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Thus it was that we settled in for the evening with a fire in the fireplace, books on our laps and doggies floating between the two of us. (For the record, they don't float. They sneak up on you and eventually wiggle their way onto your lap or into that warm space in between your thigh and the sofa cushion, there to stay until you desperately need a powder room break, which you are not permitted to take unless they accompany you into said powder room and supervise all that goes on in there.) Oh and did I mention that "A League of Their Own" was playing on the TV? We both LOVE that movie.
It was the perfect way to end a very busy, very fun month. And of course, there was some bubbly to celebrate. But this year, thanks to my friends at Banfi Wines, I went a different route than the standard Champagne. The Hubby and I popped open a bottle of Bolla's Prosecco, Extra Dry (NV, 11%, Italy). Prosecco is simply an Italian sparkling wine made from the Glera (or Prosecco) grape. You've probably heard a bit about it lately, since its popularity is rising here in the US. Why? Well, to put it simply: it tastes as good as Champagne, but costs less. Unlike Champagne (which is only Champagne if it's made in the Champagne region of France), Prosecco is made using the Charmant method of sparkling wines. So instead of the second fermentation of the grapes taking place in individual bottles, it's put into stainless steel tanks to finish up, which is less expensive to do. ABC News reported that this is why Champagne sales are down and Prosecco sales are up (1) (I mean really, if it's equally good and costs less, wouldn't YOU buy Prosecco over Champagne?) Bloomberg News had a similar story, "Why the Dumb Money Is On Champagne Tonight" (2) that actually ran on New Year's Eve.
I was given this wine by Banfi wines, so I didn't have to think about the cost. I simply thought it would be fun to try a Prosecco instead of Champagne. This one started out with aromas of minerals and faint honeysuckle. The taste started out with orange blossom, turned into pear and ended on a dry sugar cookie note. I know you're probably reading that going "HUH?"...but seriously, the taste went from sweet (orange) to dry (pear) to sweetly dry (the crumbly sugar cookie). This was a very bouncy wine. The flavors stayed in my mouth too, instead of fizzily dissolving as they do in some bone dry sparkling wines. It leaves you with a light fruit taste in your mouth, instead of a tongue in dire need of Chapstick. I really liked it but more importantly, so did the Winey Hubby, who is not much of a wine drinker to begin with. (I know, shocking, isn't it? Here's another shocker about him: He was born on St. Patrick's Day and does not like the taste of beer.) So he sipped about half a glass and I "helped" with the rest. And yes, there was some left over (we did our best) for the next day. [Fun side note: a little trick to re-bubble your bubbly if you face this situation: drop a raisin in it! There is a whole science-y thing about why this works, but I'm going to stop at "it just does" and leave it there. Mostly because I don't understand it, but also because I don't want to bore or confuse you. You're welcome.]
The best part of all this? You'll pay between $10-$12 a bottle (depending on where you are buying it). This is a great sparkler for those who want some great flavor at a reasonable price. The flavor is a bit sweeter than you think of when you think of sparkling wine or Champagne, but in this case that is a very good thing.
And so, the Winey Hubby and I (and the doggies, who wanted to go to bed LONG before the Times Square ball drop) rang in 2014. We were warm and cozy and pleasantly wiped out from a wonderful December full of family and friends and travel.
Good start to 2014, wasn't it? Hope yours was too!
1 - Via Good Morning America. "Champagne Sales Expected to Fall Flat for Second Year in a Row." ABC News. ABC News Network, 25 Dec. 2013. Web.
I was given this wine for review purposes. The opinions are my own.