Ray Isle (@islewine on Twitter) is Food & Wine's executive wine editor. We trust his every cork pop and decant – and the man can sniff out a bargain to boot. Take it away, Ray.
The news that Prosecco outsold Champagne - 307 million bottles worldwide compared with 304 million - may flabbergast some fizz fans, but it’s really no surprise. Prosecco is as hot as a cold, sparkling white wine can be, with sales in 2013 up more than 24% over 2012.
Proseccos tend to show fresh, lively apple-citrus flavors. In general they’re bottled without a vintage designation, and they’re almost always affordable. Complexity or ageability isn’t the point here. Prosecco’s more a jubilant sort of drink, inexpensive enough (usually) that you can buy it on a whim, and fun enough to pour for anyone who happens to come by.
NV Zardetto Brut ($14)
NV Carpenè Malvolti Prosecco di Conegliano-Valdobbiadene ($19)
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