The 30 Second Wine Advisor

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In This Issue
Uncapping "the" Prosecco
 Mionetto non-vintage "Il" Prosecco del Veneto ($12.49)

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Uncapping "the" Prosecco

Crown cap Amid the growing debate over screw caps and plastic stoppers as modern substitutes for the traditional natural cork in your wine bottle, here's an unexpected contender: The other day I ran across a light and frothy Italian Prosecco in a curvaceous bottle sealed with a beer-bottle-style "crown cap."

This light metal cap, easily popped off with a bottle opener, is lined on the inside with a disk of white, waxy waterproof plastic material that somewhat resembles the sturdy stuff that's used to make FedEx envelopes.

I'm not convinced this system would be suitable for a wine to be stored for years in a connoisseur's cellar; but for a drink-me-now quaff like Prosecco, it makes a lot of sense. It's quick and easy to open, and there's no fear of the musty "taint" that spoils a significant percentage of wines closed with natural cork.

Innovations like this tend to disturb traditionalists, but then, a quick look at the way this wine is being marketed suggests that traditionalists are not its target audience. Titled "Il" ("The") Prosecco, it's subtitled - in English - " 'The' Gentle Sparkling Wine," with the Italian word "Il" rendered in a stylish graphic. (One wonders whether it's possible to trademark the word "The.")

The company's slick website (there's a Web link in the tasting report below), features perky elevator music and Euro-trashy models who look barely old enough to drink, suggesting that this product is not aimed at "serious" wine enthusiasts. But don't let the packaging put you off: It's no Champagne, but then, it's not meant to be. It's a delightful summer sipper, fruity but dry and nicely structured, good for sipping ice-cold or washing down a light dinner on a steamy evening.

The crown cap is pictured above in our HTML/graphics edition. If you're a text-only subscriber and wish to view the picture, you'll find it in the archived edition at

Il Prosecco Mionetto non-vintage "Il" Prosecco del Veneto ($12.49)

Clear, almost watery pale with a glint of gold, this lightly sparkling wine froths in the glass, but the bubbles dissipate quickly. Its pleasant, delicate peachy aroma invites a taste, and the flavor shows peaches as well, yeasty and crisp, bubbles tickling the tongue even if they're not evident in the glass. Very fruity yet dry or nearly so, it's a refreshing quaff, delicious for summer sipping and fine with spicy fare. Closed with a beer-bottle-style "crown cap," not a cork or screwcap. U.S. importer: Mionetto USA Inc., NYC. (July 14, 2003)

FOOD MATCH: Fruity, bubbly and relatively light in alcohol, it's a first-rate aperitif, and goes well with a range of foods including such spicy fare as a Cajun andouille and tasso gumbo.

VALUE: Fair at this price, although another dollar or so would start approaching my threshold of resistance.

WHEN TO DRINK: Drink up while it's fresh ... bring it home, chill it, enjoy it, don't put it in the cellar.

WEB LINK: For serious wine information, check the winery's Website,
To view a slick commercial, with models and music (best with a high-speed connection), see: