Prosecco party

Col-head-ZalkinThe great events of life are associated with champagne. An engagement, the birth of a child, or a new home, all call for a bottle of fancy French bubbly.

But what about the little things? Enter Prosecco, a marvelously versatile sparkling wine that is perfect for everyday celebrations. A sunny day after a week of rain? Prosecco on the porch. Finally master béarnaise sauce? Prosecco as an aperitif. Prosecco is the drink for half-birthdays, un-birthdays and friendly weekend get togethers.

Prosecco had a somewhat plebeian reputation in the U.S. until it started popping up on wine lists at fancy restaurants about two decades ago. It has since rapidly gained both popularity and prestige. The name of the grape was changed from “prosecco” to “glera,” and the region of northern Italy where it has traditionally been produced got its own DOC, protecting generations-old vineyards from a flood of cheap international imitations.

Prosecco tends to be slightly sweeter and more floral than champagne or cava. It works well as an aperitif, before food overwhelms its delicate flavors. It also provides the base for a whole host of refreshing cocktails, and its low alcohol content means it mixes well with strong liquors without sending you into a boozy coma before the first course hits the table.

The large, sturdy bubbles of a “spumante” hold up well to being mixed with pulpy fruit juice, while the more delicate effervescence of a “frizzante” Prosecco makes for sophisticated sipping on its own.

In Italy, Prosecco is served in tumblers or wide-mouthed flutes. In fact, some experts maintain that Prosecco is better served in a wider mouthed glass, to allow full expression of its subtler flavors. So keep a bottle chilled in the back of the fridge, just in case you have something to celebrate.

• Adami Garbel Prosecco: A crisp, full-flavored Prosecco with a dryness level between brut and extra dry. Notes of ripe peach, tart pear and a hint of melon. Pairs well with seafood antipasti. Refreshing, persistent, bubbles.

• Lampo Borgoluce Prosecco: Fine textured, delicate bubbles, off dry style has just enough residual sugar to make it perfect to drink on its own. Fresh and elegant, this Prosecco is consistently rated a best bargain by critics.

• Primaterra Prosecco. Pale golden yellow with bright, sturdy bubbles. Aromas of pineapple, green apples, and citrus and a pleasing balance of fruit and dryness.

You can find all of these delightful Prosecco wines for purchase at our store, Old Greenwich Fine Wines, at 195 Sound Beach Avenue, Old Greenwich or visit our website at When you stop in, we invite you to taste a number of our favorite wines while we help you find the right bottle for your palate.


Robert Zalkin is the owner of Old Greenwich Fine Wines at 195 Sound Beach Avenue. His column will be available weekly at

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