Prosecco & Cicchetti

If you think of Prosecco as inexpensive bubbly that’s good for everyday drinking and great in a Bellini, you’re right! But there’s much more to it than that. Prosecco comes from the north-eastern area of Italy’s Veneto region, the finest of them grown on steep hillsides between the towns of Conegliano and Valdobbiadene. These elegant, subtle wines have been enjoyed for centuries, and though they are best drunk young, they’re more than just party wines, offering nuances of flavour that are well worth exploring. And, of course, they are perfect aperitif partners to those delectable hors d’oeuvre Venetians call cicchetti — like the two we feature here, created by recipe developer Chris Johns. But if you’re in too much of a hurry to cook, set out some toasted, salted almonds and a bowl of green olives tossed with a pinch of grated lemon zest. Ideal companions!

Val D’oca Valdobbiadene Prosecco Superiore Docg & Crispy Polenta Squares

Valdobbiadene is at the western end of Prosecco’s region, and wines from here tend to be particularly crisp. This one is a classic example of the style, light-weight and dry, with fleeting aromas and flavours of Granny Smith apple, melon and a touch of lemon zest. Length is always a sign of quality in a wine and here the flavours linger on the palate for ages. Serve with Crispy Polenta Squares with Tonnato Sauce & Quick Pickled Shallots. 

Villa Sandi Il Fresco Prosecco Doc & Cozze Fritte

Most of Villa Sandi’s many Proseccos are from Valdobbiadene, and this one is from vineyards to the southeast, closer to Treviso. As a result, it’s slightly rounder and fruitier with aromas and flavours of red apple and pear, white peach and cantaloupe. Lightweight and frothy, it’s dry but not brutally so and, again, the way those flavours linger shows its class. Pair with Cozze Fritte (Fried Mussels) with Saffron Mayonnaise.