Italian sparkling wine is an ever expanding category these days. In addition to the traditional regional wines from the Veneto and Friuli Venezia Giulia of Prosecco, Trento DOC from Trentino-Alto Adige, Asti Spumante from Piedmont, Franciacorta and Cruasé from Lombardy, and Lambrusco from Emilia Romagna, producers throughout Italy are making sparkling wines from indigenous varieties to complete their range.
Part of this growth can be attributed to the amazing sales of Prosecco throughout the last 5-10 years. Everyone has tried to get on the Prosecco train. Additionally indigenous varieties are now considered more interesting and thus people are extending and combining the two trends.
As a lover of Sparkling wine, I think this is a fantastic addition to the Italian wine scene but not everyone agrees. Of the wines that I have had, some of the best sparklers are made from indigenous white grapes such as Vermentino in Liguria and Sardinia, Grechetto in Umbria, and Passerina in Le Marche. I have also had sparklers made from Ribolla Gialla that were interesting.
In terms of red grapes, I had had sparkling wines made from Sangiovese in Toscana, Cannonau in Sardinia and even from Nebbiolo. Some have been inspiring while others are forced into a role that isn’t theirs. A similar trend is happening with Rosé.
Another recent trend is for producers to have sparkling wines made in other parts of the country that they offer in their agriturismi as their own. I have seen this often in Toscana. I am told that clients like to have a sparkling wine at the agriturismo as well as typical Tuscan wines.
A further reason this seems to be happening, is that people are now drinking sparkling wine with the entire meal rather that just at the end of the meal. This is also pushing producers to offer options. Most of the newer sparklers are made using the charmat method rather than the traditional method with secondary refermentation in the bottle but not all of them.
Whether indigenous varieties or not, newer sparkling wines in Italy are here to stay and on the whole, I think that’s a great trend. Looking forward to today’s Twitter chat at 1100 ET on #Italian about sparkling wines.
Lauren Walsh the Swirling Dervish will teach “Why You Should Learn to Love Lambrusco”
“Pink Bubbles, Paté, and Pecorino” is the topic from Camilla Mann of Culinary Adventures with Camilla
Mike Madaio of Undiscovered Italy offers up “One Great Bottle: Fiamberti Oltrepò Pavese 2012”
Italian Producers Beef Up Sparkling Offering is the offering from Susannah Gold of avvinare.
Rosina Wilson of Drink Wine With Dinner may be joining us for the first time too with a post about Metodo Classico Spumante Brut, Lugana DOC.
Here at Wine Predator we have “Three Trento Sparklers with Seafood Risotto for #ItalianFWT”
Please join us for the twitter chat (#ItalianFWT) about Italian sparkling wine on Saturday May 6 from 11-12pm EST and check out our blogs!