Enjoy Some Italian Sparkling Wine
There are many misconceptions about Italian sparkling wine, and it’s not too difficult to see why—to a budding wine enthusiast, the amount of complicated terminology and labels that get thrown at you while learning about wine can get overwhelming. Sparkling wines are only one type of drink, and yet it splits into a multitude of categories that each have unique tastes.
Rest assured, our wonderful collection of Italian sparkling wines is 100% authentic and delicious.
The Types of Sparkling Wine From Italy
Prosecco producers usually make their products from the Glera grape, which can only be cultivated from vineyards located in northeast Italy. Those grapes are plucked and then fermented a second time in a tank to generate Prosecco’s notable fizziness.
Prosecco’s look and fizziness often get it compared to the French sparkling wine Champagne, but the two couldn’t be further from each other.
While Champagne also has a secondary fermentation process, it occurs within a bottle to create a more complex flavour in the finished product. Prosecco’s tank fermentation results in a more straightforward and fruity taste that can appeal to a wider variety of drinkers.
The most notable areas for Prosecco production are Veneto and Friuli-Venezia Giulia. Their ability to produce an abundance of Glera grapes helps mass-produce inexpensive varieties of sparkling wine.
The Prosecco DOC is the largest zone used for Prosecco production, creating large amounts of sparkling wine without sacrificing quality. Smaller cultivation zones such as the Prosecco Treviso and Prosecco Trieste DOC make similar wines with a slightly varied taste for some variety in the Prosecco available.
For added complexity there’s the Conegliano-Valdobbiadene Prosecco Superiore DOCG (Denominazione di Origine Controllata e Garantita or Denomination of Controlled and Guaranteed Origin) located in the Alps. This vineyard produces more compelling wines from vineyard sites known as rive. For the highest quality sparkling wine, some enthusiasts swear by the creations from the Cartizze subzone, notable for leaving a little sugar in the bottle after fermentation for a fuller taste.
As mentioned above, Prosecco is a sparkling wine that’s easy to produce and send to market quickly, but the simple creation process leads to a simpler taste. The Italian fizzy wine is largely tart with subtle notes of pear or apple that leave a fruity taste as the bubbles fizz on the tongue. The understated flavour experience makes Prosecco a great standalone drink but also a perfect addition to a cocktail.
The Franciacorta DOCG, often said to be the highest quality of Italian sparkling wine available, is located at the foot of the Alps outside of Bergamo and Milan. While the Prosecco fermentation method differs from Champagne, with Franciacorta, there’s no escaping the comparison.
In the making of Franciacorta, like Champagne, secondary fermentation occurs within the bottle in a process called Metodo Classico. It’s a critical step in creating wine because it causes yeast cells to die off within the mixture, heavily impacting the final product’s taste. The longer the secondary fermentation, the more complex the final product is.
The Franciacorta age their sparkling wines longer than any other label in Europe that caters to non-vintage wine. This extended process ensures a silkier texture and richer flavour to the drink.
Franciacorta wines come in several different varieties depending on the grapes cultivated for a particular batch. Chardonnay is the common ingredient in most white wine varieties, while pinot noir is more prevalent in rosé wines.
Franciacorta, hailed as one of the best Italian sparkling wines, has a taste to match. While there are striking similarities to Champagne’s fruity and fizzy taste, the warmer climate of the Franciacorta DOCG makes for a richer flavour in the final product.
When you take a sip, you’ll be getting the same fruity hints as Champagne, generally golden apples, peaches, and pears. But you’ll also get secondary flavours similar to baked bread and almonds.
What’s Tempting You?
Of course, the two varieties listed above are not the only sparkling wines that Italy offers. So even if you aren’t a fan of the Prosecco or Franciacorta, there’s a whole world of options available for the developing wine taster.
Metodo Classico fermentation tends to produce dry wines, and there are plenty of options available that can cater to that palate, such as the Privilegio.
No matter your particular tastes, Italian sparkling wines are fun, delicious, and mostly inexpensive drinks that can liven up any get together.
For a comprehensive selection of all the best varieties of Italian fizzy wine from all the best vineyards in history, feel free to browse Sitalia Deli and find your drink of choice today!