La Marca Prosecco (about $15 at big box stores and wine shops) has the distinction of being the only Prosecco from Italy's Veneto region to be named to Wine Spectator's Top 100 list (2007). It's easy to see why.
This light and lively sparkling wine opens with the intoxicating aromas of ripe lemons and lemon blossoms. On the tongue that bright lemon resolves to Meyer lemon, the ultra-juicy, thin-skinned variety known both for its heavenly fragrance and its low acidity, a combination that yields an unusually subtle and refined flavor.
A touch of vanilla contributes to the wine's creaminess, while in no way undermining its clean crispness. Its swarms of bubbles rising in a pale platinum wine are persistent and delightful to both nose and palate. Refreshing, this wine is, in spades.
Drink it alone, by all means, or as an aperitif. When pairing with foods go the extremes: It will rejuvenate and cool the palate when drunk with spicy Thai or Szechuan dishes, but it also will harmonize with and complement dishes as silky smooth as panna cotta or seared sea scallops.
By Colette and John Bancroft. She is the Times' book editor, and he is a freelance writer specializing in food, wine and travel. For an index and archive of reviews, go to pictograph.com.