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Festival of Prosecco returns to The Merchant this month

From left, Gavin Carroll, general manager and Mario De Santis, bartender, toast the return of the third annual Festival of Prosecco to Belfast’s five-star Merchant Hotel.

Fans of this fabulous fizz are in for treat with the return of the month-long Festival of Prosecco to Belfast’s five-star Merchant Hotel for what promises to be a sparkling September.

Now in its third year, The Festival of Prosecco will present an array of special events to celebrate one of the nation’s favourite tipples.

Last year, The Merchant served over 5,000 glasses of Prosecco during the festival and with this year’s expanded programme bubbling with new events and offers, it’s anticipated that they will easily top this in 2019.

From Prosecco themed events and masterclasses, speciality cocktails in The Great Room and The Merchant’s Cocktail Bar special tasting flights, there’s something to suit every taste. Highlights include: a Battle of the Bubbles event that will challenge people to taste the difference between Prosecco and Champagne; a range of masterclass sessions that will appeal to budding wine aficionados with a penchant for Prosecco; a Prosecco Supper Club in Berts Jazz Bar; and guided tastings in The Merchant’s Roof Garden to elevate your Prosecco knowledge to new heights.

Speaking as preparations for Festival of Prosecco get under way, Gavin Carroll, general manager, The Merchant Hotel, said: “Building on the success of the last two years, we are excited to bring The Merchant’s Festival of Prosecco back for its third outing, with a range of exciting events that will add a little sparkle to the start of the autumn social season. For 2019, we’re expanding the programme to include some special new events, alongside a range of new sparkling speciality cocktails, prosecco by the glass offers and two carefully chosen Valdo Prosecco tasting flights.”

A range of speciality cocktails and Prosecco by the glass offers will run across the hotel throughout September, with two carefully chosen Valdo Prosecco tasting flights each consisting of three different styles of Prosecco to try.

For foodies who also love their fizz, Berts Prosecco Supper Club on Wednesday 4th September is sure to impress. For £59.50 per person, guests will enjoy a bespoke five-course meal, with carefully paired glasses of the finest Valdo Prosecco, introduced by Emiliano Fermo of Valdo Prosecco, alongside live jazz from Belfast’s finest jazz musicians. There’ll also be a surprise to round off proceedings, with an ‘exclusive ending’ to the evening.

For the connoisseurs, the special ‘History of Prosecco: From Grape to Glass’ event in The Merchant’s Champagne Lounge on Thursday 12th September will be an insightful masterclass that will explore how Prosecco is made. So, if you’ve ever wondered where Prosecco comes from, or how it’s made, this one’s for you. An expert from Northern Ireland company, GreatVine, whose founders have lived, for many years, amongst the finest producers in the Veneto wine region of Italy, will host the event.

As part of the Festival, a ‘Battle of the Bubbles’ special Champagne vs Prosecco event in The Merchant’s Champagne Lounge on Thursday 19th September will challenge guests to taste the difference between Prosecco and Champagne. The unique masterclass event will begin with a Valdo Prosecco reception, followed by a tasting of five different varieties of sparkling wine, from Prosecco to Cava and Crement to Champagne, followed by delectable cicchetti towards the end of the event.

Every Thursday night in September from 7pm, Berts Jazz Bar will host a special Aperitivo Hour; paying homage to Italy’s most magical hour. Initially designed to simply whet your appetite, the aperitivo is now so much more than a pre-dinner tipple. Guests will sample four different drinks from across the Italian region: Aperol Spritz (Padua); Negroni Sbagliato (Florence); The Hugo (Alto Adige); Sgroppino (Venice), each paired with a delicious amuse-bouche.

Two special events on The Merchant’s Roof Garden will help to take your prosecco knowledge to new heights this September. On Thursday 5th September, an expert from GreatVine and Mr Sandro Cal, MD of Montagner Prosecco talk guests through all things Prosecco – while they sip their way through an extensive tasting flight on the search to find their preferred style. On Thursday 26th September, wine expert Noel McMahon of Febvre Wines will help elevate Prosecco knowledge, in a second special rooftop masterclass. Guests will enjoy a Valdo Prosecco reception on arrival and then taste their way through five different sparkling wines.

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