Prosecco Wine and Spirit Menu
Equally important to the Prosecco operation is the wine and spirit menu, in the careful hands of Wine Director Blake Leja. The Prosecco wine list is divided into two major categories, sparkling and still wines. In the sparkling category a full 50 are offered, including the 1997 Brut Spumante Metodo Classico “Giulio Ferrari”, an offering that is neither from the Prosecco di Valdobbiadene-Conegliano DOC, nor the Franciacorta area in Lombardia from where most of the metodo classico Italian sparklers hail. The vitner behind “Giulio Ferrari” honed his craft in Champagne, France for years, before returning with select chardonnay cuttings, to Trentino to create on of Italy’s top sparkling masterpieces. Prosecco is proud to be one of the few restaurants in the nation to be able to offer this bottle to its patrons.
Other standouts include a Sicilian sparkler, a 2004 Brut Spumante Metodo Classico “Margo”, from Scammacca. This rare wine, a blanc de noir, is made 100% from nerello mascalese and showcases the versatility of Italian wine makers when it comes to producing delectable sparklers in all regions of Italy. Finally, Wine Director Hood has managed to secure three different Prosecco di Cartizze, including the 2006 from Col Vetoraz, a rarely imported into the United States bubbly that comes from the “grand cru” region of the Prosecco DOC, know as the Cartizze. These wines are unique and have yet to be tried by many sparkling wine aficionados. It is the hope of the Prosecco team to elevate the entire Italian sparkling wines category to where they believe it belongs in its own right, not just as a less expensive version of the Champagnes of France.
The Prosecco mantra is that the sparkling wines of Italy (known since the 10th century) stand on their own — both the whites and the reds — and that they can be enjoyed not just as a brindisi (Italian for “toast”) at the beginning of the meal, but through-out. To this end, several Italian sparkling wine dinners are being planned to showcase their flavor and versatility. Prosecco is truly, Chicago’s and maybe the nation’s first, proseccheria, a wine bar devoted to the enjoyment of Italian sparkling wine.
The still wines at Prosecco include as many as 100, from the super novas of the Italian wine world, to lesser known gems in a variety of price points. Highlights include a complex, age-worthy white wine from the Marche region of Italy (on the eastern seaboard), the 2004 Verdicchio Classico Riserva from Villa Bucci that has a depth not often credited to Italian white wines. On the red side, a 2003 Aglianico Del Vulture, “Titolo”, from Elena Fucci shows the elegance possible in the southern region of Basilicata. While its neighbor, Campania, often steals the wine news from this part of Italy, wine maker Elena Fucci has brought much acclaim to a part of Italy not well-known to many in the American marketplace. In addition, the great wines from Piemonte and Toscana are well-represented including those from famous houses such as Tenuta dell’Ornellaia, La Spinette, and Gaja, for example.
In addition, Prosecco offers authentic Italian and European spirits, including limoncello, grappa, and a full range of aperitivi and digestivi, the bookends to a successful Italian repast. In addition to premium still and sparkling wines, a deep spirit menu, representing the finest, most esoteric libations available in Italy, offers Guests a taste of la dolce vita. And, in recognition of the trend to socialize without imbibing, Prosecco offers a list of boutique sodas, Italian and otherwise, as well as house made fresh juices festively served without alcohol.