Wine & Spirits

By Stef Schwalb

The traditional champagne toast is a major part of any wedding, but who’s to say what bubbly will work best for the Big Day? You could select something elaborate and expensive that will buy you one glass of sparkly goodness for all of your guests. Or you think outside of the gift box, and opt for an affordable Prosecco that packs a powerful punch on the palate–and when bought in bulk–can also be the base for some cool cocktails that will rock the reception.

Founded in 1877, Ruffino Wines has been celebrated for its award-winning Chiantis and an extensive portfolio of delectable selections. One of its latest additions came from a longtime desire of winemaker Gabriele Tacconi to try his hand at Prosecco. This “pet project” couldn’t come at a more appropriate time since Prosecco’s popularity continues to climb stateside and affordable, quality Italian sparkling wines are experiencing an upswing.

David Rocco, Italian food and lifestyle expert and host of The Cooking Channel’s David Rocco’s Dolce Vita, is the spokesperson for Ruffino Wines and praises Ruffino Prosecco’s versatility and characteristics. “Ruffino Prosecco is in a phrase: classic Italian. Ruffino Prosecco is delicious and is just as enjoyable on its own as it is mixed in a cocktail. We Italians drink it at any time of day, mixed with fresh ingredients or as an aperitivo. Whether reveling in the sun on a hot summer day, toasting to the fall harvest, or celebrating a birthday, marriage, or holiday, we enjoy Prosecco whenever we can, and Ruffino’s bubbly is classic in its flavor and crispness – it makes me think of Fellini’s Dolce Vita era and Sofia Loren toasting in the 1950s.”

Ruffino Prosecco showcases a bright acidity and features flavors of ripe peach and crisp apple. As a multi-tasking alternative to champagne, these celebratory bubbles also effectively combine with other ingredients to make innovative cocktails. Below are two recipes to consider.

The Sparkling Portofino

Ingredients:
16 oz. Chilled Ruffino Prosecco
4 oz. Pear Nectar (or Pear Juice)
4 Strips of Orange Zest (no bitter white pith)
4 Strips of Lemon Zest (no bitter white pith)
Method: Place two strips of zest into the bottom of each flute. Pour pear nectar into flute, filling 1/3 full. Top off with Ruffino Prosecco.

The Fresco

Ingredients:
16 oz. Chilled Ruffino Prosecco
4 Cucumbers
4 Lime Wedges
Hot Sauce
Sea Salt
Method: Peel cucumbers and puree in blender. Strain cucumber juice evenly into four glasses. Top off with Ruffino Prosecco. Finish with a dash of hot sauce and a pinch of salt. Gently stir to combine. Garnish with lime.
(*Both recipes are measured out for tasting purposes, serving four.)
Ruffino Prosecco retails at a suggested price of $14.99. For more information about Ruffino Prosecco and additional Prosecco Cocktail suggestions, check out http://www.ruffino1877.com.

***ALL RECIPES AND PHOTOGRAPHS COURESTY OF RUFFINO WINES***

Originally published June 2012
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