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Saturday, January 19, 2013

Discovering the D. O. C. G. of Valdobbiadene

A sparkling wine from
IT'S been a known fact among friends that I'm a big fan of the "Valdo" prosecco which--until recently--was Todd English Food Hall's house sparkler. The only other place I'd ever seen the wine was at De Lauren Wine & Liquors (332 8th Avenue, Chelsea) which also happens to have the best selection of sparkling wines I'd ever seen at a liquor store (they even have the hard to find Francis Coppola "Sofia" Moneterey County rosé). 

The other night, while at PJ Wine, I came across a bottle of Nino Franco "Rustico" prosecco. I turned the bottle around to examine its back label and discovered it came from the famed Valdobbiadene region of Italy. When I'd noticed the bold text illustrating its (guaranteed) origin, I was reminded of the time when at De Lauren Wine & Liquors I was confused by the two bottles of Valdo--one simply labeled Valdo and another labeled Valdobbiadene.

I soon figured out that Valdo is short for Valdobbiadene,
a D. O. C. wine region in northern Italy

Excited for a long lost taste of 'Valdo' wine, I headed towards the cashier with my bottle of Rustico prosecco in tow. After a short "apéritif hour" at home, I poured two flutefuls of Rustico for David and I to enjoy along with dinner. At first sip, I was surprised by how similar it tasted to the Valdo prosecco I'd enjoyed on so many occasions at Todd English Food Hall. Further research into the wines of Valdobbiadene led me to the reason.

Conegliano Valdobbiadene--a difficult
name for
Prosecco Superiore
ACCORDING to the site prosecco.it, Valdobbiadene's D. O . C. G. zone lies in Veneto... in the hilly strip in the province of Treviso. (I bet Treviso radicchio and these wines would be a match made in Italian heaven!) Prosecco.it also states: It is a wine you will be able to recognize "blind" once you have tasted it... And as confirmed, I did. Valdobbiadene's sparkling wines are often found to be light, with flowery notes (any "sweetness" seems not to come from fruit or sugary tastes). 

But will it be Valdo or Rustico or...

To rest assured when making your choice in selecting this "inimitable wine:" ... the prosecco produced in the Conegliano Valdobbiadene zone became Italy’s 44th D.O.C.G. wine. For Conegliano Valdobbiadene, the "G" of "guaranteed" is much more than a mere letter: it is the recognition for years of painstaking work in order to obtain excellent quality in every phase of production. The individually numbered, salmon-coloured Italian state seal gives every single bottle instant traceability. In this way the consumer can trace the story of that particular wine in a very precise way, because every stage of its production is subject to strict controls.

I'm adding these wines to my shortlist of favorite non-champagne sparklers!
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