Holiday wine and food pairings: sparkling wines

The 2015 Best Sommelier in Italy recommends the wines not to be missed. Today we start with bubbles

15-12-2015
Andrea Galanti, voted 2015 Best Sommelier in Italy

Andrea Galanti, voted 2015 Best Sommelier in Italy one month ago, tells us in three episodes about the best wine and food pairings for the holidays. Today we begin with sparkling wines

We wanted to offer an overview of Italian sparkling wine including various regions, each with a different expression of the territory and an “artistic” vein (oenology is an art, isn’t it?), where producers make each wine authentic with their style.

Starting from Valle d'Aosta, here’s a bottle-fermented wine made with Prié Blanc, the grape variety that grows at the highest height in Europe, which found its home in the slopes of Mount Blank. It’s called Extreme Brut, produced by a cooperative called Cave du vin blanc de Morgex et de la Salle, great freshness and a pleasant sapidity for a vintage wine that rests at least 30 months on the lees.

In Franciacorta there are various excellent wines, this is one of the most suitable territories for the production of bottle-fermented sparkling wines. Antica Fratta makes a direct and intense brut with Chardonnay grapes (at least 80%) and Pinot Nero, a blend of various vintages: it always bestows freshness and a delicate structure.

In Trento Doc, another ideal area, there’s Abate Nero, which with its Domini Nero certifies the power of Pinot Nero in the vintage versions. Try it on meat as well, it’s a wine that offers freshness, sapidity, crispy fruity notes and a nice structure.

In the Karst Plateau, heroic Edi Kante, of the homonymous winery, produces a fascinating bottle-fermented wine called KK. It’s a blend of Chardonnay and Malvasia Istriana kept on the lees for at least 30 months, and expressing its terroir as soon as you put your nose close to the glass; the exciting sapidity is paired with a cutting freshness and final notes that recall fresh fruits and flowers.

In Santo Stefano di Valdobbiadene, the homeland of Glera, Prosecco extra dry Pianer produced by Le Colture of the Ruggeri family expresses authenticity, pleasantness and rich notes of apple and pear that are typical of the grape variety.

In Asti, the history of Moscato is masterfully interpreted by Cà d’Gal, which with its Vigna Vecchia, from a vineyard over 50-years-old, offers a product that is not afraid of evolving. When young, it expresses pleasant notes of sage and fresh fruits and a delicate sweetness, over time these are transformed into notes recalling Alsace. Stupefying.

Moving to Emilia, Cantina della Volta with its vintage rosé made with Lambrusco di Sorbara offers a touching take on this grape variety. Christian Bellei, a brilliant interpreter of bottle-fermentation, produces a sparkling wine with notes of pink grapefruit, freshness and sapidity that can be paired with all sorts of food. In fact, it’s always a surprise.

In my Tuscany, a land of great red wines, an “historic” bottle fermented wine stands out. Fattoria Montellori with his vintage pas dosé, 100% Chardonnay planted in 1976 at around 300 metres a.s.l. in the area of Empoli, is creamy, elegant, decisively fresh and full bodied.

In Apulia D'Araprì, in San Severo, sheds a new light on Bombino Bianco. In the extra brut version, the bottle-fermented wine made with Bombino Bianco and Pinot Nero is fresh and full bodied with a good sapidity. Try it with white meat too.

Finally on Etna, vigneron Murgo interprets Nerello Mascalese in a very interesting bottle-fermented extra brut version. Sapidity and freshness are always very clear and can be noticed in turns, paired with a good structure. It is perfect with complex dishes too.


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