Prosecco has become a difficult minefield to navigate: it can come from a vast expanse of northeast Italy, including fertile plains better suited to grain than grape. The world’s colossal appetite for the stuff, alas, has resulted in millions and millions of bottles of often-sweet bubbly plonk being churned out annually. Buyer, beware! In contrast, here is a bone-dry Prosecco from steep, lush terraced vineyards right where the towering Alps abruptly emerge from the Veneto’s gentle hillsides. Brilliantly exemplifying the historic col fondo style, each bottle contains a modest sediment, which may or may not have medicinal properties. This fizzy rock juice has an undisputable gift for bestowing unparalleled palate stimulation and mental reinvigoration.
There’s not much to complain about during winter in the Bay Area, but even on a sunny 59-degree day I occasionally catch myself daydreaming of the balmy scent of a warm Mediterranean breeze. Uncorking a bianco from Punta Crena always gets the job done, and the first fragrant whiff of juicy lemon, dried herbs of the Ligurian brush, and sea spray is enough to eradicate the mild discomfort of being slightly underdressed on an unseasonably warm winter evening. They say wine is liquid sunshine, so why not choose the radiant sunshine from the Mediterranean coast, courtesy of this lively Vermentino.