In my continuing effort to encourage more sparkling wine consumption throughout the holiday season (not just in the space between 2011-12-31 11:59 pm and 2012-01-01 12:05 am), I can't neglect the affordable and fun Prosecco of northeast Italy. A classic of the Veneto region, I wish I'd started on this stuff as opposed to the really cheap $3 California bubbles Who Shall Not Be Named Here.
There's a lot of variety within the category of Prosecco, but for the novice what you're going to find is a fairly simple and tasty sparkling wine that is great with appetizers, fun with fried foods or popcorn, and is inexpensive enough to open on a Tuesday night while you're watching TV after work.
Like Cava, Prosecco represents a philosophy of bubbly as table wine: an everyday accompaniment to good food rather than something saved for an event. And there's nothing wrong with saving a special bottle for a holiday or anniversary. But there's lots of celebrating this holiday season, and no reason to wait until the last minute to let the corks fly. (Well, don't do that because it's dangerous, but you get the gist.)
NV Villa Sandi "Il Fresco" Prosecco
$13, 11% abv.
Lightly toasty aroma with a bit of lemon twist. Barely sweet, which was a surprise to me but not overwhelming. Strong acidity, so I recommend pairing this with something sweet that has a bit of fat to it, like pig candy (served as an appetizer at family Thanksgiving this year, and yes, I got to try this wine with said dish). Also keep in mind as a fun picnic wine for the spring and summer.
Note: This wine was received as a sample.