loader from loading.io

Ep 378: Prosecco -- The wine, the region, and how to get the best bottles

Wine for Normal People

Release Date: 06/07/2021

Ep 391: Édouard Miailhe - Dynamic leader of the Margaux AOC & 5th Generation Owner of Château Siran show art Ep 391: Édouard Miailhe - Dynamic leader of the Margaux AOC & 5th Generation Owner of Château Siran

Wine for Normal People

Château Siran is an historic and innovative estate in the Médoc on the Left Bank of Bordeaux, in the commune of Margaux. In the mid-1800s Siran was purchased by ancestor of Édouard Miailhe’s family and today he is the 6th generation to run Siran.

info_outline
Ep 390: The Grape Miniseries -- Petit Verdot show art Ep 390: The Grape Miniseries -- Petit Verdot

Wine for Normal People

Petit Verdot is often the secret weapon in a blend -- providing unique aromas and flavors plus acidity and tannin. We discuss this essential grape and the vital role it plays in wines around the world.

info_outline
Ep 389: Chateau Doyac and the Diversity of Terroir in the Haut-Medoc of Bordeaux show art Ep 389: Chateau Doyac and the Diversity of Terroir in the Haut-Medoc of Bordeaux

Wine for Normal People

In our continued exploration of the Médoc of Bordeaux, Astrid de Pourtalès of Château Doyac joins. Doyac is a Cru Bourgeois Supérieur located in the northernmost part of the Haut-Médoc appellation. This show presents a high level overview of a family-owned château in a very different part of the Médoc that isn't often discussed - one that's far north and based on limestone clay soils, something you'd see in Burgundy rather than farther south in Bordeaux.

info_outline
Ep 388: The Greats - Vino Nobile di Montepulciano show art Ep 388: The Greats - Vino Nobile di Montepulciano

Wine for Normal People

The Nobile Wine of Montepulciano is a wine based on a clone of Sangiovese and from a small hillside town in Tuscany called Montepulciano. It is, indeed, one of the great wines of the world.

info_outline
Ep 387: Veramonte's Sofia Araya -- Organic, terroir-driven wine in Chile show art Ep 387: Veramonte's Sofia Araya -- Organic, terroir-driven wine in Chile

Wine for Normal People

Veramonte is a medium sized winery in Chile, with an outsized impact: it's 100% organically farmed and makes up 15% of organic viticulture in Chile. Behind the four brands of Veramonte -- Veramonte, Ritual, Primus, Neyen - is Sofia Vermonte, head winemaker. In this show she talks about the transition to organic farming, the differences in the valleys of Chile and how she is making terroir-driven wines with pure fruit flavors, that showcase the Casablanca, Colchagua, and Maipo Valleys at their best.

info_outline
Ep 386: Natalie MacLean -- Author, Wine Reviewer & Podcaster show art Ep 386: Natalie MacLean -- Author, Wine Reviewer & Podcaster

Wine for Normal People

Natalie MacLean is an accredited sommelier who operates one of the largest wine sites on the web. In this fun show, we talk about Natalie's life in wine, her professional triumphs and trials that made her what she is today, and then we talk wine trends. We analyze everything from blue wine to raw wine to celebrity wine and White Claw! A very fun, yet very real conversation that covers the issues with wine (her description of what happened in 2012 is harrowing), with the best of it as well.

info_outline
Ep 385:  Anne Le Naour of Chateau Meyney - Redefining Saint-Estèphe of Bordeaux show art Ep 385: Anne Le Naour of Chateau Meyney - Redefining Saint-Estèphe of Bordeaux

Wine for Normal People

Anne Le Naour  is the technical and managing director for Château Meyney of St-Estèphe in the Médoc of Bordeaux. Since she began at Château Meyney in 2016, she has transformed it, improving viticulture, moving towards organics, and introducing better winemaking. Her deep knowledge of wine plus her unwavering dedication to quality has meant that the wines of Meyney are better than ever. She joins to discuss Meyney and the beautiful wines of St Estèphe.

info_outline
Ep 384: Txakolina --The Wine of Basque Country show art Ep 384: Txakolina --The Wine of Basque Country

