Today's Sponsor
Le Winebuys Guy très grand French Wine Sale!

In This Issue
 Best cheap fizz Here's a one-word wine prescription to cure what ails you if you've been feeling snobbish lately: Prosecco.
 Vincenzo Toffoli Conigliano-Valddobbiadene Prosecco ($14.99) The regional names on the label foretell a clean, crisp and enjoyable Italian bubbly in the bottle. Le Winebuys Guy très grand French Wine Sale!
Administrivia Change E-mail address, frequency, format or unsubscribe.

 Learn about our RSS Feed

Taking Friday off
I'll be in New York City for the annual Wine Century Club dinner on Friday, so The 30 Second Wine Advisor will take a day off, returning to regular publication on Monday. If you start feeling deprived of wine talk, remember that you're always welcome to join the discussions in our WineLovers Community.
Best cheap fizz

Here's a one-word wine prescription to cure what ails you if you've been feeling snobbish lately: Prosecco.

This modestly priced if rarely exalted sparkling wine from Northeastern Italy's Veneto region between Venice and Trieste is rapidly gaining popularity for two very good reasons: It's affordable, and it's good.

That's reason enough to go get some, uncork it, and take the rest of the day off. But before we do, let's stop for a moment for a quick but important lesson in challenging the conventional wine wisdom.

Few wine enthusiasts ever question the standard assumption that Champagne - the real stuff from France - stands head and shoulders above all other sparkling wines, and that this primacy stems, at least in part, from its production by the methode champenoise process in which the wine is individually fermented in every bottle. This is a difficult, labor-intensive and artisanal effort, and it justifies the expense with quality that no other sparkling wine can approach. Or so goes the tale.

But then there's Prosecco. Low-cost, mass-produced, made not in the bottle but by the often-maligned Charmat process, which may mockingly be defined as "individually fermented in this great honkin' vat." No wonder it generally sells for $10 or so and rarely crosses the $20 line, while that hand-made Champagne starts in the upper $20s and rapidly heads upward from there.

The key to Prosecco's popularity may lie in a consistently fresh, clean character that belies its humble production method. While I wouldn't make the foolish claim that Prosecco could stand side-by-side comparison with a great Champagne on the basis of subtlety or finesse, I do find that I'm turning more and more to the Italian option when I want something fun and fizzy. Compared with Spanish Cavas, American low-end bubbly or any other sparkling wine in its price niche, Prosecco scores for me with a wine that's consistently crisp, fresh and clean.

We had such a good time with last week's "Eat and sip" poll on our WineLovers Community, I thought it would be fun to try another poll on today's topic, offering you the opportunity to click to our forum and express your opinion in "Today's Poll: Best cheap fizz." Take your pick from the options "Champagne," "Prosecco," "Cava," "US bubbly" or "Other (discuss)."

I hope you'll take the time to participate. The voting procedure is quick and simple, and there's no need to go through the easy registration process unless you wish to join in the discussion after you vote (which, of course, I hope you will).

If "Today's Poll: Best cheap fizz" does not appear as a hotlink above in your E-mail, you can find the poll toward the lower-right corner of the WineLovers Community front page,

Here's a simply formatted copy of today's Wine Advisor, designed to be printed out for your scrapbook or file or downloaded to your PDA or other wireless device.

Toffoli Vincenzo Toffoli Conigliano-Valddobbiadene Prosecco ($14.99)

This is a clear, straw-color wine with a lasting stream of pinpoint bubbles. Citric and delicately floral aromas of lemon-lime and citrus blossoms lead into a rich mouthfeel with good body and creamy carbonation; clean citrus flavors follow the nose. It's not overly long, but the finish remains clean and crisp, a rare and admirable thing in a modest sparkler. U.S. importer: Martin Scott Wines Ltd., Lake Success, N.Y. (March 13, 2006)

FOOD MATCH: Good bubbly goes with just about everything, and this one was fine with a moderately hot-and-spicy asparagus and tofu stir-fry scented with toasted Sichuan pepper.

VALUE: While there's a lot of $10 Prosecco around, you can expect those from Conigliano and Valddobbiadene to command a few dollars more; no complaints at this mid-teens price, particularly when you comparison shop with Champagne.

WHEN TO DRINK: Freshness is a virtue in Prosecco: Drink it young. Note also that non-vintage product can be a fooler, so shop at merchants you trust, and don't be shy about asking how long a bottle has been on the shelf.

Prosecco = "Pro-seck-coe"
Conigliano = "Coe-neel-yah-noe"
Valddobbiadene = "Vahl-doh-b'ya-day-neh"

Vincenzo Toffoli has a brief Web page in Italian; click the British flag for a fact sheet in English in Adobe Acrobat (PDF) format:

Look up prices and locate sources for Vincenzo Toffoli Prosecco on Le Winebuys Guy très grand French Wine Sale! Celebrates Paris in the Springtime with ...
Extra Savings on all French Wine!

Enter FIRSTFREE at checkout.

All wines up to 50% off every day 100% Love-It-Or-Your-Money-Back-Guarantee

Marquis de Chasse 2003 Bordeaux Reserve Blanc
This lively and fresh 50/50 blend of Semillon and Sauvignon Blanc has aromas of litchi and grapefruit. A buy-it-by-the-caser, that takes you from apps to entrée.
Retail $10
Regular Winebuys $5.99 (save 40%)
Click for Sale Price:

Domaine la Roquette 2001 Chateauneuf du Pape
A fabulous ripe and juicy Southern Rhone blend from the Brunier family behind famed Vieux Telegraphe. Here's a taste of their wares at half the price!
Retail $30
Regular Winebuys $19.99 (save 33%)
Click for Sale Price:

Meyer-Fonné 2003 Tokay Pinot Gris Reserve Particulière
A truly decadent Alsatian white with incredible hibiscus, honey, apricot and peach from Felix Meyer, the wunderkind of Katzenthal.
Retail $20
Regular Winebuys $13.99 (save 30%)
Click for Sale Price:

See all Wine from France - ON SALE NOW!

See all New Arrivals


 30 Second Wine Advisor, daily or weekly (free)
 Wine Advisor FoodLetter, Thursdays (free)
 Wine Advisor Premium Edition, alternate Tuesdays ($24/year)

For all past editions, click here


For information, E-mail


To subscribe or unsubscribe from The 30 Second Wine Advisor, change your E-mail address, or for any other administrative matters, please use the individualized hotlink found at the end of your E-mail edition. If this is not practical, contact me by E-mail at, including the exact E-mail address that you used when you subscribed, so I can find your record.

We do not use our E-mail list for any other purpose and will never give or sell your name or E-mail address to anyone. I welcome feedback, suggestions, and ideas for future columns. To contact me, please send E-mail to

All the wine-tasting reports posted here are consumer-oriented. In order to maintain objectivity and avoid conflicts of interest, I purchase all the wines I rate at my own expense in retail stores and accept no samples, gifts or other gratuities from the wine industry.

Wednesday, March 15, 2006
Copyright 2006 by Robin Garr. All rights reserved.

Subscribe to the 30 Second Wine Advisor

Wine Advisor archives