The Best of Italian Sparklers
31st January 2022
Just today someone asked me what if I had to choose just one country to drink wine from and of course, my answer was, as always, Italy. It is not a difficult answer today for me as it comes with having made lots of painstaking sacrifices in order to cut my wine preferences to just one country – When you are in the business of wine it is a common question to be asked what is your favourite wine or which country makes the best wine so you need to be prepared to answer!
For me, Italy offers some of the greatest sparkling wine examples (Trendodoc and Prosecco) along with amazing red (Barolo / Chianti). I’m not such a fan of white wines neither rosé, but I know for many it ticks all the boxes with these too.
In the world of sparkling wine Italy gives us a delight of choice from the tank method Prosecco to the traditional method of Trentodoc and Franciacorta plus triple fermentation examples I’ve been amazed by from Le Marche region.
Italy sits at the top of the global wine production list of countries. Usually, it is a battle between France, Spain and Italy- though 2021 shows us 44,500 hectoliters to Italy.
Easy to grasp classifications of DOC and DOCG tells you differences of qualities from good to superior quality. Regions with global fame to include Piedmont, Abruzzo, Sicily, Umbria, Veneto, Sardinia, Calabria and furthermore classics such as Prosecco, Trentodo, Barolo, Chianti tells you this is the land of wine. OK, so we are missing giants like Bordeaux, Burgundy, Champagne, Cava, Rieslings and more from Italy’s close neighbouring lands, but for sure we can accommodate these gaps within Italy?
Italian sparkling wines
The wine magic of Italy for me are that it holds some of the finest wine tourism destinations and for its good old spumante. Sparkling wine from Italy is offered by producers up and down the country from whites to red and varieties to cater for any tastes and requirements. Perhaps its most famous name is that of Prosecco (627.5 million bottles of Prosecco DOC produced in 2021) which exports globally this well known and loved fizz. From the cheap bottles at the supermarkets for under £6 to the finer labels of DOCG giving us the likes of Asolo, Valdobbiadene Superiore and Cartizze.
Heading towards the foothills of the Alps (Dolomites) we see Trento containing another sparkling wine classic, the Trentodoc classification (traditional method production – Metodo Classico). A UNESCO World Heritage Site (along with Prosecco) the region is the most amazing wine tourism visit – The Dolomites contains 18 peaks which rise to above 3,000 metres and cover 141,903 ha.
Another classic amongst Italian fizz is Franciacorta, from Latin “franchae curtes”, which means “exempted from paying duties”. Here the region is bliss for those rambling / cyclists with a passion for lakes – It is truly memorising and such a delightful region to visit. Lake Iseo provides the terroir character for the Franciacorta sparkling wine, the wine growing region being located just south.
There are countless more fine examples of regions and styles across Italy to explore not forgetting another of my favourite Italian wine regions of Le Marche that sees for me some of the best Italian red sparkling wines.
3 Amazing Italian Sparklers for 2022
How can I limit a choice of thousands down to just merely three, but for the sake of this article I will choose upon fine Italian sparkling wine labels I have just recently enjoyed to share these tasting moments with you – I will also, alongside each wine, example their character with a famous Italian face from the past:
Ferrari TrentoDOC Perlé 2016 Brut – Sharing the character of Luciano Pavarotti – This wine is deep in character and bold. It explodes in aromas and flavours and is ever so long lasting and memorable.
Montelvini DOCG Superiore Asolo Extra Dry – Sharing the character of Paolo Rossi – This wine hits the spot every time and is the ever so reliable party pleasure and to enjoy with guests. It’s sharp yet silky along with being expressive and packs a punchy array of flavours with a subtle sweet finish.
Fenaroli Brut 36 Millesimato 2017 Rosé – Sharing the character of Sophia Loren – It is fresh and fruity, a good body spilling over with delights with a red berry tasty and mouth-watering finish.
Co-founder of Glass of Bubbly. Journalist and author focused on Champagne & Sparkling Wines and pairing them with foods.