In the private dining room of Harbord Street’s popular Piano Piano sat twenty of Toronto’s notables, nibbling on authentic Italian charcuterie and filling the space with laughter and conversation. The occasion bringing everyone together was FIOL, a relatively new luxury Prosecco brand from the province of Treviso, Italy – the heart of the Prosecco DOC region.

The drink is masterfully crafted through the traditional Prosecco vinification process, resulting in a straw-coloured bubbly with hints of acacia and crab-apple. Upon arrival at Piano Piano, guests were given the choice of an elderflower cocktail or a summery Aperol Spritz – both made with FIOL as the spotlight ingredient.

Speaking with one of the founders, Gian Luca Passi de Preposulo, it was evident that FIOL was unlike any other prosecco brand on the market. His goal was to create a blend that was drinkable, perfect for a celebratory glass after a big life event, but one that also had a strong enough flavor that you could pair it with food. Never had I seen someone speak with such passion about a drink.

Passi has truly incorporated the whole Italian culture and way of living into the brand. The black bottle is sleek and modern, one you’d happily want to be displayed on your table; whether it’s at a club, at a Michelin-star meal or at home, sharing a glass with friends. The taste itself is lively: not too sweet, not too dry, and strong enough to stand on its own. When mixed into drinks – which is something Passi mentioned as a standout feature of FIOL, and something he hopes mixologists around Canada will try for their clients – the prosecco fuses with the other ingredients to create a beautiful balance of alcohol, bubbles, and flavours. This certainly isn’t a kid’s drink.

By taste alone, there’s no doubt that FIOL will become like the Hennessey of Cognac – people will want to order when they see the name.  However, it helps that the very handsome face of the business is Passi, who is a fashion exec, Italian count and arm candy of one Jessica Chastain, the red-haired Academy-Award nominated movie star. The pair met when Passi was in PR at Armani and wed on June 10thof last year on his family’s estate in Carbonera, Italy. Now based out of New York City, Passi is set on expanding the wine culture in North America, aiming to educate the public on the wonders of prosecco with FIOL.

If you drink alcohol, you should be drinking FIOL. It is light, it is versatile, and it delivers the “wow” factor that other affordable alcohols desperately lacks. Even if you’re not into the bubbles, there is something about this traditional sparkling that may change your mind. As Passi spends the next few months in Toronto, promoting FIOL while his wife is filming, FIOL is expected to be decorating the menus of some of the city’s most popular spots. And, knowing that FIOL is becoming readily available across the nation, it wouldn’t surprise me if this is only the beginning of the brand’s Canadian takeover.

 

Find FIOL in Ontario at LCBO, in Quebec at SAQ, and in Manitoba at Liquormarts. For other provinces contact distributor Charton-Hobbs.  For more information about FIOL’s vendors, visit their website.
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Jane Bradshaw

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