The Tasting Panel magazine

November 2018

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Page 77 of 124

november 2018  /  the tasting panel  /  77 metodo Italiano Proseccos in 1952, which was 17 years before the DOC was even established," says Vittorio Marzotto, Director of Business Development for Santa Margherita USA. "We have had a long history in the area and it has held strong signifi- cance for us as a company." The Santa Margherita Prosecco Superiore has complex, structured, and dry characteristics with a hint of minerality. Distributed throughout the U.S., it excels when paired with seafood and shellfish, as well as creamy risottos. The Santa Margherita 2016 Prosecco Superiore Valdobbiadene Rive de Refrontolo Brut, meanwhile, is produced in the Treviso province from 100% Glera grapes and features notes of white-fleshed stone fruit and acacia blossom, making it an ideal pairing partner for a variety of dishes. Available only on-premise, the Rive de Refrontolo makes appearances in 15 U.S. states. Bar Siena Spotlights Prosecco Chicago's Bar Siena, an acclaimed Italian restaurant from Top Chef alum Fabio Viviani, features a small but well-curated wine list of global selec- tions with a focus on Italian varieties. We spoke with Adam Sweders, Wine Director for Bar Siena's parent com- pany DineAmic Group, to find out why Santa Margherita's Rive di Refrontolo Brut Prosecco made the cut. What makes this Prosecco so unique? The past decade, Prosecco received a tough reputation among the wine community. Since then, producers like Santa Margherita worked hard to pro- duce higher-quality options to appeal to the skilled palate. A good quality to come with the success of a winery like Santa Margherita is the ability to research and develop site-specific places where the Glera grape can excel. This, plus top-notch winemaking techniques such as cold fermentation to help preserve aromatics and flavor, optimizes the potential to make a high- quality wine while staying true to the Prosecco style. This is exactly what you get with the Rive di Refrontolo from Santa Margherita. What do you personally enjoy about these expressions? I personally enjoy this wine because it provides an excellent bang for the buck, and who wouldn't like that? It is almost like watching your children grow into a young adult who makes you proud. The wine shows a great concentration of fruit and minerality and an acid that leaves you wanting more. What are the characteristics of the Prosecco that enable it to pair so well with food? Acid! Any wine high in acid is a natural when it comes to food pairings. Prosecco is at this level of quality and also offers specific secondary notes of minerality coming from the soil where the vines are planted. With this and its natural fresh fruit notes, the wine can pair well with dishes from salad to seafood and even rich pasta and meats. I like to look at Prosecco as a pretty versatile wine. Which food pairings do you recommend at Bar Siena, and how do they comple- ment the wine? If you haven't tried the grilled shrimp and artichoke dish at Bar Siena, you're truly missing out. Some people think to pair Prosecco with some sort of cheese dip accompanied by tortilla chips, but Chef Viviani created a version that reminds me of the fresh ingredients often used in Italy where the wine is produced. Fresh tomato, spinach, garlic, grilled shrimp, and baguettes in a citrus and oil broth has this dish begging for some bubbles: "When in Rome, do as the Romans do" and grab some high-quality Prosecco. The hint of sugar in the Prosecco will also pair nicely with the chili flakes sprinkled on top of this dish. What has been the customer feedback in regards to this Prosecco? People are usually surprised when they taste the Rive di Refrontolo. I think they are initially expecting a sugary version of Champagne to go down nice and easy, and what they actually get is a Prosecco trying to compete with Champagne. As the years go by and Italians continue to pursue making a better Prosecco, I'm excited to see where it takes the quality spectrum and what the value of these wines will end up providing. Bar Siena's grilled shrimp with the Rive di Refrontolo Brut Prosecco is Adam Sweders' pairing of choice: "The hint of sugar in the Prosecco pairs nicely with the chili flakes sprinkled on top of this dish," he says.

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