It’s National Prosecco Day on Sunday and it’s got me thinking…
I normally reserve my Prosecco drinking for low-key celebrations (like ‘it’s Friday!’, or ‘I’ve arrived at the pub!’ for instance ), and occasionally as a mixer for cocktails like a bellini or aperitivo.
My question is: what am I missing? Do you drink yours with any particular food? Do you have other cocktail ideas? Do you save your Prosecco drinking for the bath? Is it your go-to aperitif?
Any more exciting/adventurous serving suggestions gratefully received…
YEARS before Prosecco took the UK by storm, this wine had a special place in my heart because of a particular occasion.
My wife and I were on a visit to the town of Sirmione which sits on a narrow sliver of land jutting into the stunning Lake Garda in northern Italy.
We were staying in the hotel there and decided to sit on the terrace to enjoy a glass of Prosecco with a couple of snacks (stuzzichini) before dinner. The moment was so perfect - the warm weather, the setting sun, the well-dressed and relaxed people wandering past on their evening ‘passeggiata’, and the delicate and easy-drinking wine, that we decided to order the full bottle and sit there as long as we could (we were late for dinner, but that too was lovely).
To me, this was the ‘Prosecco moment’. Champagne would not have had the same fruity, easy and relaxing impact.
This wine is meant to be more than a party wine, but it does not have to take itself as seriously as some other sparkling wines who are either too cool for school, or trying to be.
I first heard the name Prosecco when as a 19 year old (in 1989) I travelled to Treviso to visit a friend from University whose family had recently settled there. They were from the South near Napoli and felt like foreigners (and were treated as such as well) but they had found their feet in one respect.
Almost immediately upon arrival I was hustled into the family’s then ancient Citroen (what a car!) and driven at breakneck speed through the Veneto countryside to “a man they knew”. We ended up next to a warehouse where the car boot was loaded to the brim with cases of Prosecco.
Once home (after the obligatory pitstop for the father of the family to have his customary cognac and espresso - it was only about 4pm!) and after appropriate (barely) chilling, I was handed my first glass.
I drank a LOT of Prosecco in those couple of weeks - but here’s the thing - I don’t think it travels very well…there is something light-hearted and fundamentally non-serious about how those Italians drank Prosecco which I find impossible to capture and recreate.
@AlanBD That is such a good idea! I might try and create a similar tradition in our household. Then we’ll always have an excuse…
@robert_mcintosh This is such a lovely story, thank you! I half-thought I’d get shot down for trying to over-complicate a simple party drink but these replies show me it’s much, much more - it seems to create a ‘moment’ that just can’t be replicated. I might get a bottle for the next ‘date night’ and drink it on the patio - can’t quite replicate your surroundings but it’s as close as I can get!
@cgoldin Oh wow, imagine your first Prosecco experience actually being at the source in the Veneto region. It does sound a lot like all we’re missing in the UK is the attitude towards Prosecco, rather than some specific occasion/scenario, in order to make the most of it. Maybe I should try to make it more of an everyday drink instead of thinking of it as a party wine - I like the sound of loading several cases of it into my car…
Haha, it really is a crazy phenomenon. Whoever is doing Prosecco’s PR is clearly a genius!
But then, with ‘staying in’ being the new ‘going out’ these days, and us trying to treat ourselves without breaking the bank, Prosecco is so often a way to inject something bubbly and indulgent-feeling into our lives without spending as much as we would on Champagne.
It’s also a crucial component of the other current tipple-du-jour among the trendy bars - the aperol spritz! Anyone else a fan of these? I tried my first one recently (yep, behind the times…)and was so pleasantly surprised, I can see why they’re so popular…!
I had my first Aperol spritz in Vienna a few years back. We were enjoying a holiday there and were intrigued the number of (mostly) women drinking this rather lovely looking drink. We had no idea what it was, so I plucked up the courage to go up to a woman and ask, in my best German, “was ist das, bitte”. I managed to hear the answer even if I didn’t understand it (had never heard of Aperol) and dashed back to our table to search for Aperol Spritz on the drinks list. We ordered them on the spot and enjoyed them, though I think most of the pleasure was in the appearance of the drink rather than its flavour. It just looks so lovely. I’d rather have a Bellini which is a good way to enjoy prosecco.
Gosh. We holidayed at Sirmione several years running near the tip of the peninsula (Hotel Olivio). At that time Prosecco was served from a beer-type pump on bars so you could have a glass or carafe, but I was dubious of the quality.
For lunch each day we strolled around or over the island to a beach restaurant on the other side and shared a bottle of Prosecco over a long leisurely lunch sitting looking over the beach and jetty.
Certainly more quality fizz coming through. And not only in Italy. Its just the only thing people bring me is cheap supermarket stuff. Quite honestly they can drink that themselves. They seem to like having coloured sugar beads in it and think they’re being posh.
I was given a bottle of this for Christmas by friends who said “We don’t actually know what it tastes like but we LOVED the bottle”. My heart sank. But actually online reviews suggest it’s not bad (I’ve not tried it yet.) Still, what is Freixenet doing getting involved with prosecco?