Dry, Extra Dry, Brut, DOC, DOCG or Cartizze?
Never Draught Prosecco = Fake Prosecco!
In general, ladies tend to prefer the ‘Extra Dry’ style of Prosecco finding the ‘Brut’ a little too dry and the ‘Dry’ a little too sweet. The fizz in lower quality bottles of Prosecco can disappear from the glass very quickly and the Prosecco can taste quite flat. Good Prosecco should have a fine ‘Perlage’ which refers to the thousands of small bubbles. The smaller the bubbles the better. It should be a straw almost clear colour with a greenish tinge hinting at the youth of the wine, intensely aromatic and crisp in flavour, with aromatic fruity notes of apple, pear and white flowers such as accacia. You should be getting a long lingering flavour of the freshness and fruitiness of the grapes after you sip.
They love this wine in the USA but you’ll never find it on a wine list in Ireland!
Raboso is without a doubt the signature red wine of the Veneto region of Italy, mostly grown in the low lying coastal region around the Piave river which flows through the Veneto’s eastern Treviso Province. This is a full bodied red deep in colour with plenty of tannins, but it is more often than not made to be slightly ‘frizzante’ (fizzy). This is why it drinks really easily even when served slightly chilled, which it is in the heat of the summer in Italy and it is served in a carafe in most Italian restaurants as ‘sfuso’ or loose wine. More often if you order a carafe of loose wine in the area, this is what you will be drinking and it’s really really good!
The Famous Sicilian Island ‘Isola di Pantelleria’
Some of Italy’s best sweet wines come from a Mediterranean, volcanic island just 60 km from Tunisia. The island is only 15 km long but home to some of the world’s most unique vineyards. In addition to high summer temperatures, moderated by the surrounding sea, the most distinctive element in its terroir is the strong hot, scirocco winds that come out of Africa on their way to Sicily and southern Italy. The dry heat of Pantelleria is perfect for producing the sun-dried Zibibbo grapes used to make the delicious sweet wine Passito di Pantelleria.
A community effort
‘Vendemmia’ is the Italian word for harvest. It usually happens between July and October in Italy. Thomas of GrapeVine has worked for neighbouring vineyards offering a helping hand at harvest time. It really is a community effort with lots of helping hands coming from friends and family who live locally. Everyone works hard under the blazing sun, but are usually rewarded back in the cantina with a glass of something good enough to quench the thirst.