07 La Cantina Pizzolato, Veneto IGT Prosecco
I don't ever mean to make sourdough. I love to cook, but I hate baking bread. And by the time the dough's proofed, I've already turned off the stove, made biscuits, eaten, drank wine, and played a couple games of Madden. For that much time, I'd rather drop the $4 to buy some genius' wood-fired loaf instead. So, I always end up with sourdough--a Kitchen Aid mixing bowl of unbleached flour, yeast, water, and a bubbling lack of ambition. Owing to my profound talent for laze and decomposition, I don't even remember to mix the damn stuff. Which means, really, what I have is hardly anything close to the embryo of carbs you crave beside a pot of moules marinieres, and more a thin scum of autolytic yeast drowned in a kiddie pool of what amounts to moonshine. That's how you learn the taste of great prosecco. Yeasty, but clean and tart with hardly any recognizable fruit to anyone but the most ardent of crabapple tree farmers, this organically grown vintage Venetian froth is all the sparkling wine most people will ever need. It has nothing in common with my favorite wines, but it's so lovely in its crisp, dry, steely, and autumnal simplicity that it could be four minutes and 33 seconds of silence--our tongues open to the air around it instead of the bubbles inside. Which means that everyone, save that fetishist at your table who takes his wine sweet and really deserves a Sprite with a side of Cheetos for dinner, will love this--and love it unknowingly, grab for it at the center of the table between breaths the way we might reach for the salt or a loaf of bread to fortify our meals, comfort us, and disappear.