Wine for Normal People

The Basque Country in northeastern Spain lies on the Bay of Biscay and abuts the Pyrenees Mountains, a mere 18 mi/30 km from the French border. Until about a decade ago, this area was relatively unknown as a wine region. But with the rise of Basque cuisine, an increased interest from wine buyers in native varietals, and a thirst for lighter wines, Txakolina (chock-o-LEEN-ah), a white, high acid, spritz wine started to gain ground. In this show, we discuss this historic region and its wine traditions.

info_outline
Ep 383: Domaine Wachau of Austria - One of Europe's Best Co-Ops with Roman Horvath, MW show art Ep 383: Domaine Wachau of Austria - One of Europe's Best Co-Ops with Roman Horvath, MW

Wine for Normal People

Roman Horvath, a Master of Wine, is the Winery Director of Domaine Wachau, a leading Austrian wine producer. The Domaine is actually a cooperative, meaning it is run by & owned by individual growers. But whereas most co-ops in Europe produce seas of mediocre wines, Domaine Wachau is known for its wines of origin & pure flavor. Roman tells us about the Domaine's range of Grüner Veltliner and Riesling that reflect terroir & show that under the right management, the co-op system can make unbelievable wines!

info_outline
Ep 382: Don Kavanagh on Wine's Next Wave and The End of the Cult of the Somm show art Ep 382: Don Kavanagh on Wine's Next Wave and The End of the Cult of the Somm

Wine for Normal People

Don Kavanagh, editor of Wine-Searcher's news division, returns to talk about wine's next wave and Wine-Searcher's article: "Farewell to the 'Cult of the Somm.'" We discuss how the wine world is shaping up in a post-pandemic world where a shift towards stay-at-home drinking and more casual dining will likely be lasting trends. We discuss how sommelier "influencer" culture is dead, and what may be next. Don is infinitely entertaining; this podcast is bound to delight (unless you're a snobby sommelier!).

info_outline
 
More Episodes

Prosecco is not only Italy’s most popular sparkler, but recently it has surpassed Champagne to become the world’s best-selling sparkling wine. In this show we go over the details of the Prosecco region, the winemaking techniques, and I share the most important thing about the wine and how to get the best: the DOCGs that make way better wine than the cheap and cheerful stuff at the supermarket.

 

By the end of the show you’ll understand why Prosecco shouldn't be compared to Champagne (spoiler alert – it’s not made the same and that’s on purpose!) and how to get better versions of what you may already be sipping!

Photo Valdobiaddene, Unsplash

 

Here are the show notes:

Location: The Prosecco DOC is in North East Italy between the Dolomite Mountains and the Adriatic Sea. It spans four provinces of the regions of Friuli Venezia Giulia (Gorizia, Pordenone, Trieste and Udine) and 5 provinces of the region of Veneto (Belluno, Padua, Treviso, Venice, Vicenza). Treviso and Trieste can add the special titles of Prosecco DOC Treviso and Prosecco DOC Trieste given their historic importance.  Given the vast area the DOC covers (23,000 ha/56,000 acres) and the diversity of soil – from poor hilltops to fertile, loamy valleys and plains – it is difficult to name a single style of Prosecco. Climates also range –from cooler sites with mountain or marine breezes, to very warm flat areas that produce masses of grapes for industrial wine.

Source: Prosecco DOC

Grape: The Glera grape is the main grape in Prosecco (although it used to be called the Prosecco grape!). It is grape prone to high yields, which must be controlled to get high quality wine. When it is grown on good sites, it has moderately high acidity, a lighter body, and relatively low alcohol levels (the wines are usually not more than 12% alcohol by volume). Flavors range but typically Glera exhibits melon, peach, pear, and white flower notes. Prosecco can also have up to 15% Verdiso, Bianchetta Trevigiana, Perera, Glera lunga, Chardonnay, Pinot Bianco, Pinot Grigio, and Pinot Nero grapes in the blend.

Source: Prosecco DOC

 

Prosecco is NOT Champagne and it shouldn’t be compared to it (or any of the other wines made in that method). The key difference in the flavor of Prosecco, apart from the Glera grape, is in the winemaking techniques (again, different from Champagne!!). In this process, you harvest the grape and make wine through a primary fermentation. But whereas in the traditional method of sparkling wine, where secondary fermentation takes place in individual bottles, Prosecco’s secondary fermentation takes place in autoclaves, large steel tanks kept under pressure.

