One of the best ways to learn about a region is to focus all your vinous energy on a small region or set of regions. Take Italy for example. With so many different native grapes, Italy is a bear of a country to get your arms around. As such, every so often I break it down and focus my efforts. Right now, it is the north east regions of Veneto, Trentino and Friuli. I start by printing a map off the internet – the importer Kobrand has a great map library – then I grab a good text such as Mary Ewing – Mulligan’s Italian Wines for Dummies and I spend a few minutes each day soaking up regional information such as grape varieties,  geography, soil types, climate etc.  Then I start tasting and tasting and tasting.

Stumbling upon regional favorites is the best part and in my book Prosecco is one of those little gems. Crafted from the Prosecco grape in the Veneto region, Prosecco is bubbly, festive and easy to drink. Best part – quality bottles are priced between $15-$25 making it a great value wine. If you have not tried a glass – do so the weekend and discover your new holiday sparkler.

Earlier, I blogged about a Prosecco Sangria that I enjoy. FYI, we are sampling it this weekend at Cellar Door – but if you want to make it at home; mix one bottle of quality red Rioja  with one bottle of Prosecco, add a cup of white Lillet or Cognac along with cut up apples and oranges. Serve it straight up or on the rocks.