Recioto, the Golden Bubbles of Easter
26th March 2018
The small town of Gambellara in the province of Vicenza is set quite perfectly amid flourishing hills and slopes almost as if the people who decided to build it had thought of giving birth to a jewel amongst the rocks. And not just a common jewel, one of the most iconic metals. And not just any old rocks, but the darkest ones.
Beyond vineyards and gardens full of colourful roses, in the deepest layers of the soil, there is indeed a unique kind of dark stone locally named as tufo basaltico (basaltic tuff). It is a columnar basalt formed 45 million years ago from the rapid cooling of basaltic lava.
Rich in minerals such as iron, potassium and phosphorus, it makes this land truly ideal to cultivate vineyards.
Besides offering this enchanting landscape, the thriving city of Vicenza is also present in many different fields, including the production of creations of exquisite taste.
Many companies established here since the 1800s have been designing jewels that can be seen nowadays on the most exciting red carpets worldwide, adding glamour and splendour to an outstanding outfit.
This has always been the case. Indeed, how many paintings in the history of art showcase jewels embellishing the female figure? Often even in the religious subjects, such as in the painting Rebecca al Pozzo by Paolo Veronese, part of the Serie del Duca di Buckingham, a series of canvases belonging to George Villiers, the first Duke of Buckingham. The scene shows off Eliezer, sent from Abraham to find a wife for Isaac, giving the chosen one Rebecca a pearl necklace.
The jewel as a gift: a sign of commitment and a carrier of pleasure.
With Easter just around the corner, why not consider celebrating it with a jewel produced right here, in Vicenza’s countryside. Yes, the Recioto di Gambellara, a liquid jewel as precious as gold.
The origin of its particular name points to the tradition of using the uppermost and lateral parts of the bunch, in the local dialect called recie, ears, because they are much more exposed to the sun and therefore richer in sugars and this is the perfect condition required to make sweet wines.
Its unique taste is also due to the indigenous grape, Garganega, used to produce most of the white wines in Veneto. This ancient variety offers a captivating flowery bouquet of jasmine, wisteria and acacia blossom. After being dried using a special system called picai in order to concentrate sugars, it also develops notes of honey, dry figs and dry apricot.
In particular, the Recioto di Gambellara Sparkling Sweet produced by Cantina di Gambellara wins you over with the scent of mellow notes of honey, raisins and broom flowers.
Obtained through a white vinification of dried grapes, the sparkling process takes place in steel autoclaves at low temperatures with selected yeasts, in accordance with the Charmat Method.
Capable of capturing the golden light of the sun, seductive yet sweet, a myriad of bubbles convey tropical fruits notes leaving a bitter almond lingering finish on the palate.
Delicious on its own, it captivates your senses if coupled with creamy pastry, biscuits and traditionally baked cakes.
Spectacular if served with a corn dessert with garganega grape mustard and plain ice-cream, a recipe by Elio Bertoldo, the Executive Chef of Fracanzana restaurant.
The nectarous sensation of Recioto di Gambellara complements the sweetness of this cake marvellously. The flavour of Garganega mustard recalls the raisin taste of the wine. A luscious match for real sweets addicted.
When the first daisies blossom, they colour greenish meadowlands white like polka dots, while yellow wildflowers catch the ray of light intensity adds golden nuances.
Finally, warmer days allow us to sip a glass of Recioto di Gambellara outdoors enjoying the sweet taste while being cradled by a gentle breeze. What a cosy atmosphere. Welcome back Spring: time to celebrate with the sweet gift that Easter brings.
Wine Educator at Università del Gusto, Wine Writer at Glass of Bubbly. Owner and Founder at Enjoyourwine. Find me on Twitter - @enjoyourwine