At Rimini we don’t need a special occasion to break out the bubbles! Sparkling wine is one of the most technical wines you can get, two fermentations (one to get the wine and one to get the bubbles) and so many different methods – traditional, champenoise, classico…so you see we like to appreciate the amount of work that goes into this by cracking open a bottle whenever we can.
In Italy we call sparkling wine Spumante (or you may hear us call it “Bollicine” in the restaurant which literally means bubbles!) and there are 5 main types which include Franciacorta, Prosecco, Lambrusco, Metodo Classico and Asti Spumante. We have so many favourites it’s difficult to know where to start so let’s perhaps go with the most well-known which is Prosecco.
Located in the Venice area of Northeast Italy, the grape variety grown for Prosecco is Glera and of course everyone has heard of Valdobbiadene, which is an important sub-region that produces slightly higher quality Prosecco. Well, we can’t disagree with that when we tell you about our favourite “cloudy” Prosecco which is Sottoriva from Malibran. This is a show-stopper, we promise you. The winery is steeped in viticulture tradition from more than 3 generations, over 7 hectares of vineyards growing Glera but the best thing? This Prosecco is completely produced using sustainable agriculture. There is no added yeast or sugar in this so it’s pure and natural with a dry, delicate and light feel in the mouth with pear and apricot notes. Secondary fermentation in the bottle with the wine’s own yeasts means we gently turn it before serving so that the real flavour is transferred to the glass. Treat yourself and try this with our calamari fritti or octopus salad, you won’t be disappointed.
Less people tend to have heard of Franciacorta, which is another much-loved sparkling wine that is well stocked in our cellar. This area lies in the heart of Lombardy, not far from Milan and with a history of viticulture that goes back beyond Roman times, this is a strong contender in the sparkling wine space. Franciacorta is made with blends of Chardonnay, Pinot nero and Pinot bianco. Secondary fermentation takes place in the bottle with at least 18 months of ageing on the lees (the yeasts). If you ever hear of “Satèn wine” but don’t know what that means, it’s unique to the Franciacorta region and literally means “silk” and there are many different types of Franciacorta sparkling wine available as Satèn. But – of course we want to present you with what we consider to be the best Franciacorta – La Montina extra brut. What can we say? The bottle itself is so elegant, you really know you’re having something special here and the wine is stunning to look at – pale straw yellow in colour, fine but vivacious bubbles… On the nose this is fresh, jasmine flowers, candied citrus, yellow peaches and brioche and in the mouth it’s fresh and mineral. We just love this! Definitely try this with our seafood salad or gamberoni all’aglio.
So now for something you really wouldn’t necessarily expect us to talk about in a sparkling wine blog. Lambrusco. Red, sparkling wine. But don’t close the browser, park everything you think you know about Lambrusco and read on. Honestly, we promise you this is one you will want to come back for again. From the famous Lambrusco vines in Emilia-Romagna, this wine is purely delightful, unexpected and a refreshing change when you’re feeling in the mood for something different. Our producer is Paltrinieri, found in the heart of Sorbara where it all started in 1926. This wine is dry, vibrant and fresh, bursting with ripe black fruits and a very light effervescence, but we can even taste some rhubarb and cream in there, giving it an off-dry taste that only makes you want to drink more. The grape blend is mainly Lambrusco di Salamino which has wonderful aromatic notes of cherries and violets but also boasts structure and creaminess. It’s medium-bodied and we cannot recommend this enough with a rich sauce like our spaghetti con salsiccia or alla bolognese. Maybe even try one of our specialist pizzas but be adventurous – this wine loves salami and prosciutto so add your own toppings!