkling wines quicker than the traditional Methode Champenoise where the secondary fermentation occurs in the bottles.
Most Proseccos are non-vintage because the winemakers mix different vintages and lots to create the house taste profile. That’s one reason you don’t want to keep Prosecco too long. It tastes best fresh and young, so it’s best to buy it and drink it quickly. I usually don’t keep any in my cellar, choosing to buy it when I need it.
I have long believed that we Americans don’t drink nearly enough sparkling wine. Just opening a bottle and hearing that “pop” makes you feel better. While it is a little extravagant to drink Champagne very often, Prosecco makes the perfect everyday pour.
The price is right, the taste is great. At 11 percent alcohol the Bolla Prosecco won’t leave your head foggy, even if you have more than one bottle. It’s the perfect summertime drink, but I love it when it gets a little cooler in the fall. Then when you’ve got a fire going in the fireplace during the cold months, there’s nothing better than Prosecco with dessert in front of the fire.
Port might put up a good argument for the perfect cool weather drink, but that’s a story for another week. For now, I’m sticking with the Prosecco.
Winery: The story of Bolla wines goes back more than 130 years to 1883 when Abele Bolla decided to make some wine to serve guests at his small family inn. Abele made a Soave that was described as fresh and crisp and widely acclaimed.
Visitors described the wine as being true to the land, capturing the essence of the Veneto region. That’s one of the highest compliments you can give a wine. Abele was only trying to enhance the experience of visitors to his inn, but he launched a business that eventually became famous worldwide.
As more visitors and friends visited the inn and tasted his wine, they asked for more of his wine. To keep up with demand Abele and his family had to spend more of their time on the winemaking. The family turned to other regional wines and the company continued to grow.
Now Bolla offers a wide variety of wines, all of which are hand-harvested and created in Italy. The family says its goal is to capture the nuances of the climate, soil and temperature of the region in which the grapes are grown.
Bolla wines have been popular in the United States every since I started drinking more than 40 years ago. But I think their quality has grown enormously in the last decade or two. They produce high-end wines such as Amarone, Soave, Chianti DOCG and Valpolicello, and everyday wines such as Moscato and Pinot Grigio.
Bolla wines are distributed in the United States by Banfi.
Goes with: I opened this bottle on my last trip to the North Carolina mountains, with a group of friends we call the Magnificent Eight. It started with a memorable wine-tasting trip to Napa a few years ago when we were the Magnificent Seven, and the friendship just keeps getting better year by year.
We had the Bolla Prosecco as an aperitif before one of the fabulous dinners we take turns cooking. We sat on the porch or walked around the house sipping the Prosecco and thinking, “Life is very good.” Our generous friends Edith and John from Savannah hosted the group at their gorgeous home in Maggie Valley.
We had some cheese and crackers, and peanuts, but you don’t need anything to enjoy Prosecco. It matches just about anything, from appetizers to seafood to pasta to grilled meat to fried chicken and potato chips. It’s also great with desserts and with great friends.
We enjoyed this wine so much we finished it long before we could get to dinner.
Bolla Prosecco NV, Italy