Before heading to Piedmont two years ago, I bought a bottle of Moscato d’Asti thinking it would help me bone up on the region’s wines. I’d become loyal to Dolcetto and Barbera, and was on the cusp of learning more about Nebbiolo. I saw the blue bottle and thought: this might be fun.
It was hideous. Stick-to-your-teeth, pass-the-Halloween-candy-to-cleanse-my-palate hideous.
Now before I go any further, I should say that its dangerous to write-off an entire class of wine based on one bottle. There is probably a decent Moscato d’Asti out there, but after that bottle of fizzy swill, I’ve been too reluctant to have another go at it.
Prosecco, however, has been another matter. Almost as cheap but delightfully playful and easy to throw back, this delicate, dry sparkler from Northeastern Italy’s Veneto region is a real party-starter. Common flavors include peach, some citrus, and little else. These aren’t wines to chew on. They’re meant for opening doors and moving on.
Perhaps that’s what surprised me so much about the Tiamo Prosecco. It was unexpected and truly unique, with rich fig aromas and flavors that defied convention. In fact, my wife and I debated on whether it was more reminiscent of a sparkling apple cider than a sparkling wine. There was a bit of pear, a little top note of anise seed, but the real substance of the wine was that lovely fig flavor, something you don’t encounter often in a glass of wine. Too bad summer is pretty much over … this would have been a good one for the dog days of July.
Prosecco di Valdobbiadene Superiore di Cartizze Spumante
Grapes: Prosecco (100%)
Rating: ★★★★ (out of five)
• Profile: ★★★★
• Food-friendliness: ★★★ 1/2
• Value: ★★★
Recommended for: A month ago. A nice, crisp prosecco for warm summer nights and spicy dinners.
Tasting notes: A wonderful sparkling wine to accompany spicy dishes and earthy salads. Rich fig aromas. On the palate, delicate fig flavors lead the way for apple, olive and a faint whisper of anise seed with just the right amount of fizz. Somewhat sweetened on the length.
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