Dare to be different! Serve something that isn’t Prosecco…
Oh my goodness! I’m not sure whether the UK population deserves congratulating or admonishing. The fact is that, between us, we drank a third of all Prosecco produced in 2016. That’s a lot of Prosecco. Worldwide sales are up by 25%, not overtaking champagne as yet, but giving it a good run for its money. As a nation, along with the US, we now spend more on Prosecco than on champagne.
Of course, there is some wonderful Prosecco on the market—and some that is less wonderful. Prosecco is produced around Conegliano and Valdobbiadene, in the Veneto region of Italy, which is seeking World Heritage status as a wine area.
So there you have it – Prosecco rules. It’s hard to go anywhere without being offered a glass. But here at Campania Wines, we’re giving you a chance to stand out from the crowd with the wonderful Cantine Di Criscio Asprinio D’Aversa Quartum® — a real talking point wine for summer days and evenings. No, it’s not Prosecco, we think it’s better than Prosecco.
It’s produced in a place called Cantine Di Criscio, to the north west of Naples and made from the Asprinio grape which is very like the Greco grape of Greco di Tufo fame. Grown on volcanic soil, it’s thought that it was first made when Naples was ruled by the French, to replace their much-missed champagne.
The exciting thing about the cultivation is that an ancient system called Alberata is used, which is sadly in decline. The vines are trained to grow up poplar trees to a staggering height of 15 metres. Of course, no machines can be used in the care and harvesting—that’s left to a courageous workforce who, presumably, don’t suffer from vertigo at the top of very tall ladders.
And how is it to drink? We sent along a bottle to our intrepid reporter, Caroline, who nobly shared the experience with her husband, Peter, and neighbour, Sarah. They took their task very seriously, at least until the end of the first glass. Here’s a compilation of their thoughts:
“The golden yellow colour is unusually vivid for a sparkling wine, and the bubbles are particularly noticeable and last a long time, so it’s pretty as a picture. It’s beautifully dry (which we all prefer) and has more body than a Prosecco, which can sometimes be a bit thin. After much consideration, we agreed on green apples, black pepper and minerally flavours. We all thoroughly enjoyed it, sitting outside in the sunshine before Sunday lunch, but thought it would go well with seafood, especially tuna. Sarah commented that it had depth – but not in Caroline’s glass, which was nearly empty!”
The description from the producers is a little different – “On the nose, hints of white flowers, lemon, and almonds. In the mouth, it’s full bodied, with a subtle note of white peach, apricot and lemon peel.”
I’ll tell you what – why not buy a bottle for yourselves and see what you think? We could run a poll. I’m sure the Campania Wines Tasting Team would love to be proved right – and at only £12 a bottle it’s an inexpensive way to impress your friends and family.