A Light & Refreshing Prosecco for all Champagne Drinkers
By Matt Goldstein & Amy K. Haight
The Lamarca Prosecco is a sparkling wine made in the Trevisio area of Northern Italy from the Prosecco grape. Prosecco is best consumed soon after production while it still retains its youthful fruitiness and stimulating acidity, just like all champagne and sparkling wines as they are already aged to their peak by the time they reach the shelves. That’s right, there’s no need to age champagne, it’s better to drink it now! In 2007 La Marca Prosecco was awarded a “Top 100 wines of the Year” by Wine Spectator and in 2010 considered “One of the fruitiest and one of the most aromatic” by the Wall Street Journal. Made from 100% Prosecco grapes harvested in early September, then sourced from hundreds of small vineyards throughout the region the Lamarca Prosecco was started from a wine growing cooperative.
The Lamarca Prosecco is a light grayish Bache in color with just a hint of gold. The flavor is Light in fruit and a very slight dry, showing some complexity. With a good but crispness, the Lamarca Prosecco gets sweeter the more you sip. This is a very nice glass of bubbly. Subtle and mild, this is the type of champagne that would appeal to the masses. Light and refreshing, perfect for beginners and the experienced, the Lamarca Prosecco is a well rounded, balanced and subtle sparkling wine and we would drink it again and again. For $15, it’s a very solid buy and we absolutely recommend it.
Tasting Notes from Lamarca:
This sparkling wine is pale, golden straw in color. Bubbles are full textured and persistent. On the nose the wine brings fresh citrus with hints of honey and white floral notes. The flavor is fresh and clean, with ripe citrus, lemon, green apple, and touches of grapefruit, minerality, and some toast. The finish is light, refreshing, and crisp.
La Marca Prosecco has the charm to stand alone as an aperitif, but it also has the body and the acidity to match well with a range of fragrant and spicy dishes. Try it with seafood, mild cheeses and any tomato-rich dish, or even with fruit-based desserts.
Prosecco’s, Cava’s, Champagne’s and Sparkling Wines
By Matt Goldstein
Prosecco is a type is sparkling wine from Italy’s Veneto region just North of Venice. Prosecco sparkling wine is usually cultivated and blended with native grapes such Verdisio, Bianchetta, Perera and non native grapes Pinot Bianco and Pinot Grigio. The Vila Sandi uses a bottle type called the “Claxa” which keeps the wine cooler and at ideal temperatures. Each bottle of Vila Sandi Prosecco is aged for at least 36 months and some bottles up to 6 years. While the Villa Sandi wine is refined in French Oak Barrels, each Prosecco vine is aged from 7 to 45 years. Founded in 1975 by the Moretti Polegato Family, the Villa Sandi brings produces some wines that are an absolute must.
Our featured wine of the week is the Villa Sandi Prosecco Di Valdobbiadene Brut Spumante and the scent is of ripe fruit and apple. The flavor is fresh, sweet, slightly dry, and bitter with a tangy aftertaste and excellent finish. This is a beautiful Prosecco especially for about $13.00. Villa Sandi Prosecco Di Valdobbiadene is a great buy for the Champagne lover.
By Lisa Gana, Matt Goldstein & Sommelier Tom Pittakas
Just because Moet Chandon, Crystal, and Dom Perignon are the most famous champagnes on the market, doesn’t mean they’re the best. It certainly doesn’t mean you have to spend your entire paycheck just to drink a good bottle of the bubbly. We’ve compiled a top 15 list of our favorite champagnes, many of which are award winning and can be purchased for under $15.
Champagnes, Sparkling Wines, Prosecco’s and Cava’s
1. Louis Bouillot Rose Sparkling Wine:
100% Pinot Noir Grapes, Burgundy France. Scored 88 points from Wine Enthusiast and costs about $15.00
2. Thorn Clarke NV Brut Reserve:
A Pinot Noir, Chardonnay Sparkling Wine Blend from South Australia. Thorn Clarke Brut Reserve scored 90 points from Cellar Tracker and is available for about $14.00.
3. Castellar Cava, Spain:
The most famous sparkling wine in Spain, Castellar Cava is a light refreshing and easy drinking style of Champagne. Made with Macabeo, Parelleda and Xarel-lo grapes, the Cava stands out from the other sparkling wines on the shelf and costs about $13.00. Castellar scored very well at the 2010 Wine Trials.
4. Domain Ste Michelle Brut:
For 2 years in a row, Domain St Michelle beat out Dom Perignon in a double blind taste test at the Wine Trials. Domain St Michelle costs about $13.00 per bottle while Dom Perignon costs about $150.00. What else is there to say?
A classic French Champagne with a Pino Noir Base and smaller parts Chardonnay with Pinot Meunier. The Piper Heidseck winery has been making wines and champagnes since 1785 and a bottle of Brut is about $25.00.
Napa Valley, California. With a mix of Chardonnay and Pinot Noir this California Sparkling Wine scored 92 points from Wine Spectator and 90 points from Wine Enthusiast. Taittinger Brut Cuvee costs about $23.00.
Napa Valley, California. A Chardonnay based California Sparkling wine that scored 90 points from the Wine Enthusiast, Chandon can be purchased for around $20.00. Chandon is owned by the world renowned French Champagne Moet-Chandon. The Blanc de Noirs is a gorgeous salmon-pink and is a blend of Pinot Noir, Pinot Meunier, and Chardonnay is also a great buy.
8. Roederer Estate Brut:
Anderson Valley,CA. Owned and made by the infamous and obnoxiously expensive Cristal, the Roederer Estate Brut for the rock-bottom price. With about 60% Chardonnay and 40% Pinot Noir, this sparkling wine is available for about $20.00.
9. Mumm Napa Brut Prestige:
Napa Valley, CA.A crisp, dry sparkling wine that scored 90’s from the Wine Enthusiast and the Wine Spectator. Mumm Napa Brut Prestige is a great sparkling wine for only $16.00.
10. Veuve Clicquot Brut:
Champagne France. This legendary Champagne scores above 90’s across the board from all of the major wine and champagne ratings and it costs much less than Moet Chandon. Veuve Clicquot Brut can be purchased for about $34.00.
California. With 60% Chardonnay, 15% Pinot Noir and 25% Pinot Meunier, this California Brut is bottle fermented in the traditional Champagne style. Piper Sonoma Brut is available for about $12.00.
12. Moet Chandon Imperial:
Champagne, France. Moet Chandon is a classic French Champagne. Perhaps a little pricey but Moet has won awards across the board for all of its Champagnes on the shelf. The Moet Imperial is available for about $40.00.
13. Castello Del Poggio Muscat Blanc Sparkling Wine:
Italy. Sweet and well balanced with refined fruitiness, the Castello Del Poggio is actually a staple of the Olive Garden. Seriously, we just mentioned the Olive Garden. Either way, this is a solid sparkling wine for about $15.00.
The most most famous sparkling wine in Spain, Castellar Cava is a light refreshing and easy drinking style of Champagne. Made with Macabeo, Parelleda and Xarel-lo grapes, the Cava stands out from the other sparkling wines on the shelf and costs about $13. Why pay $45 for Moet Chandon?