Wine Not? Sparkling Sensations from Spain and Italy!

US Wealth McCarthy |

Now that we’ve toasted the wonderful champagne offerings from France, we will journey to Spain and Italy to sample their sparkling wines for our around-the-globe holiday celebration.  Cava hails from Spain and Prosecco is Italy’s bubbly beverage.  Both wines are usually less regulated and therefore more reasonably priced than their “cousins” from France!


Most Cava wines originate from the Penedès region of Spain (near Barcelona) and are either white or rose in color.  The grapes for these sparkling wines tend to be the Macabeo, Parellada, and Xarel.lo varieties.  Cava making tradition dictates that the wine must undergo a second fermentation and that méthod Champenoise is what differentiates a Cava from other Spanish sparkling wines.  You may be familiar with the two main producers:  Codorníu and Freixenet.  Since these sparkling wines are fairly inexpensive, often on sale and readily available during the holidays, I hope you will experiment and try some.  After you’ve tried a few, please email Tim ( to let us know which Cavas you enjoyed and why.  This will give us some fabulous client-based recommendations for our next holiday season!


A quick trip East to Italy brings us to the Prosecco sparkling wines.  Prosecco, as we know it, is a modern sparkling wine, although a very sweet version has been around since ancient times.  In the 1960’s, production techniques improved for Prosecco, leading to very high quality dry white wines.  Prosecco’s most distinguishing characteristic is that it is not made like champagne.  The secondary fermentation process (the one that produces the glorious bubbles) takes place in stainless steel vats instead of inside the bottles.  This helps to lower the cost of producing Proseccos.  The main varietal used in making Prosecco is the Glera grape.  Italy does try to control how Prosecco is named with an interesting system based on the province where the grapes are grown.  Since the early 2000’s, the consumption of Prosecco has taken off globally.  The United States and Great Britain are the largest consumers of this sparkling wine.


I asked three of my friends to share with us their favorite Prosecco.  Nancy Muench, who heads Tim’s Tax department, recommends La Marca.  Our New Haven US Wealth affiliate, Tom Morrone, tells me his family enjoys Cavit Lunetta.  And my favorite “Italian American Wine Guy,” Tony Russo, favors Franco Amoroso because it-over delivers for the $10.99 price, “It has a lively acidity, nice fruit flavors, and finishes nice and dry.”


We hope you will enjoy a toast this holiday season with some sparkling wines that will add a note of “cheer” to any celebration.  To allow our staff to enjoy time with their family and friends, our office will be closed Monday, December 24th and Tuesday, December 25th.  Wishing you and yours a wonderful holiday!