Cooking to the Wine: Sorelle Bronca Extra-Dry Prosecco di Valdobbiadene Superiore DOCG with Poached Chicken with Pears and Gorgonzola (#ItalianFWT)



Friends, I think I’ve made it pretty clear how much I love bubbly.

It’s fun, it’s refreshing, and sparkling wines always make an occasion feel festive. But don’t just save them for special occasions!  Pop those corks and get the bubbles flowing. I know I’ve said it before, but I’ll say it again: Bubblies are among the most food friendly wines around. They’re among my go-to’s for tricky food pairings. If you’re not sure what’s going to work with a meal, chances are a bubbly will do the trick.

I also love a good value, so I don’t think you have to drop a ton of cash to get a good bottle. That doesn’t mean go for the cheapest bottle in the store either. Ok, if I’m making mimosas or a cocktail, I might go for something really inexpensive. The flavor of the wine is going to get masked by the other components anyways. If I’m having a wine on its own though, I actually want to taste it; so then I think it’s worth spending a little bit more. There is a sweet spot, and today’s wine fits right into it

Today’s wine is a
Conegliano Valdobbiadene Prosecco Superiore DOCG  (or Prosecco Superiore DOCG for short . . . or shorter anyways). I’ve covered the basics on Prosecco and the different quality levels available before. If you’re like “What? I thought Prosecco was Prosecco was Prosecco.” Nope. Definitely not. I’d recommend going back and taking a look at this post to get the lay of the land. Bonus, there a short clip of me sabering a bottle for the very first time.

Quick aside - full disclosure, I have very recently started working with the Consorzio di Prosecco Superior DOCG in a PR capacity. However, I received no compensation for this post, and all opinions are my own. The bottle shared today was also not a sample. It’s a bottle we often carry at Bay Grape that I enjoy and keep in fairly regular rotation. 

To put it briefly, wines bearing the name Conegliano Valdobbiadene Prosecco Superiore DOCG come from the original growing region in the Veneto, between the Dolomites and the Adriatic Sea. It’s a hilly region, flanked on either side by the towns included in the name.Grapes in this area tend to be harder to harvest and are usually harvested by hand, where mechanical harvesting is more common in the wider DOC zone. I’ll also drop in a handy infographic courtesy of the Prosecco Superiore DOCG website to serve as a quick recap.

THE WINE & PAIRING


Today I’m sharing the Sorelle Bronca Extra-Dry Prosecco di Valdobbiadene Superiore DOCG. The sorelle, or “sisters,” in question are Antonella and Ersiliana. In an area that tends to be run by larger producers, these ladies and their families manage their own estate, growing their own fruit on steep vineyards in the hills of Valdobbiadene.

That’s no easy feat. Valdobbiadene is on the western side of the Prosecco Superiore DOCG zone and it is the steeper area. This quote from Desiderio Bisol, enologist and technical director at Bisol, from an article by Kerin O'Keefe for Wine Enthusiast entitled “The Superiority of Prosecco Superiore” gives a sense of what it means to work in this region:

It takes between 100–250 man hours of maintenance per hectare in the Prosecco DOC, but you need 300–500 hours in Conegliano. This figure goes up to 600–1,000 hours of maintenance for every hectare in Valdobbiadene, where the hills are steeper. And on the vertiginous slopes of Cartizze, where the difficult conditions make grape growing complex, you’ll need 1,000 hours of maintenance per hectare.

The sisters got their love of wine from their father Livio, but it took a lot of grit for them to build their company, particularly in a time and place where they were essentially expected to become housewives. On their website, Antonella describes her and her sister as “genuine hillside women.” Today their main goal is quality with a focus on protecting the land, which has led them to explore and incorporate organic practice.

I admit that I like to think about the tough ladies behind the bottle whenever I purchase this wine, but my main reason for going back to it so often is that I just find the wine itself to charming. It always makes me think of fresh pears and white flowers.

