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Home Winners > Winners 2013 > Prosecco

Winner Details


With the quality generally hearteningly consistent, our tasters were as much concerned with GP as with stylistic niceties for this must-stock sparkler

The re-jigging of the sparkling wines section of the Sommelier Wine Awards, from separating the wines by price to splitting them up by style, is the result of a recognition that this part of the wine list has changed hugely since the competition was set up six years ago.

In the far-ago days of 2007, fizz was basically Champagne, with maybe something cheaper at the lower end. But increasingly restaurants are seeing wines such as prosecco and English fizz as must-stocks – so we have split them out to give them their own sections this year.

So, how did our newly segregated Italian get on? Not bad, is the answer. The hit rate of entries to medals was highly respectable. Indeed, it was better than for NV Champagne. ‘There were some very friendly wines here, showing pure expression, and very clean,’ approved Jacques Savary de Beauregard of Home House.

So, with the first hurdle of ‘drinkability’ cleared, our tasters galloped optimistically into the home straight, where they were confronted by the value-for-money jump.

And once numbers came into play the sommeliers were more critical. It wasn’t that what they were tasting wasn’t worth the money per se, it’s that, with prosecco having slipped neatly into the ‘cheap fizz’ category that used (occasionally) to be filled by NV Champagne and (less romantically) by cava, once the entries started heading towards Champagne prices, the rationale for buying them was less compelling.

As Michael Harrison of STK put it, ‘If people are going to spend that much, they’re probably going to go for more expensive Champagne instead. How do you convince them?’

Some of the most expensive submissions would, it’s true, have been £80 on a list, which unless you’re a top-end Italian restaurant would make them all-but impossible to sell, and explained their failure to medal. The vast majority, though, were in the £8-£10 range, and the Cantina Colli del Soligo was felt to deliver the best style for the money, narrowly edging out its closest competitor, the Cantine Riondo, which was a strong silver, and the richer, more serious Canevel.

‘There was nothing not to like about this wine,’ said Hakkasan Hanway Place’s Gabor Foth of the latter. So if you’re in the market for a more upmarket prosecco, it would be a great bet.

‘In a restaurant you want a good GP with prosecco, so anything around £7 will be great. Once you get into the mid-range and around £10, it starts to get a little more difficult.’
Jacques Savary de Beauregard, Home House