August 13 has been officially declared #NationalProseccoDay, just in case you need a reason to celebrate with this delicious Italian sparkling wine. We certainly have reason to celebrate. We recently received 14 coupe glasses and two bottles of Nino Franco Rustico Valdobbiadene Prosecco Superiore DOCG as tasting samples. The reason for sending us all of those classic sparkling wine glasses was so we could construct a Prosecco tower.
Have you ever created a Prosecco tower? We hadn’t. Yikes, we were nervous about stacking those beautiful, Krosno coupe glasses four-high and then pouring Prosecco into the top glass, allowing it to cascade into the others. We succeeded in creating a tower of our own design (translation: we didn’t follow the instructional video exactly), which filled most of the glasses and, critically, without breaking any of them. I was so nervous one would topple taking the others with it. It has been some time since we have worked so hard on a wine day celebration!
A Few Notes About Prosecco
Prosecco is a sparkling wine made in northeastern Italy in a designated area of the same name that includes northeastern Veneto and all of Friuli-Venezia Giulia. Strict regulations control not only the growing area, but permitted grape varieties (Glera is the main variety), allowed proportions of individual varieties, minimum alcohol, and level of sweetness.
As production requirements become more restrictive, the vineyard terrain more hilly and the designated regions smaller, the quality of Prosecco increases as does the classification from DOC (Denominazione di Origine Controllata) to DOCG (Denominazione di Origine Controllata e Garantita). Hand picking of grapes may be required, actually it may be the only way to harvest some vineyards located on very steep hillsides, and you may see vintage dating as well. Refer to the below map and quality pyramid for a visual explanation.
Prosecco is known for its lively effervescence and fruit-forward flavors. Bubbles in the wine are achieved by a second fermentation in pressurized tanks, rather than in individual bottles as with the traditional method used in Champagne. This Italian method was perfected in the area of Conegliano Valdobbiadene. When Prosecco is not aged on the lees in the bottle for an extended period of time the fruit aromas and flavors of the grapes are maintained. That’s part of the charm of Prosecco. That, and its reasonable price. Because the second fermentation is completed relatively quickly, the costs of production are lower. It’s a win-win situation.
Nino Franco Rustico Valdobbiadene Prosecco Superiore DOCG — pale yellow in the glass with generous bubbles that last a moderate length of time. Generous aromas and flavors of citrus, melon and ripe apples are balanced by nice acidity. The wine is round in the mouth, thanks to the effervescence, and the finish is fairly long and not obviously sweet. 11% abv. SRP $19 (750 ml) $39.99 (1.5L)
The Nino Franco is made from 100% Glera grapes from the hilly region in Valdobiaddene, the historic heart of Prosecco production and where Nino Franco was established in 1919 by Antonio Franco. Rustico remains on the label as a throwback to a method of making Prosecco that utilized a short second fermentation in the bottle, which included the sediment (dead yeast bodies) that remain after the second fermentation is complete. This Valdobbiadene Prosecco Superiore is made using the tank method and does not contain the aforementioned sediments, so Rustico is a historical note.
Nino Franco Rustico Valdobbiadene Prosecco Superiore DOCG is a delicious sparkler. It has plenty of flavor, nice balance and plenty texture. It is a delicious accompaniment to creamy cheeses and spicy sausage. Grilled shrimp or scallops would be delicious as well.
Now for the fun part. We took a video of our Prosecco tower creation and are sharing it with you below. I would never attempt this trick inside, though the instructions sent to us by Terlato Wines shows just such a presentation. Alas, we are not so brave.
We hope you have a delightful #NationalProseccoDay and that there is some delicious Nino Franco Rustico Valdobbiadene Prosecco Superiore DOCG in your celebration.