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Prosecco An OK Alternative For Holiday Bubbly

December 12, 2018

Prosecco is going through the production and quality curve that occurs when a style of wine gets popular fast, and as production steps up, quality gets shaky.

Bubbly makers in the region of Northern Italy have made lots of changes. They changed the name of the grape used to make their wine from glera to Prosecco, the name of the place. They defined a higher quality (they said) sub-region of Prosecco — the mouthful of Conegliano Valdobiadene.

That said, there still are plenty of inexpensive, quality Proseccos out there. If you just want bubblies that taste good and like saying “Prosecco,” then that’s fine. Although, I’d suggest Spanish Cava, too, also sparkling and also inexpensive. Both are affordable choices for large New Year’s Eve gatherings.

When so many Proseccos are well-meaning under-achievers, LaMarca Luminore Conegliano Valdobiadene reaches for a height that justifies its high price. It leans toward peach flavor with apple and biscuit notes that channel the character of the other talked-about sparkling wine from France. The finish is incredibly clean, minerally and refreshing. $20. ★★★★

Colvendrà “Senë” Treviso Prosecco shows perfectly ripe apple, nice acidity and fizz with citrus and a bit of nuttiness in the finish. This epitomized the great value to be found in Prosecco. $11. ★★★ 1/2

I’m suspicious of big names that jump onto hot regions, but Martini & Rossi is well established in Northern Italy with its famous Asti Spumante, Asti being a region in the Piedmont. On the east side of Italy’s boot top, Martini & Rossi Collezione Speciale Prosecco offers a very delicate wine with some ripe mango and lime hidden in the palate. This wine is not bad, but it’s a bit of an overreach at this price. $24. ★★★ 1/2

 

GRADE: Exceptional ★★★★★, Above average ★★★★, Good ★★★, Below average ★★,

Poor ★.

DAVID FALCHEK,

executive director of the American Wine Society, reviews wines each week.