What: New Year’s Eve is the ultimate sparkling wine night. Even people who don’t drink alcohol will pop open a bottle of bubbly to welcome in the new year.
Whether you are celebrating at home with your special someone or throwing a big party, sparkling wine has to be part of the celebration. If you haven’t already bought your sparklers, you only have a couple of days to figure out what to drink on the last night of the year, but you have options.
Champagne is the gold standard for big nights, but if you invite even a few people over for a party, Champagne can get pretty expensive. So what to do when you want to pop some corks with a big gang?
Prosecco is the perfect answer. Most proseccos taste great, they are low in alcohol, they are inexpensive and there is a wide variety from which to choose.
Even within one prosecco brand you can find variety. Zonin Prosecco, for instance, has what they call the Dress Code Collection. You can get white, grey or black Zonin, and the bottles are even color coded to make it easy to find the one you want.
Think of the colors as reflecting how you might match the contents to the occasion. White might be for a casual picnic, grey for drinking with friends and black for a date or more formal occasion. The colors also roughly correspond to the grapes mixed with the predominant glera grapes. Pinot bianco is in the white bottle, pinot grigio (grey) is in the grey bottle and pinot noir (black) is in the black bottle
This wine is a great solution if you plan to have a large group and you want to have some variety to appeal to different tastes, The three Zonins cover a broad spectrum of prosecco flavors. One of them is bound to please each of your guests.
All three are dry sparklers with floral aromas. The difference is in the grapes blended with glera, giving each version a different fruit component.
The white edition is 91 percent glera and 9 percent pinot bianco. It has a bright, fresh taste, and will match many different foods. The strong aromatic notes of the glera blend beautifully with the floral notes of pinot bianco.
It is crisp as well as aromatic, with plenty of floral and fruit notes on the palate. There are some hints of tropical fruit on the finish. It is a young, graceful and timeless sparkler.
The grey edition is 87 percent glera and 13 percent pinot grigio. It has an unmistakable personality, with intense aromatic notes of the glera perfectly blended with the floral notes of the pinot grigio. It has a soft, smooth, delicate mouthfeel with mineral notes and hints of apples and ginger. It is a modern, cool and casual sparkling wine.
The black edition is 90 percent glera and 10 percent pinot noir, one of the classic grapes in champagne. The powerful aromatic notes of glera are accented by the finesse and elegance of Pinot Noir.
It is a complex wine on the palate with notes of apple, rose and cardamon. It is an elegant and seductive wine, perfect with even the most formal occasion.
We like to have several bottles of sparkling wine on hand because we never know when we might want to celebrate something. Most of us can find something to celebrate every day, and prosecco helps keep the cost of those celebrations to a reasonable level.
Here’s hoping you have many reasons to celebrate in 2017.
Winery: Tracing its lineage back seven generations, the Zonin family has deep roots in the Prosecco region of Italy. In recent years they have made great strides forward in quality and recognition.
Within the past five years the company has moved from a local vintner to one of Italy’s most important wine producers with a brand known around the world. It is the largest private vine growing and winemaking company in Italy.
The family has been making wine since 1821 and now includes in its logo the phrase “Vintners since 1821.” The historic headquarters of the company is in Gambellara, in the province of Vicenza, which is marked by lush green hills and precise vineyards.
The family started on a small scale in the 1800s until “Commendatore” Domenico Zonin hatched an aggressive marketing strategy in the next century. He lived to the age of 101, but he was known for his youthful spirit throughout his life.
Gianni Zonin took over the company in 1967, giving way to his son Domenico, who has been president since 2014. Domenico has propelled the company to worldwide acclaim, even as it celebrates its long history. Symbolic of that history, a wooden wine press is located at the entrance hall of Zonin’s headquarters in Gambellara. It dates back to the beginning of the 19th Century.
Even though modern equipment has made the whole process more efficient and places an emphasis on quality, the basic construction of wine presses and the system for pressing grapes has essentially remained unchanged since early Roman times.
The family owns nearly 10,000 acres in the best wine-producing regions of Italy, about half of which is planted with vines. They also farm another 90 acres in Virginia at Barboursville Vineyards.
Besides the Veneto, where the prosecco is produced, other Zonin labels are in Friuli, Piedmont, Lombardy, Tuscany, Sicily and Puglia. Zonin makes severals types of prosecco, an Amarone, a Valpolicella Ripasso and a cab/merlot blend called Berengario.
Goes With: We have had these wines on several occasions, and they were perfect each time. Sparkling wine matches nearly anything you can pair with it, so it’s hard to go wrong. with the Zonin, you can narrow your choices a little if you want to be picky.
I liked all three with steamed shrimp. When we served these at a party it seemed like each blend had a different group of fans. I didn’t have to pick just one, but if I did, I think it would be Zonin black.
The Zonin white pairs well with spicy foods, light dishes and shellfish such as shrimp or scallops.
The Zonin grey is great as an aperitif, but also pairs well with charcuterie and cheese boards or light seafood dishes.
The Zonin black pairs well with seafood appetizers such as crab cakes and salmon puffs, as well as sushi.
Wine and beer tasting. 4:30-6:30 p.m. Friday, Dec. 30, Vineyard Wine Market, 4414 Evans to Locks Road, Evans; (706) 922-9463.
Wine tasting. 5-7 p.m. Friday, Dec. 30, Kroger, 435 Lewiston Road, Grovetown; new wines presented weekly; free; (706) 619-3420
Wine tasting. 5-8 p.m. Friday, Dec. 30, Whole Foods, 2907 Washington Road; five wines with snacks; $5; (762) 333-0260
Wine tasting. 5-8 p.m. Friday, Jan. 6, Wine World, 133 Georgia Ave., North Augusta; three whites, three reds and cheeses; $5; (803) 279-9522