Greg and I opened a bottle recently and in addition to the pears and flowers, also got notes of citrus, particularly white grapefruit, and a touch of white peach on the very finish. It’s round with a lightly creamy mouthfeel and fresh acidity. Greg pronounced the wine “Really Tasty!”

This wine is Extra Dry, which counter-intuitively means that there is some residual sugar left in. Don’t let that scare you off though. Extra Dry is actually quite classic for the region and usually it doesn’t actually taste sweet. That’s certainly true here, and I think that hint of RS actually helps to enhance the fruity factor in a very balanced way. It also makes the Extra Dry versions extremely versatile for food pairing, since that tiny hint of sweetness allows the wine to pair with foods that really Brut wines might struggle with.

Since this is a wine I’ve had quite a few times, I already had ideas brewing in my mind about what I’d like to cook for it. Since it always evokes pears for me, I knew pears were going in the dish. That hint of fruity sweetness also works really well with salty foods, so I added Gorgonzola to play with wine in that way. We ultimately settled on chicken breasts, lightly seared on one side, then poached in white wine and topped with the pears and Gorgonzola.

On the side, I also made roasted potatoes (425°F for about 25 minutes) lightly season with salt and pepper, and tossed with olive oil, then finished with parsley and more green onions.

The whole thing made for a delicious, summery combo. The poached chicken was silky and juicy on the inside –– honestly, I should have sliced it up for the pictures. Greg thought the pear and Gorgonzola topper shined particularly well in the pairing. Delightful!


OTHER POSSIBILITIES


As I mentioned, I’ve had this wine quite a bit, so I can attest to it’s versatility. A week or so before putting together this dinner, we had a bottle with Szechuan take-out, which happens to be Greg’s favorite. Szechuan can be really tricky to pair because of all that spice; both the refreshing bubbles and the hint of residual sweetness help the wine pair really well these soicy dishes.

We’ve also had quite a bit of Extra-Dry Prosecco Superiore DOCG recently with cheese plates and charcuterie. That same fruity quality helped the wines match with everything from the salty meats, funky cheeses, roasted veggies, and sweeter fruits and condiments.




Find more inspiration here as well!

 

THE GEEKY DETAILS


Most Prosecco of all levels is made using the tank method (see my previous post here to get into that). I think it’s worth noting that these ladies are doing things a little bit differently. The method is described on the Oliver McCrum site:

The vinification is unusual for Prosecco; instead of two seperate fermentations, (grape juice to still wine, then still wine to sparkling wine), the Bronca Sister’s Prosecco grapes are pressed and the juice is held at very low temperatures until it is ready to be made into sparkling wine (done periodically throughout the year to maintain the freshest possible stock) upon which time the must is put into a special fermenter and fermented directly to sparkling wine. This more costly single fermentation process retains more of the classic pear aroma that makes Prosecco distinctive. No sugar is added, all of the sweetness comes from the must. A number of batches are produced during the year to ensure freshness, and we import the wine frequently for the same reason. Prosecco is best drunk as fresh as possible.

A pretty in-depth tech sheet is listed on the Sorelle Bronca website. Here are some highlights:

Grape variety : 100% Glera
Vineyards : Guizza, Le Rive, Scandolera, Rolle
Exposure : SOUTH.
Altitude : from 250 to 320 meters above sea level.
Cultivation : Biological - In conversion
Harvest : Second decade of September
Fermentation tanks : Steel
Fermentation temperature : 15 ° C
Alcohol content : 11% vol.
Total acidity : 5.80 gr / lt
Sugar residue : 13.0 gr / l
Serving temperature : 4 ° C (or about 39 ° F)

 

MONEY TALK


I bought this bottle for $20 at Bay Grape. I think that’s a really Solid Value for a really pretty bubbly. It’s also a happy price point that means this bottle can be a go-to for dinners in, as well as for dinner parties and evenings with friends. 




