Celebrate with Italian Wines! Part 1
Suddenly the holiday season is upon us! If you are like me, you are wondering "How did this happen? Wasn't it just the 4th of July?" So let's slow down and enjoy this wonderful time of year. Here are some wine suggestions to help you settle into the spirit
Nothing says "special occasion" like the sigh of a bottle of sparkling wine being properly opened. In Italy when it comes to sparkling wine you have a generous array of choices at several different price points.
Start by considering Moscato D'Asti. Light, refreshing, sophisticated and low in alcohol, Moscato can be delicious in the right hands. Look for Icardi, Marchesi di Gresy, Michele Chiarlo and Paolo Saracco. Just be careful not to confuse Moscato D'Asti with Asti Spumante, they are birds of a different feather.
Prosecco is so well known that is seems almost unnecessary to mention it. However, there are so many labels available I thought perhaps a few suggestions might be helpful. The area between the towns of Conegliano and Valdobbiadene is designated as the Prosecco Di Congeliano - Valdobbiadene DOC and is considered the premier area for growing the Glera grape which is the primary grape used in the making of Prosecco. Top producers include Bellenda, Nino Franco (my personal favorite and Ruggeri.
Franciacorta is the most prestigious sparkling wine made in Italy. It is produced in the traditional Champagne method (metodo traditional or metodo classico) and can be found in both non-vintage and vintage (millesimato) bottling. As in Champagne, Franciacorta is made with Chardonnay and/or Pinot Noir grapes, so you can find Roses' as well. The pioneer winery that put Franciacorta on the map is Berlucchi and they are still one of the leading estates. Also highly regarded are Bellavista, Ca'del Bosco and Giovanni Cavalleri.
This about does it until we meet again for Part 2, Italian White Wines......