By Matt Schilk
Wine specialist at Cantoro
Try Sparkling wine to celebrate Valentines day! Champagne, prosecco, cava, Franciacorta, all elevate an evening and a meal. Typically seen as a toasting wine for celebrations like weddings and New Year’s Eve, sparkling wine is extremely versatile. It can be used to start a meal because it cleans the palate and pairs well with cheese and charcuterie. It can be served with the main entrée, because it pairs well with seafood and light fish. It can be served after a meal to cleanse the palate and gear up your taste buds for dessert. Below, I have included three wines from various price points that offer unique options. Make a romantic evening sparkle with these sparkling wines!
Ferrari Brut NV $19.99: First, there is no relation to the car company of this sparkling winemaker from Trentio-Alto Adige (apparently a fairly common name in the area). Made in the Mountain DOC of Trento, this wine is 100% Chardonnay. Ferrari has been rated one of the top sparkling wine producers in the world. This wine uses the ;Méthode Traditionnelle,’ in which the second fermentation for this sparkling Trento must occur in the bottle. The bubbles are delicate and persistent. The nose are of very ripe yellow apples, fresh white blossoms, and slight yeastiness. The fruit notes continue on the palate with great citrus acidity and crusty, hardy bread like finish. This would pair perfectly with an aged parmesan and prosciutto di Parma. 87 pts
Antica Fratta Essence Nature Franciacorta 2013 $45.99: Franciacorta takes traditional Champagne grapes and adds the cool climate and glacial soils of northern Italy to make a beautiful sparkling wine. This DOCG nestled in Lombardia has been steadily making impressive wine for the last 50-plus years. Made in the metado classic (acquiring its bubbles by a 2nd fermentation in the bottle) this wine has a delicate creamy perlage. It is a zero-dosage wine (only natural occurring sugars) that is composed of 70% chardonnay 30% pinot noir. It has an appearance of pale yellow with slight gold reflections. A sweet aroma of tropical fruits including pineapple and prickly pear. On the palate you get notes of dried apricots, fresh pear and a persistent minerality. The wine finishes with a slight spice of pepper and all-spice. Overall, I would give this wine high marks and recommend it with salami and cheese or fresh fish. 91 pts
Krug Grand Cuvee 165th edition $229.99: This is wine is a French Juggernaut. Each release has been aged in oak and painstakingly blended to perfection. There is a true richness that carries over the senses when experiencing this wine. This is hands down one of the finest champagnes available. Bursting with aromas of bread, yeast, dried citrus, and toasted nuts. The complexity of this wine comes out with each sip. It is full of rich and robust flavors like fresh apple, jam, dried figs, baked bread, and blooming flowers. The powerful lemon and grapefruit acidity is balanced and improved by the delicate bubbles. You could easily enjoy with several different meals, including truffles, oysters, grilled shrimp, or with desserts like cheesecake. This is an impressive bottle and it is a bucket-list must for all wine lovers. 99pts
Happy Valentine’s Day!