Italian Sparkling Wines beyond Prosecco

The most adored and well-known wine is likely to be Prosecco; however, this affluent country has a wide array of delicious and diverse sparkling wines beyond.

Italians enjoy their bubbly. When I am out and about across the country, not an hour passes by that I don’t feel that enticing popping from the cork. Sparkling wine is a part of the well-established aperitivo culture of Italy. You can see the outdoor terraces splattered with the distinct orange color of Aperol sparkling wine. Every reputable bar is outfitted with an ice bucket, which chills the bubbly fountain of many local.

According to a report in 2020 by the International Organisation of Vine and Wine (OIV), Italy is the world’s biggest maker of sparkling wines. In 2018, it accounted for 27 percent of the total world production. This is 10 percent of Italy’s production. Naturally, the wildly popular Prosecco is responsible for two-thirds of the total.

Valdobbiadene is an Italian town in Treviso, Veneto, Italy. It is also famous for being the home of the famous Prosecco.

What happens to that remaining third of a percent? It’s a treasure-trove of diverse sparklers ranging from white to red, with each shade between; sweet, dry, sparkling, and effervescent moderate to generous alcohol; fruity, yeasty, and rich.

Prosecco lookalikes

Production of Prosecco is limited to a defined area in Italy’s northeast. It must be made from the native Glera grape. However, this has yet to stop producers from other regions from producing similarly fresh, bubbly, fruity tank method sparkling wines using their grapes. It’s just not possible to call the wine they make Prosecco. Certain have more success than others.

The very best aren’t simply Prosecco replicas. Certain grape varieties are suited to this type of wine. This region in Emilia-Romagna is placing its hat of Pignoletto (aka Grechetto di Todi) for its gorgeous sparkling white crystals. A floral scent that is bursting with apple notes and bright acidity. Pignoletto is an excellent alternative to Prosecco in terms of refreshing value.

Pignoletto (aka Grechetto di Todi) is a sparkling wine produced in the region of Emilia-Romagna. Its acidity is sharp and has an energizing finish, making it suitable for many food items.

Other tank method specialties

Emilia-Romagna is also the source of her gift to Lambrusco sparkling reds derived from a group of eight grape varieties. The light-hued Lambrusco di Sorbara offers a delicate, sweet sparkle that resembles an emerald-colored rose. It’s full of zingy acidity that will stimulate your appetite. In contrast, the deep-purple color of Lambrusco Grasparossa is more rounded and crafted with smooth tannins that refresh the palate. In every instance of Lambrusco, these bubbles assist in the digestion of Emilia-Romagna’s savory and hearty food and prompt the palate to try a second bite. They can be dry or sweet. However, it’s the latter that is in fashion.

Lambrusco di Sorbara pairing with prosciutto.

The most sought-after sweetness is that of Piedmont’s Moscato d’Asti. It is a derivative of the aromatic and spicy Moscato Bianco. It is, in essence, made from the fermented grape juice. One fermentation occurs in a closed pressure tank to hold CO2 in and stops when there are plenty of grape sugars. With a minimum of 5.5 percent alcohol, this vibrant elixir is commonly regarded as the most delicious breakfast wine available. It is also an excellent wine for breakfast. 2.5 atms pressure, it’s always sparkling or frizzante.

Also, made with Moscato Bianco, the Asti wines are spumante, which can be more explosively bubbly with more than 5 bar pressure. These range from bone dry to sweet. Some even reflect the region’s past and are made with an old-fashioned method.

The traditional method of Italian sparklers

The process mentioned earlier that allows the second fermentation to occur in a bottle rather than in the tank is closely associated with Champagne. Affectionate supporters of France’s most renowned beverage Champagne, the Italians use this processand to create some of their finest sparkling wines.

Demonstration on traditionally aging the lees.

Specific denominations are made especially for this. Is Franciacorta DOCG the most well-known in Lombardy, just a few miles from Milan? The producers here will highlight that the minimum age required for the lees in non-vintage Franciacorta goes further than Champagne, 18 months instead of 12. Millesimato, also known as vintage-dated, is 30 years old, and Riserva at 60. All this is to develop that complex autolytic characteristic of baking pastry or bread. Compared to the chillier Champagne, Franciacorta’s more arid Mediterranean temperature provides a broader fruit flavor of yellow and peach plum. The wine’s soft acidity could appeal to those who think the rashness and speed of Champagne are just too sharp for your taste.

Franciacorta DOCG is situated in Lombardy. The sparkling wines are made using the traditional method of world-class quality.

To the east, in Trentino, Trento DOC is also designated for the traditional sparkling wines made from Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. More relaxed than Franciacorta, and the alpine climate provides crisp, citrus-driven wine. It was the first wine created by the eminent Giulio Ferrari around 1902, a long time before the first champagne bottle Franciacorta.

Other ones to look for include Pidmont’s Alta Langa DOCG and Lombardy’s Oltrevpo Pavese Metodo Classico DOCG. The latter is based heavily upon Pinot Noir.

To be included are wines made from indigenous grapes. The region is Veneto. A tiny Lessini Durello DOC is a label solely for traditional Durella, an acid-rich but streaky white cultivar. These wines will attain a different level of fineness than the classic wines. However, they can be captivatingly minerally and distinctive.

It may seem unjust, but Barolo producers are also making sparkling Nebbiolo, as Brunello estates are attempting to master Sangiovese traditionally. These are fascinating discoveries instead of threatening the existence of Champagn

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