One look at a bottle of Bottega Gold Prosecco and you will wonder how anyone can call it poor man’s Champagne. They say that one should never judge a book by its cover but when Katia Bonaguro, Export Area Manager (Africa, India, Israel, Oceania & Turkey) of Bottega SpA, invited me to La Piazza Hyatt Regency Delhi, to taste this premium Prosecco, I was spell bound by the beauty and opulence of this stylishly crafted hand blown bottle made in the tradition of the famous Murano glassware of Italy. Equally impressive were the contents inside.
However there is a price that Bottega Gold has to pay for designing such a spectacular bottle exuding elegance and luxury. Even though the Prosecco they produce is of the highest quality, it is can only be classified as DOC as the appellation laws do not allow an opaque bottle to be labelled as DOCG, the highest classification for Italian wines. Never mind that because the golden bottle protects the wine from any source of light thus preserving the aromas and freshness and also giving it a longer life.
One sip of this delightfully crisp fresh sparkling wine with fine perlage and fruity floral aromas of golden apples, white peach and lily of the valley and it becomes clear how the oft maligned Prosecco has moved beyond being just an ingredient which goes into making brunch time “Bellinis” and “Mimosas”.
Prosecco which is Italy’s answer to French Champagne is the most popular Italian sparkling wine around the world. Others Italian sparklers like Asti Spumante, Lambrusco and Franciacorta are not that well known outside Italy. Made from a white grape varietal called Glera, it is produced by the “Charmat Method” where the second fermentation (which causes the bubble formation) takes place not inside the bottle as in the case of champagne but in a large stainless steel tank. This helps in keeping the cost of production down thus making Prosecco inexpensive and very affordable.
Though it lacks the complexity of champagne (those toasty biscuity and oxidative notes) it is an easier fruit forward style making it the friendliest of wines to drink. Since it has low alcohol content, it makes a wonderful aperitif (before dinner drink) and pairs well with most cuisines especially sweet and spicy ones like Indian and Chinese.
However not all Prosecco is great. Some is frankly quite undrinkable especially if you are used to champagne. That is why it is always better to go with well-known producers and brands. This is where a premium product like Bottega Gold comes in. It comes from an award winning estate located in Bibano, Treviso (45 kms north of Venice) close to Conegliano-Valdobbiadene, famous for its DOCG Prosecco, in the heart of Italy’s Prosecco and Grappa producing Veneto region.
The winery which was established in 1977 by Aldo Bottega is now run by his children Sandro, Stefano & Barbara. The other brands which the company manages other than Bottega Gold are Alexander and Cantina dei Poeti. The family is involved in making wines, high quality grappa, liquors and some premium food products. Other than Veneto the family also owns wine making facilities in Valpolicella where they make Amarone, Recioto, Ripasso and in Montalcino in Tuscany where they produce Chianti & Brunello.
However 70% of the total annual production of 11 million bottles is devoted to Prosecco which is exported to 120 countries. One of them is India and Bottega Gold is imported here by Mohan Brothers Pvt Ltd owned by the genial Rohit Mehra.
The hotels which stock Bottega Gold are Hyatt Regency and Le Meridien Delhi and soon it will be available at The Wine Company Cyber Hub Gurgaon where it will be it will be sold for Rs 5500. The retail price of a 750ml of Bottega Gold is Rs 4460 in Delhi and it is available at most private retail shops including Godrej Nature’s Basket Stores.
It may be a trifle expensive compared to other Proseccos in the market but it is still “the half price champagne”. Also remember this is a premium trendy product with an eye-catching packaging, ideal to give as a gift and to celebrate special moments. The wonderful Bottega Rose Brut sparkling wine made from 100% Pinot Noir will be in the Indian markets from the next financial year.
One also hopes that other products from Bottega SpA like Grappa, liqueurs and wines like Amarone and Brunello will find their way into the Indian market. Till then enjoy this fresh aromatic and exquisite Venetian gold. This is one bottle you will not feel like throwing away after finishing.
By : Lavina Kharkwal