Bolla Prosecco NV, Italy
Cost: $11-14
T his is a typical summer scenario I remember well from the days when I had to dress up and go to an office every day: You come home from work. You’re hot because the temperature is near 100 again. You’re tired and not ready to eat dinner yet.
What do you do? If you’re smart you grab a bottle of Prosecco and relax with your spouse or roommate. From the minute you hear the distinctive “pop” when the cork comes out, you start to relax and cool down.
There are few things as refreshing as a glass of chilled Prosecco. It is the perfect summer drink: cool, non-filling and light in alcohol (11 percent).
I have always liked sparkling wine because it is a virtual party in a bottle. For special occasions or an everyday pick-me-up, sparkling wine can’t be beat. Most of us can’t afford to drink Champagne every day, so Prosecco is a great alternative. I have loved Prosecco for years and have taken great delight in its surge in popularity in the U.S. in recent years.
There are many fine Prosecco producers, and Bolla is one of the better ones. With a long history in Italian winemaking, the company brings winemaking and marketing skills to the excitement of Prosecco.
Bolla Prosecco
Bolla Prosecco
This Prosecco is bright straw in color, with lots of little bubbles, leading to aromas of ripe fruit. You pick up tastes of pear, green apple and citrus as you sip. Crisp acidity leads to a lively finish. There is a slight creaminess to the mouthfeel that you often get with Champagne, but usually not with Prosecco.
The grapes are 100 percent Glera (formerly called Prosecco) grown in the northeast Italy region of Veneto, north of Venice. They are both hand and machine picked with fermentation in stainless steel tanks.
Prosecco is less fizzy than Champagne. It is made by the Charmat process in which the second fermentation takes places in pressurized tanks rather than in the bottle as in the Champagne process.
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.
Serve it well chilled.
Winery: For more than 130 years the company has been run by the Bolla family. It all started when Abele Bolla opened a small family inn in the Veneto region. He thought his inn would be more popular if he offered his guests wine that he made. It was a Soave, a light white wine.
The wine received praise for being true to the land, capturing the essence of the Veneto. Abele was trying to enhance his business at the inn, and in doing so he launched a business that gained worldwide fame.
As more visitors and friends visited the inn and tasted his wine, they asked for more of it. 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.
Four generations later, Bolla continues to turn out fine wine from regions throughout Italy.
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 ever 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: We had this as we were preparing a dinner of lobster tails. We even saved a little to drink with the lobster. It was perfect as an aperitif and even better with the lobster.
The fresh, light taste of this Prosecco makes it easy to match to food. It is wonderful before dinner by itself, or with appetizers or cheese. For dinner it pairs with everything, from seafood to chicken to pork or pasta, and even with spicy food. It also works with desserts, but I prefer it before dinner.

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