As autumn draws into winter this 2020, party season may find itself diminished – if not wiped out entirely. But that doesn’t mean traditional celebrations can’t be marked with a laden table and a full glass. Life and fun must continue and here we will explore the perfect wine to make the occasion sparkle.
Produced in the “Metodo Classico”, Franciacorta, dubbed “Italy’s Champagne” is of such quality it is often mentioned in the same breath as its French cousin.
The wine, from a 3,000-hectare region of Lombardy, which obtained the DOCG (Denominazione d'Origine Controllata Garantita) in 1995, is given 25 months of maturity after the harvest and at least 18 months of slow refermentation in the bottle. Most often brut or extra dry, a chilled glass of Franciacorta is a celebration in itself.
One of the most famous houses is Ca’ del Bosco, founded in the mid-1960s, which produces its own grapes on 154 hectares of vineyards. It's Franciacorta Cuvee Prestige is a perfect choice: spicy on the nose, the wine - 75% Chardonnay, 15% Pinot Nero and 10% Pinot Bianco – has a clean taste and fine effervescence.
What party doesn’t feature Prosecco? The sparkling wine that outsells any other across the globe makes any occasion feel special, and a discerning drinker can agree the premium quality wines of the Conegliano Valdobbiadene region of Veneto, can more than hold their own against their rivals. Among the leaders is the Bisol house, which relaunched its wines two years ago.
A great Prosecco to keep the party flowing is its Cartizze Dry 2018 – a foamy, orchard fruit-infused wine that has a lively fizz.
The house’s sparkling rosé, too, is a delightful celebration drink. Named for the current Bisol generation’s grandfather, Desiderio Jeio: Cuvee Rose is a delicate pink with persistent effervescence. It has an intense red fruit aroma and a balanced, fresh taste.
Uniquely different, Prosecco and Champagne both signify celebration, and should be enjoyed in their own right. Just as a rosé Prosecco will bring joy to the occasion, a rosé Champagne is incomparably elegant at any event. Look no further than the paragon that is Dom Perignon Rosé’s 2006 vintage: a wine with a “magnetic” personality. The proportion of its blend of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay remains a secret to the house, but wine experts Millesima describe its spicy bouquet as coming in “waves” as its deep taste intensifies.
Dom Perignon’s 2008 Vintage should be mentioned here, as an “iconic” Dom Perignon Champagne that is being compared to the house’s “legendary” 1996 vintage.
Lastly, as its reputation steadily grows, Lambrusco is coming to be a new must for a party. The red sparkling wine from northern Italy which for decades was passed over is now making a big comeback. Try the organic winery Ca’ Montanari’s Opera 02 for a fresh experience. Crisply fruity with a dark cherry froth, this is the wine for aperitivi.
Bordeaux-based Millesima is a family company based with a boutique in New York. Its extensive curation of reds, whites, rosés and sparkling wines are available via its website. All the wines highlighted here can be found at Millesima.