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Rock Maze

BST day 1 29/3/20

Good morning Facebook chums

BST day 1

Never has there been a stranger start to British Summer Time. The only reason to change our clocks is so we don't miss the daily corona virus update.

I've noticed that in these strange times, of those of you who are under house arrest, some have decided to exercise their brains and do something useful. You seem to be tackling this by improving existing skills, learning a language or remodelling their garden (have you noticed Charlie Dimmock has chunked up?) Some of you have decided to get fit with Joe Wicks or plan an imaginary holiday.

Although I'm not under house arrest (I'm simply unfit for work otherwise I'd be on the team actively maintaining The Eden Project) I too have decided to learn something new.

I've decided to learn Prosecco!

So here's a few facts I've gleaned so far:-

1. It’s More Popular Than Champagne

Prosecco popped Champagne's bubble at Christmas 2015, with sales of the Italian sparkling wine outperforming French fizz by ten to one. And, by this year, the worldwide consumption of Prosecco is expected to surpass 412m bottles; an estimated increase of 36% over five years compared to Champagne's forecasted 1% growth.

2. And More Aromatic Too

The majority of Prosecco is made in the Charmat method where the fermented wine goes through its secondary fermentation in big steel tanks. Because this method is so efficient, it means prosecco can be made in large quantities to meet the high demand. But just because it’s efficient, doesn’t mean the tank method produces uncomplicated wines – Prosecco is made with highly aromatic Glera grapes, and this cleaner fermentation method allows those aromatics to shine through far more in the final product.

3. Brits Are The Biggest Prosecco Drinkers

In 2016, Britain consumed a third of the 410million bottles of Prosecco produced.

4. It Can Only Be Produced In Certain Areas Of Italy (DON'T GO THERE AT THE MOMENT)

Prosecco is a trademarked wine and must be produced exclusively in select parts of northeastern Italy. In April 2010, the Conegliano-Valdobbiadene area acquired DOCG designation and with it, the exclusive right to define prosecco produced from grapes cultivated in this area, as 'Superiore'. This area, comprised of 15 communes, produces the highest-quality Prosecco around.

The Prosecco DOC area was established in 2009 and is comprised of nine provinces in the Veneto and Friuli Venezia Giulia regions. Look out for the 'Treviso DOC' label in particular, as the area produces particularly high-quality Prosecco grapes.

5. Only Ten Grapes Can Be Included

The prosecco grape is named ‘Glera’ must make up 85% of a wine for it to be labelled Prosecco. The other 15% can include Verdiso, Bianchetta Trevigiana, Perera, Glera Lunga, Chardonnay, Pinot Bianco, Pinot Grigio and Pinot Noir.

6. But It’s Not Always Bubbly

Still Prosecco – known as tranquillo – is available if you want to savour the wine’s crisp flavour, without the bubbles.

7. It’s Not As Sweet As People Think

Up until the 1960s, Prosecco was generally rather sweet – but, since then, production techniques have vastly improved. Prosecco is now made in five different levels of sweetness: extra brut, brut, extra dry, dry or demi-sec, with extra brut being the driest and demi-sec the sweetest. For the lowest sugar option, opt for a extra nature, which has no residual sugars (0-6g per litre), however it may seem sweeter than it actually is due to the grape’s fruit-forward flavours.

8. ‘Aged’ Prosecco Isn’t A Thing

Unlike Champagne and other red and white wines, Prosecco doesn't ferment in the bottle, therefore it doesn’t improve with age. The crisp flavours of Prosecco are meant to be enjoyed as young as possible, while the acidity and fruit-forwardness are still fresh – consuming a bottle within a year of its vintage is ideal.

9. It Tastes Best In A Certain Glass

Prosecco is best served in a tulip style sparkling wine glass and served cold. The height and slenderness of the tulip glass is said to help preserve the bubbles, and the bulb at the top helps collect more of the floral aromas coming from the wine.

10. It's One Of The Most Versatile Wines With Food

You might not know it – but when it comes to food pairing, Prosecco is one of the most versatile wines around. It teams well with pretty much anything you’re planning to put on your plate: a glass with sweet treats and afternoon tea, an accompaniment to salty crisps and nuts, and ideal with a variety of dinners – refreshing the palette with creamy pastas and spicy curries, or mirroring the fresh taste of fish and chips or pasties.

That's probably all you need to know about Prosecco. Have a quiet Sunday.

Learn something properly useful tomorrow.



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