Yield: 4
Author:

Chicken Poached in White Wine with Pears and Gorgonzola

prep time: 20 Mcook time: 20 Mtotal time: 40 M

ingredients:

  • 3 to 4 chicken breasts, cut in half or portioned as desired
  • 3 to 4 garlic cloves
  • White wine, about half a bottle (amount may vary depending on the size of cooking pan)
  • 1 Tbsp butter
  • 1 pear, cut into small cubes
  • Olive oil
  • Approximately 4 to 5 green onions, cut into small rounds
  • ⅓ to ½ cup of gorgonzola, crumbled (or to taste)
  • Salt
  • Pepper

instructions:

How to cook Chicken Poached in White Wine with Pears and Gorgonzola

  1. Season chicken liberally with salt and pepper. Place in a bowl or other large container, along with the garlic cloves. Pour enough white wine on top to cover. Set aside to marinate for about 20 minutes.
  2. Melt butter in a large pan over medium-high heat. Add the pears and cook until lightly browned, about 8 minutes. Transfer the pears to another plate.
  3. Add olive oil to the pan. Pat chicken dry, then add to the pan once the oil is hot and starting to shimmer. Sear chicken on one side until lightly browned. Flip the chicken over, then add the marinade to the pan so that white wine comes up about 3/4 the way up the side of the chicken breasts. Add more wine as needed. Bring the liquid to boil, then immediately reduce heat to low and cover. The chicken will be done when an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the chicken reads 165°F – about 10 to 12 minutes total. When the chicken is nearly ready, add the green onions during the last minute or so of cooking. Remove chicken from the pan.
  4. Serve the chicken with a little bit of the cooking liquid poured on top with some of the green onions. Garnish each plate with some of the pear and crumbles of gorgonzola on top.
Created using The Recipes Generator

*****

Right now is an extra celebratory moment to be drinking Prosecco Superiore DOCG as this year is the 50th anniversary of the region, and the 10th anniversary of their elevation to DOCG status. 

Even better, they're actually having an Instgram contest and the Grand Prize is a trip to Italy. Check out the details here:






Raise a glass of #ProseccoSuperiore and WIN A TRIP TO ITALY! Did you know that these wines from #ConeglianoValdobbiadene are among the most food friendly around? A classic Extra Dry version will match beautifully with just about anything on your table. Its delicate fruitiness dances with salty and lightly sweet foods alike. Try it out for yourself, then share your favorite Prosecco Superiore moments with us and you could win prizes that include wine, dinner for two, or even a trip to Italy! Here's how to enter: 1. Like this post. 2. Share your own post on your feed featuring a Conegliano Valdobbiadene Prosecco Superiore DOCG pairing or special moment between now and 10/15/19. Make sure your bottle is labeled DOCG — That's how you know you're getting top quality. 3. Tag your post: @proseccocv #proseccosuperiore #proseccoelevated #Somminstapic Also, tag 2 friends who love wine in a comment on your post. 4. Follow @proseccocv , @alltheswirl and @chefsroll . Prizes will be announced monthly, and the Grand Prize Trip to Italy will be announced in October. Must be 21 to enter. Monthly winners will be chosen at random and the Grand Prize trip to Italy will be selected from all qualifying posts. Trip dates to be taken in 2020 to be determined in conjunction with the winner with a minimum of six weeks notice. This contest is administered by Conegliano Valdobbiadene Prosecco Superiore DOCG and is in no way sponsored, endorsed, administered by, or associated with Instagram.
A post shared by All the Swirl (@alltheswirl) on


The rest of the #ItalianFWT group is also exploring these beautiful bubblies. Be sure to check out their posts here:

Share:

1 comments

  1. Amazing that this Prosecco DOCG can be enjoyed for around $20 considering how much goes into it and how special it is! Love hearing about the sisters and your pairing sounds great too.

    ReplyDelete

Thanks so much for leaving your comments and questions. I always love to hear from you!