Prosecco and Sparkling Wine Specialist

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Welcome to my Sparkling Blog


On my blog page you will find articles where I share my passion, discoveries and thoughts about the wonderful world of wine, in particularly my special passion Prosecco and sparkling wine.    It would be great to hear your comments


Julia Philips, Owner of Just Perfect Wines

By Julia Phillips, Nov 8 2017 01:03PM

Simply put….I would say it’s a cross between a Prosecco and Champagne style, which tastes amazing and in theory no hangovers or headaches. Just perfect don’t you think?!

Giorgia Brut Sparkling Wine
Giorgia Brut Sparkling Wine

So it’s 100% Glera (the grape used to make Prosecco), made by a Prosecco winery, Ca’Salina who are in the heart of one of best Prosecco regions in Italy, Valdobbiadene - however, it can’t be called Prosecco. That is because it is made in a different way to the method used for making the strictly controlled product, Prosecco DOC /DOCG, hence the name “Giorgia”.

I met with Gregorio Bortolin this summer, the owner of the Ca’Salina winery who explained that Giorgia (named after his granddaughter) is a result of his experiment using the modern floatation tank method (instead of the usual (for Prosecco) Charmat method) to produce a ‘no added sulphites’ sparkling wine. All wines have a natural level of sulphites, but most also have sulphites added up to the legal limit of 210mg/l for white wine. Sulphur is a preservative and used to stop anything that comes into the winery and doesn’t belong to the grapes eg, bacteria, fungus, bad natural yeast from making the wine go bad (or oxidise). By using the flotation tank method, this process separates anything bad leaving a pure grape juice. With no impurities and a clean juice there is no need to add sulphites. Simple.

Giorgia no added sulphites label
Giorgia no added sulphites label

As the wine is stripped of the natural yeast (which may not be a good yeast), Ca’Salina add top quality yeast to start off the first fermentation. Using pure juice and high quality yeast gives you a just perfect sparkling wine, so Gregorio explained…. And yes, he is right. Giorgia is truly beautiful. The result is a clean, fresh, dry tasting wine; a with a little more complexity than most Proseccos but not as heavy or over-dry as some Champagnes, Cavas or English Sparkling Wines. It has fruity aromas and a taste you get from Prosecco as well as aromas of honey, butter and brioche you tend to get from wines made in the Champagne method.

And of course, in theory with no added sulphites comes no headaches or hangovers…and it’s low sugar, so low calorie too (...and did I mention it has a pretty label?) - Giorgia really is just perfect. A very exciting and interesting wine all Prosecco and sparkling wine lovers must try. Please let me know what you think if you do!

Gregorio Bortolin and Julia Phillips at Ca'Salina, June 2017
Gregorio Bortolin and Julia Phillips at Ca'Salina, June 2017

Grazie mille to Gregorio for his wonderful experiment.

Julia Phillips

Owner of Just Perfect Wines


By Julia Phillips, Jan 3 2017 05:32PM

Cirotto Extra Brut Prosecco Superiore
Cirotto Extra Brut Prosecco Superiore

At just 66 calories per 100ml glass, Cirotto’s newest Prosecco Superiore DOCG Extra Brut is possibly the lowest calorie Prosecco you can buy.

The fizz boasts a very low sugar level of only 3g per litre; less than a quarter of most Prosecco at around 16g. At 66 calories, it’s even lower than the “Skinny Prosecco” brand which quotes 67 calories per 100ml glass and 7g of sugar per litre.

Despite the low calories and residual sugar, the aroma, taste and alcohol content (11%) are not comprised. The Prosecco is exceptionally high quality due to the hard work and experience of award-winning Cirotto winery. Every step of the winemaking process has to be perfect, starting with top quality grapes which come from one of the best Prosecco regions, Monfumo in Asolo. As a result, the Prosecco is delightful to drink with beautiful aromas of golden apple, pear and citrus fruits.

