Jan. 7 2013 05:23 PM

An Italian alternative to white wine

bottle

When I was a kid, one of my annual aspirations was to stay up all the way to midnight on New Year's Eve. It was a pretty big deal for me, a sort of harbinger of adulthood, and I was lucky enough to be around adults who would usually let me do so. Of course, I'm talking about when I was 8 or so, so the real question was whether or not I was capable of staying up that late. I'm assuming I'm not the only adult who, as a child, tried to see the stroke of midnight; therefore, I'm probably not alone in finding it ironic that, these days, with a young kid of my own, it's been a long time since I watched the clock strike 12 and the calendar flip to a new year.

This year wasn't much different. We got the kid to bed, set a roaring fire in the fireplace and opened a nice bottle of prosecco. I wish I could tell how I gained possession of this particular bottle, but that's a bit of history lost in the past, much like 2012. Prosecco, as you probably know, is an Italian sparkling wine not unlike champagne, minus the snoot. The bottle we opened, a non-vintage called La Marca, runs about $15 at most retail outlets and has a nice fruity taste, complete with pear, apple, a touch of grapefruit and even some lemon, nicely blended in a frothy bouquet. Though it's usually dry, that tartness gives it some added oomph not always found in a sparkler. It's a gorgeous, pale yellow, and the bubbles remain strong throughout. Sure, we opened it for a special occasion, but it's a decent-enough wine at a decent-enough price that you could pair it with food instead of a standard white wine, if you were to be so bold.

It proved a very nice way to wrap up 2012, which, all things considered, wasn't too bad a year. It did, however, make me another year older, and if there's any concrete evidence that that's true, it's this: We didn't make it to midnight, and we didn't even finish the bottle.

Write to anders@sdcitybeat.com and editor@sdcitybeat.com. You can follow Anders on Twitter at @anderswright.

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