By Dave Faries


Bortolomiol Prior Brut


December 20, 2012

Champagne and other sparkling wines are synonymous with celebration.

Of course, that means many people sort through the catalogue of regions and vaguely understood words--”brut,” “sec,” “blanc de blancs,” “cuvee”--only during the holidays, turning the selection process into a kind of coin toss.

High end labels from France, such as Dom Perignon, carry with them a certain mystique, as well as a hefty price tag. It’s possible, however, to find sparklers from other regions, such as Spain, New Mexico and Italy that add life to a celebration without forcing you to put off the car payment until February.

Whereas vintage French Champagne undergoes a painstaking fermentation process in the bottle, prosecco from Italy generally achieves secondary fermentation in stainless steel tanks--a process known as Charmat.

Yeah, they lack the sophistication and terroir. But they also lack the extra digit after the dollar sign.

Bortolomiol’s Prior Brut Prosecco is a noticeably dry wine. The aromas embrace, but leave no lasting impression beyond a whiff of parched meadow and light fruit. On the palate, the floral notes freshen, teased by hints of peach and a trace of minerals.

It is a very even handed, pleasant and crisp--and not bad for less than $25.


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