Beyond Apertif, Enjoy Prosecco Superiore at the Dinner Table #ItalianFWT

Italian Food, Wine and Travel Group Explores Prosecco Superiore DOCG
Prosecco sparkling wines are popular as relatively inexpensive and appealing sparkling wines. This month, our Italian Food, Wine and Travel blogging group is concentrating on the upper end of the Prosecco quality pyramid, the Prosecco Superiore wines of Conegliano Valdobbiadene. Prosecco wines are made from the Glera grape, and hail from the Northeastern corner of Italy in the Veneto.  The sparkling wines undergo secondary fermentation in the Charmat (aka Martinotti) method where the wine goes through secondary fermenation in a large autoclave tank. The method is quicker and simpler than the traditional bottle fermentation method. It is especially good at retaining fresh fruit flavors.

Disclosure: The wines for my post were provided as samples by the Consortium Conegliano Valdobbiadene Prosecco Superiore, all opinions expressed are my own.

Prosecco is the perfect lakeside sparkling wine. For just a few $$ extra, you can upgrade to Prosecco Superiore DOCG. Look for Conegliano Valdobbiadene.

Prosecco Superiore and Conigliano Valdobbiadene
Basic Prosecco has earned DOC status in Italian wine regulations, with restrictions on the grapes, growing area, yields, and many other characteristics. The towns which comprise the Prosecco Superiore region are a smaller region inside the larger Prosecco region. The Superiore region is marked by the original geography of Prosecco, hillside vineyards. Our posts this month concentrate specifically on the towns of Conegliano and Valdobbiadene, in the heart of the Prosecco Superiore region. In short, the Prosecco and Superiore regions have similar grapes and winemaking characteristics, but the Superiore wines come from hand-harvested hillside vineyards. The wines of Conegliano Valdobbiadene Prosecco Superiore earned DOCG status in 2009 and are now celebrating their 10th anniversary of DOCG status!

Why Look for DOCG?
When you’re in the wine shop, you’ll see Prosecco DOC wines on the shelves for $13-18. If you look carefully, you’ll find DOCG wines from Conegliano Valdobbiadene. For just a few dollars more (usually $18-22), you’ll have a wine from better hillside vineyard land. The grapes will have been hand harvested. You’re more likely to be holding a wine from a family grower rather than a large corporation.

I usually choose Prosecco Conegliano Valdobbiadene as an apertif choice. Festive bubbles are always a good idea to welcome friends. For this post, I decided to give our Prosecco samples a seat at the dinner table.

Tenuta 2castelli Conegliano Valdobbiadene Prosecco Superiore DOCG “Brut” (sample, $23 SRP or shipped direct in California and Washington DC)
Are you itching to visit the region? Veneto Hills (home of Tenuta 2Castelli) has beautiful villas to rent for your stay! The owners reside in the US, but felt the inevitable pull from their Veneto origins. They have been renovating and reinvigorating the 2Castelli winery with the result showing in the bottle. Prosecco DOC and DOCG rules state that “Brut” wines must have <12g/l residual sugar. The 2castelli has 7-8 g/l.
Eye: Clear, pale straw yellow color. Active medium size bubbles.
Nose: Clean, medium intensity aromas of green apples and limes
Mouth: Dry, medium- intensity flavors echoing the aromas of green apples and limes. Tart high acidity balanced by just a touch of residual sweetness though finishing nice and dry. Medium length finish of fresh green apples.

Il Colle Conegliano Valdobbiadene Prosecco Superiore DOCG “Extra Dry” (sample, online here)
A young winery, Azienda Vitivinicola Il Colle has been in operation since 1978Prosecco wines with residual sugar levels of 12-17 g/l are classified as Extra Dry. While they have a bit more sweetness, the bright acidity of the sparkling wine leads to a balanced, enjoyable wine. The Il Colle tech sheets lists the residual sugar on this wine at 16-18 g/l.
Eye: Clear, pale yellow-green color. Lightly sparkling with fine bubbles
Nose: Clean, medium- intensity aromas of lemons, lemon rind, lemon cake.
Mouth: Off-dry medium- intensity. The balancing sweetness takes the edge off the tart acidity. Just a bit of a bitter finish offset by the light sweetness. Even though it’s a touch sweet, it was very nice with the shrimp pasta dish.

