3 Bottles of Bubbles from Val D’Oca Paired with Crab Butternut Bisque and Polenta Lobster Speck Shrimp #ItalianFWT

Three sparkling wine from Va; D’Oca Italy

When you look at a bottle of wine, what do you see on the label?

You’ll see information on who made it, the country and region where it came from, the amount of alcohol in it, and usually you’ll  find the vintage as well as a bit of misc info like whether or not it is certified as organic or biodynamic.

What you’re not likely to find is whether or not the wine is made by a cooperative a number of smaller producers band together to pool their resource in order to make a more affordable product.

Unfortunately, more affordable in the past has meant lower quality. But today coops are encouraging members to crop lower to increase the quality of the product which means they can charge more for it. And because they have access to so much fruit. much of it great,

wines made by coops can give you a BIG BANG FOR YOUR BUCK!


Also as a cocktail at the beach on a warm winter day!


This month, Kevin Gagnon of Snarky Wine prompts the Italian Food Wine Travel group of writers to learn more about coops in  Italy. We joined in with three sparkling wines from a northern Italian coop, Val D’Oca, which we paired with crab sushi, a crab squash bisque, and polenta with crab, shrimp, and lobster. See what others wrote about by scrolling down; further you’ll find the discussion questions for our 8am Pacific twitter chat using the hashtag #ItalianFWT.


Val D’Oca – Rose Sparkling Wine – 11.5% alcohol SRP $12

Product of Italy – For the price the packaging is very classy looking

Color Very Pale melina’s pink kind of coppery like the label, rose gold, big foamy bubbles

Nose  Peach, nectarine, cherry, faint perfumed florals, apple

Palate Fruit forward, without being able to pick out a particular fruit, short acidic finish, maybe a bit metallic, sweet tart

Pairing  The fruit and the florals in this wine would make it a perfect wine to make a St. Germain cocktail with. It was liked the crab in the california roll bringing out the sweetness of the crab, and the sea, of the nori, bringing out nice fruit in the wine.

With the sushi may have been my favorite pairing of the evening.

The fennel in the salami we had influenced the wine nicely. Nice with the egg salad topped with caviar. Rose loves smoked foods, and the speck on our plate was no exception. The soup was nice with the rose once we added the morracan spice and the crab. it loves the cinnamon and the cumin, and the rich yummy crab. The Rose was so much better with the soup than the main dish. This is a starter wine. Have it with appetizers, have it with soup, have it as a cocktail, but not your best choice for a main dish.

Val D’Oca Prosecco

Val D’ Oca – Prosecco D.O.C.  – 11.0% alcohol SRP $12

Product of Italy

Color  Pale yellow with a hint of green, lots of bubbles, kind of gross, kind of like pouring soda

Nose  Perfume, green apple, ocean breeze, salinity,

Palate  Tart fruit, lemon, lime, tangerine and apple, lots of acidity, nicely balanced, easy to drink, because of the tangerine quality, this would be a very nice mimosa bubbly

Pairing  So good with the California roll! Love the crab, avocado, and cucumber combo — makes it all so sweet. The two together complimented each other, the sushi was better with the wine, and the wine was better with the sushi.

Have a midweek date night? Pick up some sushi on your way home from work and a bottle of this wine. You won’t be disappointed.

The salt cured olives tame the sweet tart characteristic of the wine. The soup was better with the rose than the Prosecco. It is not that this was a bad pair, anyone at a restaurant would love to have this as their first course, but the spices loved the rose so much more. Sue liked the polenta dish with the wine. It was great with the creamy texture of the dish. The big bubbles swept across the palate cleaning out the creamy texture and filling the mouth with a nice salinity.

Val D’ Oca – Valdobbiadene Prosecco Superiore SRP $18

for $5 more you get a wine that is much cleaner – and very classy …

Color  Pale gold, straw, big foamy bubbles, that dissapate very quickly

Nose Clean, minerals with a touch of perfume and asian pear,

Palate  Clean and fresh, fruit forward without a sweet quality, asian pear, this wine is a great sipper on its own. We did not want to use this for cocktails.

