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A Taste of Italy Races to California

It was a rare July weekend…

for those of us privy to the harsh chill of Bay Area summers.  Thick clouds finally gave way to an azure sky as the radiant sun warmly kissed the Nor Cal coastline for some long awaited days of beautiful weather.  In fact, it actually kind of felt like summer.  It truly could not have been a more perfect weekend to welcome a special taste of Italy to our Golden State.

From July 8 to July 10, crowds filled the Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca in Monterey for the highly anticipated FIM Superbike World Championship.

The annual event brought along its Italian flair with Ducati bikes, European riders and, of course, Prosecco.  Cohosted by none other than the Prosecco DOC, the roaring sound of bike engines and popping corks filled the air as tensions rose with each time qualifier leading up to the big

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race of the day.  Among the riders were Europeans, Australians, US locals and more.

Bubbles continued to our fill glasses as the bikes broke speeds of 160 miles per hour, zipping and looping around all 11 turns of the 2.238 mile track, including its signature “Corkscrew” turn.  And along for the ride were nicely chilled bottles of Valdo Prosecco

at least for those of us in the safety of the lounge area. And yes, we all know Prosecco is something that’s never hard to find.  Whether you’re at your local bottle shop or enjoying dinner out on the town, chances are you’ll come across a lot of options for these Italian suds.  But at an event so uniquely Italian as this, flutes full of Prosecco were totally the way to go.  And then after a long day of sipping under the hot sun, we revived ourselves with cups of espresso and biscotti – go figure.

After the event, a few of us headed down to Carmel-by-the-Sea to try out some local takes on Italian cuisine at la Balena.  The delicious dishes were both traditional and innovative in style and paired well the restaurant’s eclectic list of native Italian varietal wines.  But, of course, we had to have just one last bottle of bubs to celebrate a fantastic weekend at the races.  Prosecco 750_Zonin_Bottle Shot sm

This time, Zonin Prosecco was on the table with its floral perfumes of lavender and chamomile alongside notes of juicy white peach and savory biscuit.  Both sturdy and uplifting in character, its intensity and zippy acidity were perfectly balanced by a soft creamy froth and then meeting the palate at the finish line were nuances of the region’s distinct minerality.

So while here on the west coast a quick flight to Italy is much easier said than done, sometimes we’re lucky enough to have Italy come to us.  And in what better way than an exciting weekend of races and bottles of Prosecco to boot?  Oh, that’s right…at the end of the race day we got to take a speedy test run around the track in an Italian sports car.  Now that sure made it an unbeatable weekend!



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About The Author
Julie Albin
Julie Albin is a wine and spirits writer based in San Francisco and is currently the Editor-in-Chief for Drink Me Magazine. Her work has also been published in Whisky Advocate, Grape Collective, SOMA Magazine, Wine Geographic, Connoisseur Magazine, 2Paragraphs, etc. She is a Certified Specialist of Wine and has also completed her WSET Diploma. To further her expertise in the industry, Julie has spent much time in Europe meeting with winemakers and distillers to learn about their stories.

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