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Staff Selections • Drew Fuller

HOLIDAY selections • 2021

LE CONTESSE BRUT PROSECCO

(Veneto, Italy)

The Veneto region of northeastern Italy is home to the fun sparkling wine called Prosecco, which is one of the fastest growing wines in the world over the last decade. The similarities with Champagne are only in the presence of bubbles, and that both hail from specific geographic regions. Champagne can be a blend or single varietal wine made from Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, and Pinot Meunier. Prosecco is made from the Glera grape. Champagne creates its intense bubbles by undergoing a second fermentation in the bottle, while Prosecco uses the tank method where the fermentation happens in a large, sealed tank. The bubbles are softer and allow for the Glera grapes’ natural fruitiness to shine through on the palate.

 

Le Contesse Brut Prosecco is a wonderful example of why so many people love this sparkling wine style from Italy.

 

The aromas of fresh apple and pear are enticing and encourage your first sip, where the refreshing fruit, subtle floral notes, and effervescence envelop your palate. The second, third, and many more sips are just as fun and enjoyable!! Bubbles are always fun, so enjoy this wine as an aperitif, and with many seafood dishes as well. Salut!

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2020 RIZIERI "SORI DEL RICCHINO" DOLCETTO D'ALBA DOGC

(Piedmont, Italy)

In recent years, the most popular white grape to emerge from the Iberian Peninsula is known as Alvarinho in Portugal and Albarino in Spain. Most of the offerings at Surdyk’s are Albarinos from Spain, so I wanted to revisit one of my favorite grapes when it is grown in Portugal.

 

The 2020 Nortico Alvarinho is from the best sustainably farmed vineyards in northern Portugal, on the border with Spain. These vineyards were planted in granite soil over the course of almost 100 years (from 1910 to 2005) and near the ocean, which provides a subtle taste of salinity on the finish. The wine shows stunning aromas of lush, tropical fruits that evolve and gain complexity.

 

On the palate, the wine is lively and full-bodied at the same time, with peach and citrus fruit balanced by vibrant acidity and minerality. This wine is lip-smacking good and incredibly versatile. Enjoy on its own, or pair with salty dishes like charcuterie, or fish tacos, or the way my oldest daughter prefers, with grilled smoked oysters. The country folk in Portugal enjoy it with corn bread and butter. Felicidades!

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