La Vigna di Sarah Conegliano Valdobbiadene Prosecco Superiore DOCG “Millesimato 2018 Extra Dry” (sample, online here)

Started only in 2010, La Vigna di Sarah has made much progress and recently has made the commitment to convert all their acreage to organic viticulture. In 2014 they added a farmhouse bed and breakfast to the offerings at the winery.

Eye: Clear, brightly effervescent. Pale yellow green with a lively mousse.
Nose: Clean, medium intensity aromas of red apples and seashells.
Mouth: Off-dry medium intensity. Medium- body, medium alcohol. This was the most mineral oriented of the three wines. Off-dry to balance high acidity. Flavors of fresh green apples with an abundance of lightly saline, seashells with a touch of bitterness in the finish. Very nice with food, and the sweetness has a subtlety that goes nicely with food. Not at all cloying, just balance.

Conegliano Valdobbiadene Prosecco Superiore at the Dinner Table
The recipe for our meal started out as a recipe for Tagliolini, Shrimp and Broccoli Rabe from a Veneto cookbook by Julia Della Croce. A very similar recipe is available online, authored by Julia here. However, I would be cooking up at our cabin, which meant shopping at the Cub Foods in Brainerd, which is always a roll of the dice for lesser known ingredients such as broccoli rabe or tagliolini. Thanks to Google, I was able to learn that broccoli rabe is a closer cousin to bitter greens than it is to broccoli, and linguine is the best I could do for pasta. Our main dish was Linguine, shrimp and collard greens, not quite the same, but it was delicious!

As far as Prosecco Superiore at the dinner table, the wines were very nice, although I do think the pasta was just a bit much. They would have been perfect with a nice sauteed shrimp (just like our dish) served on a salad of wilted bitter greens. My assumption ahead of the meal was that I would prefer the Brut wine, but both extra dry wines were very nice with the dish. The sweetness added just a bit of body and was not at all cloying. Finally, I loved the minerality present in the La Vigna di Sarah Millesimato 2018 Extra Dry with the dish.

Our group enthusiastically endorses Conegliano Valdobbiadene Prosecco Superiore DOCG at the dinner table!

Italian Food Wine & Travel Thoughts on Prosecco Superiore
Here’s what the #ItalianFWT Bloggers are sharing for the Prosecco DOCG Party. If you see this in time, please feel free to join our chat on twitter, at the hashtag: #ItalianFWT on Twitter, on Saturday July 6 at 10am CDT.

Here’s Patty contemplating three Prosecco Superiores from Conegliano Valdobbiadene

 

Comments
26 Responses to “Beyond Apertif, Enjoy Prosecco Superiore at the Dinner Table #ItalianFWT”
  1. culinarycam says:

    Looks like a beautiful cabin meal, Jeff. Thanks for joining in the Prosecco DOCG exploration this month.

  2. asiantestkitchen says:

    Now that is how Prosecco should be enjoyed, in a tulip shaped coupe with seafood and a good looking bunch of people! I would have thought the wine would do well with pasta and even a cream sauce but interesting to note for next time. Great video too! I’m just going to have some trouble recreating that lakefront view… 🙂

  3. orna2013 says:

    I love a good prosecco and the area around Valdobbiadene Is spectacularly beautiful too. Personally, my favourite wine from that area is Cartizze, with just a small quantity released every year.

  4. Lovely lakefront wining and dining! Fun for fizz and friends! I agree that there is a world of difference between the DOC and the DOCG — well worth an extra few bucks and you explain well very well.

  5. Nice adaptations of the recipe! I’m on the road this week and needing to be similarly flexible in cooking.

  6. I’m digging the collard green twist with the pasta Jeff! Looks like a good time was had by all! Cheers my friend!

  7. wendyklik says:

    I want to spend some time at that cabin with you. I picture us around a bonfire, sipping wine and letting all the cares of the world slip away.

  8. Nice substituting of ingredients at your cabin in Northern Minnesota. I know your pain, coming from the sunny, warm South to Northern Wisconsin last week left me challenged at the grocery store. That said, somehow the food and wine do taste amazing in the north woods. (you are lucky you had reliable internet).

  9. I love your photos and the video is great Jeff!

  10. I agree Prosecco needs to be drunk at the dinner table. They are serious wines and very food friendly. Great information and well written article Jeff.

  11. Tablewine says:

    Great to see you serving the Prosecco in glasses with wide openings as opposed to flutes, allowing tasters to enjoy the wine’s aromatics.

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