I love the quote “Where there is no wine, there is no love” from the ancient Greek playwright, Euripides; wine has been the drop of choice for seduction for millennia, playing a central role giving courage or fuelling passion for the ‘significant other’ in one’s life.
A bottle of fizz is a lovely statement regardless of the occasion, but when it is opened with a loved one, it always feels just a bit indulgent. We are spoiled for choice in the UK but currently the sparkling wine of choice for many people is the wonderfully effervescent Prosecco from northern Italy.
In my mind this perfect ‘glass of giggles’ is just oozes a sense of fun – a quality it’s more serious French cousin Champagne doesn’t have – and this is mirrored in the fact that the UK, Prosecco outsells its illustrious counterpart by over four bottles to one.
Originating in the Italian wine region of Veneto, the vineyards where the grapes are grown are from an area near Conegliano and Valdobbiadene, in the hills north of Treviso, due north from the world famous provincial capital, Venice.
From humble beginnings in the early sixteenth century, the grape used to produce the wine was also named Prosecco, the origin of the name coming from the eponymous town. Interestingly neither exist now in the present day, as Prosecco the town was swallowed up by the burgeoning city of Trieste in the 1950’s and the name of the grape itself was changed to Glera, as it was deemed not exclusive enough in the regions push for a higher quality product.
The production area for Prosecco was enshrined in law only ten years ago, following the model set by many of the other internationally famous regions like Champagne and Rioja. This development prohibits imposters from making substandard product in other areas of the country and claiming to be legitimate Prosecco and also allows the producers inside the defined area to market their quality and authenticity. Just to ‘guild the Lilly’, in 2019 UNESCO accredited the area as a ‘World Heritage site’.
Quality and authenticity aside, I feel that the large scale success this delicious wine has enjoyed over the last few years is down to one thing, it’s more rounded style. Due to the warmer climate where it is produced, Prosecco typically contains a touch more naturally occurring sugar than its more illustrious and ‘crisper’ French cousin from Champagne. This roundness definitely makes the glass easier to quaff and has created a much wider appeal with the UK public.
The beautiful pink colour of the Brilla Prosecco Rose you will have in front of you comes from the inclusion of the very elegant Pinot Nero grape – something that only last year became legal to do. The addition of this red grape variety to the wine brings the gorgeous notes of fresh aromatic strawberries and creamy white peach to the party and is just perfect to add that extra sparkle to your St Valentine’s day!
Post prepared by Guy Chatfield for Cocktail Hour
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