Wine review: Martini Prosecco DOC

Prosecco, the name of a perfumey grape as well as a lightly fizzy, refreshing sparkling wine from Italy, can be absolutely beautiful but also complete crap. Shopping by name or specific region is imperative and Martini and Rossi is always consistent (you might have heard of their sweet Asti Spumante? Not the same thing).

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Five American red and white wines over $30 worth the price

Current reports say wine prices won’t reach the offensive heights we’ve seen in the past ten years for quite a while, if ever again. Value is the new norm. Bad for the wineries who have enjoyed mega profits and success but good thing for us, right? Now, we can enjoy $60, $80, $100 for (almost) half price.Some highlights of red, white and sparkling wines I’ve enjoyed over the past few months.

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Domaine Carneros 2005 Brut

Domaine Carneros is the California outpost of France’s famed Taittinger Champagne house, located in a opulent chateau on the eastern side of Carneros in Napa Valley. In 2008, they received certifed organic status for their vineyards — the first sparkling wine house to achieve that in America.

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Zonin Prosecco

This season, behemoth Italian wine producer/importer Zonin has put a ton of money into promoting this Italian sparkling wine, driving its sales up and the public’s awareness of a Champagne alternative. They tout the “Italian lifestyle” and educate us about Prosecco: How its made, the Prosecco grape, how it pairs with all sorts of food. Which is good, since it’s true.

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Roederer Estate Brut

Domestic sparkling wine worthy of the French.

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Schramsberg 2006 Brut Blanc de Noirs

This domestic sparkling wine house simply has the crisp, minerally, bubbly thing down.

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Domaine Ste. Michelle Brut

Ste Michelle Wine Estates in Washington has been a trailblazer for the industry in that formerly-floundering state. But these guys are the champions, the teachers and trailblazers for the small- to mid-sized wineries in eastern Washington.

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Segura Viudas Aria Brut Cava

Affordable decadence defines Spanish Cavas. Bubbles without the trouble; tastiness without the tawdry price. But Spanish Cava can be a mystery. Weird grape names, little hype. If the bottle doesn’t read “Champagne”many people overlook this sparkling segment, even if it costs less than $15. But that’s simply a shame.

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Zardetto Prosecco

A light sparkling wine from Italy’s Veneto region, sipping prosecco is a great way to start any meal or drink with a salad. It has refreshing acidity, with tinges of grapefruit, white peach and green apple. Finishes clean and elegant.

3.5 stars out of 5 Sweetness=2 out of 10 (dry to sweet)

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Shooting Star Black Bubbles Syrah Lake County

Blackberry, cherry, bittersweet chocolate, and a slight warming tinge of vanilla, washed down with a tannin structure worthy of a cabernet. This California take on sparkling shiraz is refreshing, and even tasty when warm.4 stars out of 5. Sweetness=1 out of 10 (dry to sweet). $15