A spirited toast to all things alcoholic! By Leslie Dinaberg
As Don Ho sings:
Tiny bubbles (tiny bubbles)
In the wine (in the wine)
Make me happy (make me happy)
Make me feel fine (make me feel fine)
Just thinking about bubbles makes me smile: bubble baths, Wonder Bubbles, Bubble Up, Champagne and more recently, Prosecco.
I had my first taste of Prosecco just a few years ago, when a friend brought a bottle of Mionetto IL Prosecco to accompany our sushi at one of the summer concerts at El Capitan Canyon. It was delicious, bubbly and tasted good with potato chips too.
Prosecco—which is an Italian sparkling white wine—is growing in popularity by leaps and bounds these days, particularly with the trendsetting 21-something crowd. According to the beverage industry research website, just-drinks.com, “Growth in sparkling wine of the non-Champagne variety has been a somewhat unheralded success story of the global wines and spirits market during the past ten years, and the product which typifies the sector’s progress—and the star performer to boot—is the northern Italian fizz, Prosecco.”
Unlike many wines, Prosecco is designed to be consumed when it’s young, and the majority of Prosecco is meant to be light and fresh on the palate. Most of it is produced using the less time-consuming Charmat method (refermentation of the base wine in pressurized tanks, as opposed to bottles) and the taste just keeps getting better.
I recently tried a bottle of OGIO Prosecco DOC, which was delicious, light and not overwhelmingly sweet, with fruity notes of peach and green apple. As the company describes it, “an approachable, friendly and easy-to-drink wine for those who want to have a conversation over a glass of wine, not about a glass of wine!” That pretty much fits the bill for me.
In addition to the traditional Bellini, there are loads of other great mixed drinks you can create with Prosecco. Here are a few that would be perfect for a warm spring weekend:
Sgroppino, an Italian cocktail from Giada De Laurentiis, with Prosecco, vodka and lemon sorbet. Fruit Fizz, from Nigella Lawson, combines Prosecco with lemon, mango, raspberry and blackcurrant sorbet (are you sensing a theme here?)
Martha Stewart’s Prosecco Cocktail has Angostura bitters, a liqueur infused with herbs, roots, and bark, and Ruffino Prosecco has an interesting recipe for The Fresco, using Prosecco, cucumbers, lime, hot sauce and sea salt.
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When she’s not busy working as the editor of Santa Barbara SEASONS, Cocktail Corner author Leslie Dinaberg writes magazine articles, newspaper columns and grocery lists. When it comes to cocktails, Leslie considers herself a “goal-oriented drinker.”