Red, Pink, & Bubbly

There’s something inherently special about a glass of sparkling wine, and all the more so if it’s toasting a romantic evening. But the magic isn’t just in the sipping: these wines almost always have an interesting story to tell about their creation, too, especially when the grapes in question aren’t white. I’ve always been especially curious about the treatment of the red grapes of Champagne—pinot noir and pinot meunier—whether quickly pressed and made into white wine or left on the skins, their pink juices mixed in later on. Although many common sparkling wines are white, I’ve been seeing more and more bottles that use red grapes, from the more traditional red pinots to indigenous varieties like grolleau. Here are some of the more interesting (and delicious!) sparkling reds and rosés I’ve come across recently, just in time for the iconic colors of Valentine’s Day. Continue reading

Banfi Rosa Regale Brachetto d’Acqui 2007 & 2010

I’ve been holding onto a little 2007 350 ml since February 2009, never quite sure of when to pop it. In fact, I’d held onto it for so long that I’d begun to wonder if it would be any good.

Produced in the town of Acqui in the Piedmont region of Italy (DOCG), Brachetto d’Acqui is a slightly sweet sparkling red made from the Brachetto grape. It has a soft effervescence, produced by the Charmat method, where the secondary fermentation occurs in tanks just before bottling. Typically, this method is used for wines that are meant to be consumed young, hence my nervousness about having held onto it. Continue reading