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, Jul 22 2016 04:42PM

'An exceptional Prosecco with only 3 grams of sugar/litre’ sounds too good to be true doesn’t it?! Well I’ve tried it and it is true.

Cirotto Prosecco Superiore DOCG Millesimato Extra Brut
Cirotto Prosecco Superiore DOCG Millesimato Extra Brut

‘Extra Brut’ is a very new style of Prosecco introduced this year. Cirotto’s version is very low especially compared to more typical ‘Extra Dry’ styles which have about 15 grams of sugar/litre. 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 low-sugar diets.

With such low sugar, I didn’t think I would like this new style nor did I think it would appeal to typical Prosecco drinkers. I tried Extra Brut Champagne whilst in Champagne last year and it wasn’t to my taste. Far too dry. So when my winery’s new Extra Brut became available, I only ordered a small quantity. How wrong was I! Upon tasting, I thought it was exceptional and not what I was expecting. I did wonder if Cirotto had put the wrong label on the bottle?! It was very fresh, with delicate aromas of pears and apple, with a slight citrus taste. Very easy and delicious to drink, with a lovely palate-cleansing sensation – ideal for when pairing with fatty and salty foods or great as an aperitif. I tested it on a few willing helpers who all really liked it too in preference to two other sweeter Extra Dry Proseccos.

I should have known it would be good. Cirotto are a top quality Prosecco Superiore producer from the Asolo DOCG region. Extra Brut is difficult to produce and so only the very best wineries dare to attempt it. With such a low sugar content, the grapes have to be extremely high quality, with no defects and have a strong structure. As well as adding sugar to appeal to our different tastes, sugar also helps to cover up any small quality imperfections in the wine which then makes it more palatable. When you have virtually no sugar, it means, in the words of Barbara Cirotto, “You really lay your cards on the table”. It’s not just the grapes which need to be top quality, it’s the whole winemaking process.

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.

• 3 grams of sugar/litre.

• 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.

A very special and exceptional Prosecco, a 'super skinny' Prosecco even, which really is’ just perfect’. Try it and see for yourself.

Julia Phillips


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