 

The process takes as little as a month (versus the required 9 months for most sparkling wine in made in the traditional method), and the wines do not rest sur lie for a long period of time, so the fruitiness of the Glera grape is maintained, rather than replaced with the yeasty, bready character from the yeast. Further, the pressure within the bottle is significantly less in Prosecco, making it a much less bubbly wine in most cases (although there are exceptions). The process has several names: the Martinotti Method, the Charmat Method, Cuve Close, Tank Method, or Conegliano-Valdobbiadene Method.

 

It’s important to recognize that for grapes like Glera (or Riesling in Germany where this method is also used) preserving aroma while getting a fresh effervescence is the goal – they should not be handled like grapes used for the traditional method – the goal of those wines is different. Hence, we should not be comparing Prosecco to Champagne or other sparkling wines – it’s apples and oranges, really.

Source: Prosecco DOC

 

There are several types of Prosecco, they vary based on how sparkling they are:

  • Spumante (sparkling), which is the most common and the most bubbly and has a regular sparkling wine cork
    • In 2020, Prosecco DOC Rosé was approved as a new sub-category of Spumante. It must contain at least 85% Glera with 10-15% Pinot Nero. The wine must use the Martinotti/Charmat Method but spend 60 days in autoclave v 30 days for Prosecco DOC. It is vintage dated.

 

  • Frizzante (semi-sparkling), which has light and less persistent bubbles than Spumante an is more floral than fruity and often bottled with a screw cap.
    • Proseccco Col Fondo, is a frizzante, but more specifically a pétillant naturel(pét-nat). That means a single fermentation takes place in the bottle from which you drink the wine. It is cloudy and full of lees, or dead yeast cells, and often a bit bready from years on the lees.

  • Tranquillo (still), which is very uncommon and is bottled before the secondary fermentation

 

Similar to all sparkling wines, there is a sweetness scale for these wines, which you will see on the label:

  • Brut Nature (0-3 grams per liter of residual sugar)
  • Extra Brut (0-6 g/l of residual sugar)
  • Brut (up to 12 grams per liter of residual sugar)
  • Extra Dry (12–17 g/l of residual sugar)
  • Dry (17–32 g/l of residual sugar)
  • Demi-sec (32-50 g/l of residual sugar)

 

 

The DOCG

The 20% of high quality Prosecco production happens around the smaller, hilly, historic DOCG towns of Conegliano, Valdobbiadene and Asolo. These areas have strong diurnals, poorer soils (meaning, better for the vines), and the wines are a few steps above general Prosecco. They are more complex, the fruit flavors are purer – lemon, peach, pear notes are strong as well as floral notes, flintiness, chalk, and saline aromas and flavors. The wines tend to have lower levels of sugar and are more terroir driven. They are trying to distance themselves from cheaper big-brand Prosecco DOC, some even have elected to remove the world “Prosecco” from their front labels.

 

Here are the Prosecco Superiore DOCG to seek out:

  • Conegliano Valdobbiadene Prosecco Superiore DOCG is a cut above and it’s a fairly low risk way to see how better Prosecco tastes.
  • Conegliano Valdobbiadene Prosecco Superiore “Rive” DOCG is from the steep hills and top vineyards of 43 designated sites – these are outstanding terroir driven wines
  • Valdobbiadene Superiore di Cartizze DOCG is the top wine of Prosecco. It consists of 107 ha/264 acres of vineyards on the steepest hillsides of San Pietro di Barbozza, Santo Stefano and Saccol, in Valdobbiadene.
  • Asolo Prosecco DOCG is outstanding, with great salinity and minerality as well

 

________________________________________________

Thanks to our sponsors:

Thanks to YOU! The podcast supporters on Patreon, who are helping us to make the podcast possible and who we give goodies in return for their help! Check it out today:
https://www.patreon.com/winefornormalpeople 

 

 

Wine Access  

Visit: www.wineaccess.com/normal and for a limited time get $20 off your first order of $50 or more! 

Wine Access is a web site that has exclusive wines that overdeliver for the price (of which they have a range).

  • They offer top quality wines by selecting diverse, interesting, quality bottles you may not have access to at local shops.
  • Wine Access provides extensive tasting notes, stories about the wine and a really cool bottle hanger with pairings, flavor profile, and serving temps.