It’s September, and after a season of summer, I am looking forward to fall. With this September comes the return of Winestudio – an online wine education forum that takes place on Twitter on Tuesday nights at 9:00 pm ET. To follow along and learn more about the world of wine, use hashtag #winestudio. This month we are focused on Prosecco from Nino Franco.
How is Prosecco different from Champagne?
- A sparkling wine from northeast Italy
(Nino Franco is located in Valdobbiadene at the foot of the Prealps, in the Venetian region)
- Made with the Glera grape variety, however up to 15% of other varieties (such as Verdiso, Bianchetta Trevigiana, Perera, Glera lunga, Chardonnay, Pinot Bianco, Pinot Grigio and Pinot Nero) may be included
(The Nino Franco Proseccos above are made with 100% Glera)
- Usually made using the tank “Charmat” method for secondary fermentation
- A sparkling wine named after the AC region in northern France
- Made with Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, and/or Meunier grape varieties
- Made with the traditional bottle method for secondary fermentation
My Tasting Notes
Nino Franco Prosecco Rustico Valdobbiadene Superiore DOCG, 11% ABV, $19.00 SRP
Pale lemon in color, on the palate light with fresh fruitiness, a hint of sweetness and notes of savoriness.
Nino Franco Brut Valdobbiadene Prosecco Superiore DOCG, 11% ABV, $27.00 SRP
Lemon in color. Nice medium acidity with a soft mouthfeel, notes of pear and a lingering savoriness on the palate.
What to Pair with Prosecco?
Appetizers with fruit, cured meats, almonds, light main dishes
I paired the Nino Franco Brut with Fettuccine with Asparagus, Peas, and Saffron.
What made this pairing work? A lighter vegetable forward pasta matches the weight of the Prosecco. The cream sauce is enhanced with a dry Vermouth echoing the dry savory notes in the Prosecco. The bubbles and acidity cleanse the palate.
The fettuccine with asparagus, peas, and saffron is a recipe I adapted from Simple by Diana Henry. This has been my favorite go to cookbook for flavorful, full proof recipes and YES, they are simple!
A lighter but satisfying pasta that pairs nicely with a sparkling wine like the Nino Franco Brut with more complex savory notes
- 2 pinches saffron threads
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 3 shallots, minced
- 7 oz. dry white vermouth
- 2 cups organic chicken broth
- 1 cup heavy cream
- salt and fresh ground black pepper
- lemon juice
- 18 oz fresh fettuccine
- 14 oz asparagus tips
- 2 cups frozen peas
- Pecorino cheese, finely grated
Mix saffron threads with 6 tablespoons of boiling water. Set aside for 30 minutes.
For the sauce: Melt butter in a large sauté pan and sauté the shallots until soft but not taking on any color. Add the vermouth and boil until it has reduced to about 6 tablespoons. Add the saffron water, chicken stock and bring to a boil, turn down to a simmer until reduced by two-thirds. Add the heavy cream and bring to a gentle boil. Season with salt and pepper and boil until the sauce coats the back of a spoon. Add lemon juice and taste for seasoning.
Steam the asparagus tips until just tender. Set aside and keep warm.
Cook the fettuccine in boiling water with a good pinch of salt added. Cook about 1 minute less than the package instructions and add frozen peas to the pasta for the last minute. Test the pasta that it is cooked. Drain and add pasta and peas to the sauce, gently stir in the asparagus tips. Serve with pecorino cheese.
The wine samples were provided as part of #winestudio, an educational program organized by Tina Morey. Join the #winestudio conversation Tuesday at 9pm EDT on Twitter.