We haven’t been to The Gage since the Cubbies World Series Parade two years ago. Wine retailers, educators and marketers all gathered in the private dining space of this exceptional Michigan Ave restaurant to discuss the wine business.
What’s not the love about Italian Sparking Wine? It’s more than just a summertime porch pounder. From the moment that first bottle hits a table, the party starts. A glass of prosecco signals a celebration and makes the room happy.
Today’s focus is on Prosecco DOC. The first mention of the wine was in 1382 but, back then prosecco didn’t always sparkle. The Prosecco DOC Consortium is the governing body founded in 1977 that defines the prosecco region in Northern Italy.
Why do we like it?
They are bright, low in alcohol and pleasantly dry with wonderful tiny little scrubbing bubbles. Prosecco enthusiasm has seen a dramatic rise since the 2007 entry of Paris Hilton (of all people). Her line of Rich canned champagne created waves in the category.
Since 2012 Prosecco brands have sold 5M cases annually in the US.
We left The Gage with expanded appreciation of the range this wine has with food. Pairings were two wines with each dish. Prosecco is soft and elegant enough to enhance light main courses with a sweetness to match robust dishes like course three’s slow roasted garlic boar belly + crushed tomatoes.
The sweetness designation is the same for both prosecco and champagne as they have similar residual sugar levels. Grape and country of origin are of course the core distinctions between the two wines, but so is the process.
With champagne secondary fermentation takes place in the bottle. Each bottle is essentially a tank, its an expensive process.
Prosecco grapes are pressed, fermented then transferred to an autoclave for secondary fermentation. These grapes are too delicate; they’d cooked and taste like jam if bottle fermented. A long, cool fermentation in stainless steel is key.
National Prosecco DOC Week at The Gage Event Menu
Astoria DOC Extra Dry Treviso
Villa Sandi II Fresco Prosecco DOC Trewviso Brut
Terre Serena Prosecco Extra Dry
La Marca DOC Extra Dry
Piera Martellozzo Prosecco DOC Milesimato Extra Dry 075 Carati
Mionetto Prestige Organic DOC Extra Dry
First – Fried Oysters, pancetta jam, nectarine
Second – Pheasant Nuggets, peppercorn, pizzelle, blackberry
Third – Slow Roasted Boar Belly, crushed tomato, green garlic
Dessert – Strawberry Sabayon
-Prosecco DOC is 20% of the off premise sparkling wine category.
-The grape should be called Glera, the growing region should be called Prosecco. -Prosecco consumption shot up 50% in one year in Britain.
-15-20$ wines are the sweet price point for retailers and are usually ordered by the glass at restaurants.
-Prosecco + Aperol is the currently the hipster drink of choice in Australia right now.
-2018 marks the very first National Prosecco Week