I've never been a huge fan of Prosecco. This may not be something that a sommelier should admit, but it's the truth. Prosecco is usually too sweet and flowery for me, and not nearly as rich and weighty as Champagne, a beverage that I could literally drink every day. Whenever I'm given a glass of Prosecco, all I can think of is how I would rather be drinking Champagne.
I am happy to say, however that my new friend Alice has shown me the light. Le Vigne di Alice is a woman-owned and operated property that is making some pretty spectacular wines. Cinzia Canzia, the winery's owner along with winemaker Pier Francesca Bonicelli are focused on the details, working diligently in the vineyards as well as the winery. Their Proseccos are elegant and dry, as they work to emphasize the acidity of the wine over its sweetness.
Not surprisingly, my favorite of all of their wines is the "Extra-dry" Prosecco di Coneglaino and Valdobbiadene, which comes from the two most well-known areas of the region. It is clean and bright, and drinks more like a blanc de blancs Champagne, a selling point in my book. Notes of ripe pear and Pippin apple dominate, with touches of acacia flower and apricots. It has a hint of yeastiness, fine bubbles and vibrant acidity that keeps it fresh on the palate.
Of course, the beauty of Prosecco, particularly for a Champagne lover, is its affordability. At about $50 per bottle on the wine list, Le Vigne di Alice could trick you into thinking that you are drinking more richly than you are. In Alice's wonderland, you might actually think the recession is over.