Cirotto’s Extra Brut Prosecco is a style which will appeal to those that prefer a very dry taste or for those of us who watch our weight where every calorie counts! The Prosecco allows you to still enjoy your favourite indulgence, yet reduce your calorie and sugar intake at the same time. A perfect way to help with New Year diets.

“ Given Cirotto’s Prosecco has very little sugar and few calories, consumers may think it won’t be pleasant to drink. How wrong can they be! As the Prosecco is very high quality, it is beautiful, easy to drink and not overly dry to the taste. In cheaper, more mass-produced Prosecco, sugar is often added to cover up any imperfections in quality and make it more palatable. With Cirotto’s, they carefully manage every step of the process to ensure there is nothing bad that can adversely affect the taste of their wine” comments Julia Phillips, owner of Just Perfect Wines, UK importer for Cirotto in the Midlands.

The Cirotto Prosecco Superiore Extra Brut is available from retail stores il Gusto in Trentham and Leek, as well as www.justperfectwines.com priced and Amazon at RRP £22.99 per bottle.

J Phillips


By Julia Phillips, Aug 1 2016 03:47PM

This year, artisan winery Cirotto have launched an exciting new style of Prosecco; ‘Extra Brut’ which is now available in the UK. Their new Prosecco Superiore boasts very low sugar level of only 3 grams/litre, less than a quarter compared to most Extra Dry styles at around 15 grams/litre. You could call it a "super skinny Prosecco"! Low and zero sugar Champagnes, Cavas and now Proseccos are becoming increasing popular in Europe and the UK, appealing to those who prefer a very dry taste, natural wines and/or are diet conscious.

The new Cirotto Asolo DOCG Prosecco Superiore Millesimato Extra Brut 2015:

• Is made from 90% Glera, as well as 10%, Perera and Bianchetta (ancient native white grape varieties from the Prosecco region) to enhance structure and flavour.

• Has an 11% alcohol content.

• Boasts a very low sulphite level of 80 mg/litre (and says so on the label) which is well below the legal limit of 185 for sparkling wines and 155 for sparkling organic wines.

• Suitable for vegans and allergen free.

Extra Brut is difficult to produce and so not all wineries can make it. Barbara Cirotto comments, “Working with such a low sugar content means that you have to count on an excellent raw material, first quality grapes, with no defects and big structure. Sugar helps you also to cover small defects....so when you have almost no sugar, it means ‘you really lay your cards on the table’ ”.

The grapes, which are all hand harvested, need a very attentive winemaking process. With such a low sugar, it is important to preserve a clean wine, with no bad smells, no oxidation problems. This enhances the flavours. Cirotto’s first quality grapes for the Extra Brut come from their oldest vines (average 70-80 years old) which can give more structure than younger vines.

The very low sugar content enhances the structure of grapes, giving an intense bouquet of golden apple and pear, flowing into delicate flavours of grapefruit and mandarin. It has a mouth-watering, minerally taste, above all when paired together with fatty foods (eg, salami, shellfish, salmon, cheese); it is similar to the very, very dry taste of a Champagne. However, it is still easy to drink even if you typically prefer sweeter styles, due to the extreme high quality. A very exclusive and exceptional Prosecco of great personality.

This is Cirotto’s first Extra Brut, producing a limited edition of 5,000 bottles. With just one single sparkling process of one single tank, coming from one single vineyard, it is similar to a Cru Champagne.

Extra Brut Prosecco is something very new. The rules on DOCG Prosecco have approved this additional version, which officially saw the first producers start to present this new label with the 2015 harvesting. Interestingly, the Asolo DOCG Prosecco production area currently has exclusivity for the ‘Extra Brut’ style as the Consortium which controls the Valdobbiadene Conegliano DOCG region do not have the change in appellation as of yet.

The Cirotto Extra Brut Prosecco Superiore, with a RRP of £22.99, is now available in the UK via Just Perfect Wines, Cirotto’s importer for the Midlands.

Julia Phillips

Owner, Just Perfect Wines

1 August 2016

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