Seminar 2: Prosecco
If there is anything to remember here, it’s this:
Champagne is a Sparkling Wine but not all Sparking wines are Champagne. Champagne must be from the Champagne region is France.Prosecco is a Sparkling wine but not all sparkling wines are Prosecco. Prosecco can only be from Veneto and Friuli in the north of Italy.
Prosecco has been a misused term. It has come to mean any sparkling wine from Italy made in the Charmat Method. But this is not correct. Prosecco is a grape; it is an area. It is more than a style. It has a terroir, a place, a history. Not to be mistaken for Champagne, Prosecco is bright and fresh. It is a perfect aperitif wine. And, Prosecco is Italy’s number one export!
Gambero Rosso recently announced the Tre Bicchieri, or “three glasses”, winners for the "Vini d'Italia 2013" wine guide. First published in 1987, over 45,000 wines were tasted by more than 60 judges to make it into the 26th edition. Of the awarded wines, eleven wines within the Dalla Terra portfolio received a Tre Bicchieri® honor. Congratulations!
Dalla Terra means "of the earth" in Italian. Founded in 1990, owner Brian Larky, who was the winemaker at Ca'del Bosco in Italy, selects wineries that best represent the regions of Italy. What makes this portfolio of wineries all the more unique is that Dalla Terra Winery Direct® is a direct importer. Distributors are able to buy directly from the producer, which eliminates the national importer and thereby keeps the price a little lower.
I had the privilege to taste these wines and meet the representatives earlier this year at a tasting. Here is a list of the winning wines by region:
"Italy is not complicated, it's complex." That's what they told us on the first day of the Italian Wine Specialist Certification Course. That is an understatement. Wine is produced in each of the 20 regions, each different for its climate, soil, grapes, history, cuisine, even language. There are 73 DOCG wines and almost 400 DOC wines and hundreds of native varietals.
Having lived in Piemonte many years ago, my love for wine began over bottles of dolcetto, barbera, nebbiolo and brachetto. However, at the time, little did I know what I was drinking. Over the years, I have enjoyed tasting and learning about the regions of Italy and felt that I had a base of knowledge. I have taken press trips to Piemonte, Tuscany, Veneto and even Puglia where I have visited wineries, met with winemakers and tasted hundreds of wines. But last year at VIVA VINO LA, of which I am one of the organizers, I felt like I was drowning in a sea of unfamiliar varietals. Tai, Glera, Vespaiola, Nosiola, Raboso, Bombino Bianco, Schiava.....and the list goes on. As we prepare for the 2nd Annual VIVA VINO LA, I wanted to have a better understanding of the regions, varietals and appellations, so I signed up for the Italian Wine Specialist Program.
The Italian Wine Specialist Certification Program is offered by the North American Sommelier Association. It is the first of its kind and the teachers are all native Italian certified sommeliers and wine professionals. It is an intense 4-day program, followed by an exam. In the 4 days, the wine laws, regulations, grape varietals, traditions, trends, history, typicality as well as key characteristics for all 20 regions of Italy are explored.