Question: I recently read an article saying that the price of Prosecco is about to go up drastically due to a poor harvest. Can you recommend a cost-friendly alternative to this Italian sparkling wine as summer barbecue season begins?
Answer: I wouldn’t worry too much about the crop shortage or price increases predicted caused by the heavy rains in 2014 as stated by Bisol in that article. Their luxury expensive stony hill Cartizze may be more difficult to find but there are many other competing Prosecco producers out there to supply the light crisp value market which is growing. It is not quite like Grand Cru Chablis where there is a very limited supply every year. Lots of countries now produce well priced fresh bubbles suitable for the BBQ season. I have referred to many of them before including Spanish Cava from Penedes, England (Nyetimber among many), Canada (Benjamin Bridge Nova Scotia; Bub, Bella, Blue Mountain, Cipes, & Steller’s Jay in BC; Trius Rose, Cave Spring, Henry of Pelham, Huff Estate, 13th Street, and Hinterland in Ontario and many more emerging), and from Down Under. At the recent 37th Vancouver International Wine Festival the classy Jansz sparklers from Tasmania were big hits. Check out your wine shop for their latest unique “grower” arrivals.
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You should probably mention in your list of reasonable fac-simile the very large assortment of French mousseux like St Hilaire, Clairette de Die, or the numerous Cremant, Blanc de Blanc from Burgundy, the Loire Valley…etc.