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The Sparkling Wines of Italy

Italy is definitely one of the major manufacturers of wine. Wineries are really common in this south-European country, and as a result, Italy can offer the world a wide selection of high-quality wines of any kind. It’s true though that certain wines tend to taste far better than the ones you can usually purchase at your local store, and that goes for sweet Italian wine too. So, what are some best sparkling wines Italy has to offer? We have pre-selected the four most famous appellations of Italian sparkling wine – let’s see what each of them can offer.

Prosecco

If we’re going to talk about the best sparkling wines, we simply can’t ignore this one.  Prosecco is probably the most well-known type of sparkling Italian wine. It’s made mostly of the Glera grape harvested in northwest Italy and often classified as champagne, but that’s a wrong assumption. It all boils down to secondary fermentation. When it comes to Italian champagne, secondary fermentation occurs in the bottle itself. However, in Prosecco’s case, the fermentation occurs in a special tank.

There are also various subcategories when it comes to prosecco wines; for example, the Prosecco Trieste DOC or the Conegliano-Valdobbiadene Prosecco Superiore DOCG. Which category the prosecco wine falls in depends mostly on the geographical factor and the type of grapes used.

While most connoisseurs of this type of Italian wine probably do not care about the complexity of flavor and just want a refreshing, tasty drink it is important that the wines in the Conegliano-Valdobbiadene Prosecco Superiore DOCG subcategory are probably as complex as a Prosecco wine can get.

So, what does a Prosecco wine taste like? It’s a very fruity type of wine, yet it is also surprisingly tart. Most of the time, while drinking a Prosecco wine, you’ll feel the taste of apples and sweet pears; however, many wines can also have blueberry, or even a flowery note too!

The beauty of prosecco is the fact that despite being one of the best sparkling wines it’s quite cheap (even high-quality wines of this type can actually be purchased for a surprisingly low price), and it’s also easy to produce. While it might not be as complex in taste as the other options on this list, it’s still a fun and refreshingly sweet Italian wine to drink and will be an amazing pick when planning a party. If you wish to try Prosecco for the first time, we recommend any of the wines from the Adami and Biso subtypes.

Franciacorta

Franciacorta is made in a small appellation located at the foot of the Alps, and it’s widely considered to be THE best type of Italian sparkling wine. In the case of Franciacorta, the secondary fermentation occurs in the bottle (just like Italian champagne); this is called the classic method. The taste of the wine depends on the length of the secondary fermentation a lot. The more Franciacorta fermentates, the more complex its texture and taste are, which is why this step is extremely important. No non-vintage European wines require the secondary fermentation process to be as long as Franciacorta. This length is also one of the key differences between a Franciacorta wine and champagne.

You can actually buy a high-quality Franciacorta wine for less than 30$. For example, if you’d like to purchase some high-quality Italian champagne, you would have to pay circa $50. We recommend looking for the Saten category of Franciacorta wines. These can be a little pricey; their taste, however, is really full and deep. Speaking of the taste, what can you expect from the flavor profile of a Franciacorta wine?

Well, comparing this type of wine to champagne would be pointless, although they do share certain similarities. A Franciacorta, however, has a definitely richer flavor than just random champagne. When drinking this type of wine, you can expect a deep, fruity taste (with apples and peaches being the most dominant ones), but also some pretty luxurious secondary taste notes, like baked bread or almonds.

Franciacorta offers a really unique taste and deserves its reputation, but it can be hard to acquire. You may have to shop outside of the US if you wish to purchase a bottle of legit wine of this type.

Trentodoc

Trentodoc is actually less known than Franciacorta and Prosseco, however pretty much everyone who has tried this type of Italian sparkling wine is amazed. It’s predominantly made from Pinot Nero and Chardonnay, and, just like in Franciacorta’s case, the key to Trentodoc’s high quality is the secondary fermentation process. The manufacturers of this type of wine opt for the classic method of secondary fermentation, which means the wine is still fermenting while in the bottles.

Unfortunately though, if you wish to purchase a genuine Trentodoc wine, you should be careful. There are quite a few co-ops in the area Trentodoc is manufactured, and they produce low-quality products which they also claim to be the Trentodoc wines. Once you’ve tried a real wine of this type, you will easily be able to tell what’s not a real Trentodoc. If you are ordering for the first time, however, we recommend you opt for Maso Martis, Vali di Cembra, or Endrizzi. Their wines are always top-notch.

Trentodoc’s flavor profile consists mostly of fruity tones – drinking this type of sparkling Italian wine, you’ll definitely notice the taste of green apples, almonds, and pear skin. The biggest con of Trentodoc is its low availability. Just like Franciacorta, this wine may be hard to acquire in the US. If, however, you are given the opportunity to purchase a bottle of genuine Trentodoc wine, do not hesitate to do so.

Alta Langa

The fourth and last sparkling Italian wine on this list is the Alta Langa. Contrary to the previous wines we’ve talked about, Aita Langa comes not from Tuscany, but from Piedmont – a region in north-western Italy. The reputation of Aita Langa speaks for itself; if you’ve ever tried Barolo, the “king of red wines”, or even its younger cousin Gattinara, you drank some Aita Langa wine! Once again, the basis of the wine is Chardonnay and Pinot Nero, but the flavor profile is much richer than any wines mentioned before. This is also yet another wine utilizing the metodo classico or classic method of secondary fermentation.

When it comes to the flavor profile it can actually differ greatly, depending on what winery manufactured the beverage. Most likely, the taste of good Alta Langa wine will remind you of golden apples, pear skin, and citrus. Alta Langa’s taste is very similar to that of champagne; this wine is, however, definitely much cheaper than any bottle of real, high-quality champagne

Many wineries producing Alta Langa wines like to experiment with their products, meaning that the best result, both in taste and quality, may be yet to come. Even right now, though, this type of sweet Italian wine is definitely among the best ones the country has to offer. If you wish to taste Alta Langa for the first time, we highly recommend you opt either for Barolo or Gattinara. Alternatively, you can try Fontanafredda – it’s also a very high-quality example of Alta Langa wine.

If you’re a big wine connoisseur and also enjoy a delicious bite to eat, we invite you to pay us a visit at Mi’talia. The modern mix of Northern and Southern cuisine with a strong focus on Italian cuisine and flavors will make you fall in love with this place. What’s more, thanks to its beautiful setting and gorgeous outdoor patio, we’re sure that Mi’talia will soon become your favorite Miami restaurant. 

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