I heart Italian Pink Bubbly

February. It’s the month to love, right? Well people love to hate Valentine’s Day. Did you know the day after is officially National Singles Day? As if in revolt! I don’t mind it. I don’t really care actually. What’s wrong with a day (or a month) to think about how much you love the special people in your life? I don’t see any reason to get bitter about it. All the marketing doesn’t bother me either. Marketing people will always find a reason to try to sell stuff. It doesn’t matter if it’s Valentine’s Day, Singles Day, or any other day with a label.

Personally I love to hate pink. Except I love pink wine. In fact, the only pink thing that I love, is wine.

glass bubbles

So this month I thought I’d thought I’d focus on promoting some of my favorite pink bubbly—from Italy of course! They come from practically every region!

Sicily

Sicily’s most respected red grape is Nerello Mascalese, comprising the bulk of the red Etna DOC. Its vines can grow successfully at elevations beyond 3,500 feet! The resulting wines are often age-worthy, serious reds, and in my opinion, contenders with some of Italy’s other finest (Barolo, Brunello, Sagrantino Montefalco, Taurasi). But what’s even cooler is that the grape can make a delicious sparkling wine too!

murgo

Murgo Brut Rose 2011. Nerello Mascalese 100%. This Sicilian estate is located 1,700 feet above sea level on the southeast portion of Mount Etna (an active volcano) & has been producing wines from these volcanic soils since 1850. This wine is made in the same way Champagne is made. In this amber-pink hued sparkler, the bubbles are racy and red fruit flavors of watermelon, cherry and cranberry lead the way to a vibrant and delightful finish.

Emilia Romagna

Lambrusco is a beautiful thing; most people do not understand it. There are over 60 varieties of the Lambrusco grape growing mainly in Emilia Romagna but also scattered into other regions (Piemonte, Veneto, Basilicata, Sicilia). While it can be made into a dry red wine, it rarely is. Most commonly it’s made into a frothy, frizzante off-dry style but sometimes (the better ones come) dry. Very occasionally it is made into a “champagne” style rose like this one.

ROSE BRUT DE NOIR OCM_vetro trasparente.ai

Cleto Chiarli Lambrusco Brut NV. Lambrusco Grasparossa 100%. Founded in 1860, Chiarli is one of the oldest producers in Emilia-Romagna. A soft pressing of berries (some whole-cluster) at a controlled temperature with selected yeasts & a secondary fermentation “in cuve close” (tank method) produces a lively wine. Light pink color with a fine and abundant perlage. After intense rose and watermelon scents, it arrives on the palate bright & pleasant.

Umbria

Montefalco Sagrantino is the king among Umbrian red wines. The grape (Sagrantino) makes a bold, earthy, and concentrated age-worthy wine but it can be made into a lovely sparkling wine as well!

scaccia

Scacciadiavoli Brut Rose NV. Sagrantino 100%. The winery uses their youngest vines to make this sparkler. Harvest occurs in early Spetember while the grapes still have an appropriate acid level to make a sparkling wine. Pressing lasts about six hours and a temperature-controlled, first fermentation preserves the delicate aromas and flavors in the grapes. Second fermentation in the bottle lasts for 24 months. This friendly little rosé is a charmer. It has floral and citrus aromas, and is bright on the palate.

Veneto

I highly recommend consulting the Prosecco Consortium website if you are looking to understand Prosecco. The website is spectacular about explaining, for example, the confusing differences among Conegliano Valdobbiadene Superiore di Cartizze DOCG, Conegliano Valdobbiadene Prosecco Superiore Rive DOCG, regular Prosecco DOCG, etc. Conegliano Valdobbiadene is a hilly area in northeast Italy, 30 miles from Venice and 50 from the Dolomites. There they have been producing Prosecco wines for over three centuries (according to the website).

Bisol Desiderio Jeio Brut Rose NV. Pinot noir & Merlot. A brief maceration gives the wine its pink color while a long, slow fermentation with yeast contact contributes a few secondary qualities. Fun aromas of strawberry Starburst, salt water taffy, pastry, and mint fill the glass. On the palate the wine is fruity and tart with bright tangerine peel and peppery finish.

Now with all of these options, you have no real excuse not to pop some bubbly this month. Invite your favorite person over and surprise him or her!

A quick little background on sparkling wine, just fyi:

Three main methods exist for making sparkling wines: Méthode Champenoise, where the second fermentation (CO2 generated by yeast dissolves into the wine, creating the sparkle) happens in the bottle; the tank method, where it happens in a tank; and an in-between method called the transfer method. The oldest recorded sparkling wine is Blanquette de Limoux, which was apparently invented by Benedictine Monks in the Abbey of Saint-Hilaire, near Carcassonne in 1531. Champagne was invented in 1693.

 

 

4 thoughts on “I heart Italian Pink Bubbly

  1. Ciao Marcella, few days ago I wrote to you but…I am no sure if it has been the correct address.

    So I just copy here my last message.

    Ciao…and thanks for the great article!

    Love, Micaela

    Ciao Marcella, I was traveling through the beautiful Napa Valley last November when I met a lovely man in the Rutherford Hill property that offer me a nice glass of red wine and spent time to speak with me about the area. He was so nice with us (hubby& I) and when he discover we are from Tuscany he said that one of his dear friend,…. Marcella, she is in love with wine and Italy. I posted your blog address with the idea to contact you as soon….

    So,…because I love wine & Italy too…. I would love to meet you!

    I run a small and lovely little hotel close to one of the best Tuscan wine area….Bolgheri with the famous wines,,Sassicaia, Ornellaia, Masseto etc etc…. and I would love to invite you for a free 2 days stay .

    The stay on the basis of bed and breakfast will be totally free for you (and your husband, friend ,.or…) we do not serve meal so lunch and dinner are no included in my offer but the area is full of nice little restaurants. I do not ask you nothing on change, MLH (www.mediterranealuxuryhouse.com ) is my place and I love to meet people here.

    Our season starts in May till September, if you never plan to come to Italy and you want to visit Tuscany and speak about wine, please contact me.

    I am writing with my personal account and I am already registered on you blog area with this account. Next month we will have a little blog too and a short article on the Cantina Rocca di Frassinello (http://www.castellare.it/ita/photoRF.html ) so ,…..stay in touch…!

    Cara Marcella, I really hope to meet you soon in the meantime please give my best regards to Mr. Jimmie in Rutherford Hill and thank him once again for the nice glass of wine!

    With love from Tuscany, Micaela

    >

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