Joe Scavi and Carluccio Ray have a mission: to own the Prosecco sparkling wine category with their Scavi & Ray brand. For Champagne the names Moet et Chandon, Lanson and Taittinger come to mind. For Spanish Cava we think of Codorníu and Freixenet. California sparkling wines recall Korbel, Iron Horse and Domaine Carneros. But Italy’s Prosecco is still waiting for a big hitting brand.
Scavi & Ray are launching their sparkling wines in a two pronged attack aimed at both young trendy clubbers and older drinkers looking for quality.
Thus I found myself in the utterly trendy, exclusive and tiny Purple Bar of London’s Sanderson Hotel holding an individual portion size bottle of Prosecco among the glitterati at Scavi & Ray’s London Fashion Show launch.
Scavi & Ray Prosecco is already poured in New York City’s top bars, and Dubai where the brand has exceeded expectations. Now they are using their sponsorship of London Fashion Week as a London launch springboard.
Aimed at female drinkers under forty, the small Piccolo (200ml/6.7oz) bottles come with a thick plastic straw inserted through a hole punched in the closure. Thus only one hand is needed and it can be enjoyed on the dance floor as well as in the crush of a night club. The Prosecco inside has a friendly low alcohol content of 10.5% and has been bottled under reduced pressure – the wine is classified as ‘frizzante’ - so the bubbles won’t foam as the bottle is shaken.
Initially there are three Piccolos in the range, a white and a rose Prosecco. The third is labelled ‘Hugo’, which is a blend of Prosecco and elderflower syrup with lime juice, soda and fresh mint. At just 6% alcohol, and off-dry, I found it surprisingly refreshing and in its pale green frosted bottle it’s set to be a hit with fashionistas.
But more to my taste were Scavi & Ray’s standard white and rosé Spumante Proseccos in full sized 750ml bottles. Spumante indicates they’re at standard pressure. The grapes come from the central classic region of Conegliano Valdobbiadene. Both are Extra Dry rather than Brut (though neither designations appear on the minimal labels), and are easy drinking on their own.
With restrained modern narrow labels bearing the brand name in silver on a black background Scavi & Ray give a sophisticated look to Prosecco sparkling wines, a category whose sales have increased 50% year on year.
Instead of settling for plain Prosecco in the future will we instead be asking for Scavi & Ray? Watch this space.
Do you have a favourite Prosecco? Tell us on our forum.
Peter F May is the author of Marilyn Merlot and the Naked Grape: Odd Wines from Around the World which features more than 100 wine labels and the stories behind them, and PINOTAGE: Behind the Legends of South Africa’s Own Wine which tells the story behind the Pinotage wine and grape.
Disclosure: The author attended the launch event as a guest of Scavi & Ray