Pairing  With the California roll, the nori shines, it loves the sweet crab, what a great opening pair to start a party. Fun with the egg salad and caviar intensifying the salt in the pair. Oh so yummy with the soup, the wee bit of spice on top sparkles with the wine and the richness of the crab is just fantastic. It was good with the polenta, but the two did not make the meal shine.

While we loved the wines tonight, with the shrimp and lobster polenta, if you want to go Italian, we much prefer Franciocorta or a Ferrari from Trento because Prosecco, even a nice quality prosecco is not the same as a chardonnay based wine and just doesn’t work so well.

Check out what other bloggers wrote:


February 01, 2020 – Cooperative Cellar Twitter Chat Questions #ItalianFWT

  • 11:00 am ET
  • Q1 Welcome to the #ItalianFWT Cooperative Cellar wine and food chat. Where are you tweeting from? Please introduce yourselves, share a link to your blog if you have one. Visitors too!
  • 11:05 am ET
  • Q2 Let’s start with the elephant in the room: Cooperatives generally have a reputation for quantity over quality.  How do you see the value per dollar of the wines that you’ve tried? Are they worth buying? #ItalianFWT
  • 11:10am ET
  • Q3 What do you think are the positive aspects of a good cooperative? Why?  #ItalianFWT
  • 11:15am ET
  • Q4 Which “quality” cooperatives are represented in your market? #ItalianFWT
  • 11:20 am ET
  • Q5 Which wine(s) did you find? Tell us about your wine and from which region and cooperative it comes. #ItalianFWT
  • 11:25 am ET
  • Q6 Do you feel the quality of the cooperatives varies from region to region in Italy? Why or why not? #ItalianFWT
  • 11:30 am ET
  • Q7 Did you try to find out more about the cuisine that is prepared in the region from where your wine comes? Did you try to prepare any of it yourself? #ItalianFWT
  • 11:35am ET
  • Q8 Do you feel there is a negative impression of cooperatives in your market? What is driving that perception? #ItalianFWT
  • 11:40am ET
  • Q9 What could the cooperatives themselves do to change it for the better? #ItalianFWT
  • 11:45am ET
  • Q10 Do you feel the social aspect is a positive or negative attribute to talk about?? #ItalianFWT
  • 11:50am ET
  • Q11 Did you feel inspired to try to hunt down more wines from other cooperatives? #ItalianFWT
  • 11:55am ET
  • Q12 Open comment time, any thoughts or discoveries you’d like to share? #ItalianFWT
  • 12:00pm ET
  • Thanks for joining our chat about the wines of Italy’s best Cooperative Cellars at #ItalianFWT!
  • 12:05 pm ET
  • Watch for Pinny from Chinese Food and Wine Pairing and her invitation post for March’s #ItalianFWT on Women in the Italian Wine Industry!


6 thoughts on “3 Bottles of Bubbles from Val D’Oca Paired with Crab Butternut Bisque and Polenta Lobster Speck Shrimp #ItalianFWT

  1. Interesting to read your final comment about Franciacorta or Trento DOC wines. That bit of potential creaminess and richness you’d get loves the richer shellfish you had. I do like a nicer dry Prosecco with straight sushi and sashimi. You’ve got me craving crab!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Hmm…not sure if my comment made it through, so I’ll try again! Did you make those Cali rolls? They look pretty scrumptious! And I honestly never thought of pairing Prosecco with sushi, but it makes sense, especially with high acidity levels! And a plethora of Prosecco with any meal would suit me just fine!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks for trying again as it didn’t go through the first time! Definitely give sushi a try with Prosecco next time– and no I didn’t make it and you don’t have to either as it is easy for takeout and many grocery stores in (California at least!) make it fresh! This came from Sprouts which has it for $5 on Wednesdays making it an affordable treat.


  3. Gwen-
    I like the sushi pairings a lot. Glera has more acidity than many of the Chardonnay wines so perhaps that’s what didn’t work for you with the Polenta. In any case, fun to read your thoughts and the different pairings you and Sue create.
    Cheers, Susannah

    Liked by 1 person

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