describe Prosecco to me
- Wendy Lai
I am thinking of making a dessert terrine which called for prosecco, an Italian sweet sparkling wine. Has anyone had this? Is it like a champagne? What can I subsitute this with if I can't get prosecco? Can I use Sauternes instead? Or should I use a sweet champagne?
prosecco is not as yeasty or toasty as champagne can be. it's much lighter in body, with some citrus and apple notes that makes it a nice apertif wine. i wouldn't consider sautern as an alternative. sautern has far more residual sugar and would dramtically alter the flavor of your recipe. it would probably end up being more concentrated in peach and honey flavors which could turn out nice, but not comparable to what the prosecco would be.
anywhere that sells champagne most likely will sell prosecco. and it is much cheaper than most champagnes. i would just go for the prosecco.
Wendy, you should have no trouble finding prosecco in SF. As rebs points out, it will be less expensive than either champagne or sauterne. If your recipe is describing it as a sweet sparkling wine and the terrine needs that sugar, be sure to ask the wine shop for one with more residual sugar. The proseccos imported here tend to be a little dryer than what is typically consumed in Italy, so I'm told. Coit Liquors in North Beach, K&L @ 4th and Brannan, William Cross on Polk/Green usually have some for summer drinking and have knowledgeable staff who can help you make a selection. You might want to give them a call to check on stock.
I've worked my way around a bottle or two of this sparkling wine. AJ Ferrari sells a house Prosecco which is a bit sweeter than a Prosecco rightfully should be (IMHO). But it sounds like what you might need for your recipe. The other offerings at AJ Ferrari in this area are a few dollars more and I think are closer in definition.
By now you've had several answers about prosecco, so I don't have to explain that. I made a dessert called "Prosecco & Summer Fruit Terrine" last summer, when it appeared in Gourmet. I had never had prosecco before and bought the first bottle I saw in the store. It's possible that there are different varieties of prosecco - with different degrees of sweetness. The terrine worked very well and looked great, but we found it just a bit too sweet. I don't know if there might be a better result if you used a really dry champagne.
I would not use a sauterne wine as it is too sweet and syrupy. Also, it will be quite a bit more expensive the prosseco and it's more refined characteristics will perhaps be lost in the recipe (but perhaps not - it depends).
Prossecco is usually inexpensive and easy to get - even here in Pennsylvania in the state run liquor stores - known for their lack of product.
If you can't find it I recommend any cheap sparkling wine you can get your hands on, or dry sparkling wine with some extra sugar added.
hope this helped.