Prosecco is now the best-selling sparkling wine in the United States. That should come as no surprise to anyone who frequents wine shops or regularly visits the wine section at the supermarket. Americans like their bubbles, whether they’re celebrating a family milestone or the fact that it’s Friday.
And Prosecco is easy to like: its lighter body and lower alcohol level make it perfect for the hazy, hot, and humid days of summer. It’s also easy on the budget, with an average price of $12 for a 750 ml bottle. Keeping that in mind, you can always find a reason to crack open a bottle of Prosecco.
Last month I received two bottles of Riondo Prosecco Spago Nero NV, courtesy of the fun-loving folks at Terlato Wines. And they threw in a bocce set, a beach towel, and a wine cooler perfect for a beachside barbecue for good measure. Everything you could want for a summer celebration.
I haven’t yet tested out the bocce situation. My husband has been traveling for the past several weeks and I haven’t had anyone to play with. But he’ll be back in a few days, and I’ve got the bag packed up and ready to go!
On the other hand, I have had a chance to taste the wine, so let me tell you about it.
(Note: while the wines were provided as samples, the opinions in this post are 100% mine.)
Cantine Riondo Prosecco Spago Nero NV (10.5% abv; $14.99 retail, 750 ml)
Cantine Riondo belongs to the Collis-Riondo brand of companies dedicated to the production of high-quality sparkling wines made via the Charmat method (in which the second fermentation that produces the bubbles occurs in a tank.) With over 14,800 acres of vineyards in the Veneto region, Cantine Riondo is a market leader in wines labeled DOC Prosecco.
This wine is 100% Glera, the grape formerly known as Prosecco. Grapes undergo cold maceration and natural fermentation in a temperature-controlled environment so that their lovely primary fruit aromas are preserved. Prior to release, the wine is aged for one year in bottle.
What’s cool is that the Spago Nero is available in a few different packages. You can buy a bottle topped with a screw cap, making it easy to put back in the fridge so it stays cold. Or you can purchase one with the traditional string closure, as in the photo below. And the third is a personal-sized 187 ml bottle, perfect to buy by the case for your summer parties.
Color: Pale lemon, fading to a clear edge.
Nose: Very aromatic, with a mix of ripe apple and pear, with a spritz of fresh clementine. The effect is like a sweet-tart candy I remember eating as a kid.
Palate: Off-dry, with citrus, apple, and pear flavors that are not quite as ripe as on the nose. The fruit is balanced by medium+ acidity, which makes this a refreshing quaff. I quite liked it alongside a simple charcuterie plate, nibbling and sipping as I watched the sunset from my new balcony.
Did You Know There Are Three Types of Prosecco?
When I hear the word Prosecco, what comes to my mind is a fully sparkling wine. And indeed, that is one type (spumante.) But there are two other classifications of Prosecco wine: frizzante, or semi-sparkling, and tranquillo, which has no bubbles at all. The Riondo Prosecco Spago Nero is fresh and frizzante, right in the middle. Here’s a graphic from Cantine Riondo illustrating the three different versions:
Happy National Prosecco Day!
So, as the sign says, Go Forth and Cheers! Pick your favorite reason to celebrate – a few quiet hours with a new book, a blissful day at the beach, or catching up with an old friend – and pour a glass or two of Prosecco. It is, as they say in the Veneto, the Italian word for summer. Cin! Cin!