Col fondo: How to serve this unique wine “cloudy” or “clear”

Col fondo is becoming more and more popular in the U.S. among wine professionals and consumers. But what’s the best way to serve it?

An American friend of Bele Casel visited the restaurant Sotto in Los Angeles this week. The wine list there is focused mostly on southern Italian wines and regional “features” that the wine director Christine Veys selects seasonally.

Bele Casel Prosecco Colfòndo has been served by-the-glass there for years now (thank you, Christine and Sotto!). When our friend ordered a bottle this week, the server presented it to him and his guests and asked, “would you like to drink it cloudy or clear?”

She was referring to the fact that Bele Casel Prosecco Colfòndo isn’t disgorged before it’s released. It’s a sparkling wine that has been re-fermented in bottle (using the so-called ancestral method sparkling wine production) and its lees (its sediment) remain in the bottle when it is sold.

When our friend answered “cloudy please,” the server gently turned the bottle upside down and then gently turned it right-side up before opening and pouring for the table.

At Sotto, they store the bottles upright in their wine cellar. As a result, the sediment is concentrated at the bottom of the bottle. It can be easily decanted by simply not pouring the last half glass of wine.

Or it can be made cloudy using the technique above.

Some prefer the more salty cloudy col fondo. When served that way, the wine also has a richer texture. Others opt for the elegant and more fruit-driven “clear” style.

Thanks again and congratulations to Christine Veys, who was just named Sotto’s wine director this week!

Author: Bele Casel

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