La Cantina Pizzolato Prosecco, 2007
This bottle of wine almost inspired bloodshed and mayhem. I am not kidding.
You may notice the cute string-wrapped top on it here. Something a little different from the crowd. Well, I could not open the damn thing. The Man was about to burst a vein in his neck from trying to be civilized while wrestling the wine-screw and the bottle. I almost ran to the utility room for a screw driver and a hammer to open it. (It’s not glamorous, but it works. I promise.) Finally with a primal grunt, The Man ripped the cork out, threw up his hands like a bull fighter, and exited stage right.
It was a lot of hoopla for a timid bottle of organic prosecco. La Cantina Pizzolato is from the Veneto region of Italy (hint: Venice), a once highly agricultural area that is slowly turning to tourism and small industry, as well as guys in boats singing as they steer through canals. This region has sea-level lowlands, but also some high alpine peaks, so there’s plenty of ideal farmland to grow the prosecco grapes for this traditional sparkling wine.
I’ve had a rant or two about prosecco before, so I won’t get back into that again except to say that prosecco is pretty similar to Champagne. Because of its regionally protected status, all Champagne originates from the Champagne region of France. So we call it sparkling wine. In this region of Italy, it’s made with prosecco grapes, and varies greatly in quality and characteristics from bottle to bottle.
If you’re on a budget like me and 95% of the rest of the humans, you might consider finding a prosecco you like rather than splashing out on an expensive Champagne for an event. Most people can’t tell anyway. You can hunt around and find some absolutely wonderful prosecco, in whatever price range you feel comfortable with, and in general it tends to cost less than its Champagne cousin.
Pizzolato is a smallish vintner with a range of wines, including spumante and dessert wines. They do put an emphasis on natural and organic processes and ingredients, which is emerging with the growing demand.
This bottle of prosecco gave us a good fight to get open, and proved to be fairly shy but sweet. There wasn’t a developed flavor curve or any distinct notes throughout the course of drinking it. It was bubbly though, with persistent, fine bubbles that would lend itself well to spritzers, mixed drinks and punches. And at this price, you wouldn’t hesitate at a few chilled bottles for an afternoon at the beach or mimosas for Sunday brunch.
It wouldn’t hurt to have a screw driver and hammer ready though, for when you pull the wine out of the fridge.