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Decipher an Italian Prosecco2 min read

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2013 Cecilia Beretta Brut Prosecco Superiore2013 Cecilia Beretta Brut Prosecco Superiore

D.O.C.G. (Denominazione di Origine Controllata e Garantita)
Conegliano Valdobbiadene
Italy

O

k, so if you don’t know much about Italian wines, let’s dissect this label together.

The producer, Cecilia Beretta, is named at the top of the label.

Often Prosecco wines (and many other types of sparkling wines) are made with juice from more than one vintage. Millesimato means that the year this wine was grown (2013) was a very good year in the region. So good in fact that Cecilia Beretta chose to make a vintage-specific prosecco that contains at least 85% of grapes that year. Italian wine laws require that percentage (or higher) in order to add Millesimato to the label.

Conegliano Valdobbiadene is a grape growing region of Italy that is known for their Prosecco wines. Think of it as being similar to our designated American Viticultural Area wine regions (or AVAs for short.)

Prosecco Superiore indicates that it is a special Prosecco, of higher quality, more superior than usual.

D.O.C.G., which stands for Denominazione di Origine Controllata e Garantita, and is used for food products, including wine, made in Italy. There are four levels of classification and D.O.C.G. is the highest, signifying the best quality product. In order for wines to receive the D.O.C.G. labeling, growers and producers must follow strict laws and allow both testing and tasting of the wines they make. We have also been told that only specific elevations qualify for D.O.C.G. status so these wines are often more complex in nature.

Brut means that the wine will be dry, not sweet. What’s confusing is that the opposite of brut is dry or extra dry, which really means the wine will be sweet. We have no idea of its origins…. just remember that it’s like playing the opposite game when you were a kid. Happily, this terminology is only used on sparkling wines.

Now that you understand the label, let’s move onto the wine, shall we?

This wine had wonderful citrus aromas that made our mouths water. As the tiny bubbles popped at the surface, smells of Meyer lemons, orange blossoms, kumquats, lemons and limes all swirled in the air above our glasses. The bubbles were soft and we kept saying that this wine caressed our tongues! Yes, you read that right, it caressed our tongues! The citrus notes carried over into the flavors– lemon being the most dominant one. Dry as a bone, this Prosecco also had a pleasant creaminess on the mid palate and a long finish. It’s not surprising that Cecilia Beretta chose to make a vintage sparkling this year.

Enjoy this wine with just about any food pairing. Our favorites with bubbles are salty potato chips or truffle popcorn!

Click here to read more about how Prosecco is made.

SRP $9.99

www.traderjoes.com

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Michele Francisco

Michele Francisco, a founder and regular contributor to Winerabble, a blog primarily about Pacific Northwest wines, is living the dream in Portland, Oregon. Her passion leads some to believe she’s got wine running through her veins. Contact Michele at michele@winerabble.com & be sure to visit her online portfolio at www.michelefrancisco.com.

  1. Jocelyn Graham Reply

    The dosage levels that used to be considered ‘dry’ or ‘extra dry’ play fairly sweet to modern palates – in the 19th century most wine (particularly bubbly) was a bit sweeter than it is today. The term ‘brut’ was coined more recently (1876) to account for the shift in preference toward a drier wine. Cheers!

    • Michele Francisco
      Michele Francisco Reply

      Hi Jocelyn, Thanks for the extra info about the dosage levels changing and when the term brut came into use. We actually have a blog post scheduled for tomorrow where we discuss the different between brut and extra dry. Please visit again, Michele

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