I fell in love with Montepulciano while traveling in Italy. Believe it or not, my first sip was during a flight of Italian wines on the cruise ship that was carting me around the Mediterranean. It was the last in the line up, but the one I remember most. But, like the Croatian wine I talked about, since that trip I really haven’t had much of the varietal. And, again, it was my good friends John and Irene Ingersoll who write and sell at topochines.com who were able to take me back to that magical place via the gift of wine.
When I received this bottle of Ferrari Trento Brut Sparkling Wine, they were kind enough to include a recipe. In Italian culture, sparkling wine is like any other wine — a wine to be paired for food. In our modern American culture, we’ve come to think as bubbles as something to be enjoyed on its own or with a light amuse bouche. I’m not saying some folks don’t pair sparkling wine with food, but it’s not that common — at least not for me. So, while I didn’t use the recipe provided, I did take their suggestion to pair the Brut with food as a personal challenge. I’ve a short series dedicated to sparkling wines this week (there will be some interesting sips for sure, so keep checking in) — all of which will be paired with a meal and some that will even include an actual recipe. What better way to start this week’s theme than with the folks who inspired this idea. Cheer Ferrari!
I highly underestimated Mezzacorona’s sparkling wine. When I received the bottle, I fully intended to make a sparkling wine cocktail because I (incorrectly) assumed that compared to some of the more obscure bubbles I’ve been tasting, this quite popular “name brand,” with kind of a “party school” reputation would fall short of my sparkling wine bar. That’s not to say one couldn’t make a sparkling wine cocktail from this wine. Indeed, the Mezza website has a few fun cocktail recipes on their site. But one doesn’t necessarily need to. The Mezza di Mezzacorona Italian Bubbly may have a fun, quirky demeanor, but it can be enjoyed “seriously” as well. (However seriously one wants to take sparkling wine anyway…)
I came across Da Luca wines specifically in conjunction with my study of Prosecco. While the winery itself is located in Sicily, they work with vineyards throughout Italy to produce region-specific Italian classics — Fiano, Nero d’Avola, Pinot Grigio, Primitivo. And I must say, after tasting this beautifully balanced Prosecco from the heart of Veneto, I’m eager and enthused to take a tour of Italy via Da Luca’s wines.
What makes this Prosecco so special? The grapes for this brut Prosecco come from a specific vineyard along the slopes of the Pealps where old vine Glera grapes grow and thrive amongst a unique mircro-climate. Just like any other wine grape, the age of the vines — as well as the terroir — give resulting wines, whether still or sparkling, a certain aroma, flavor profile, and texture…(more…)