14/12/2014 – Two Sparkling wines for Christmas

Two Sparkling wines for Christmas
If nothing else will do for your Christmas table but Champagne, then please do check out my recent article where several are reviewed. But this week I’m highlighting two impressive Italian sparklers, one from the booming region of Prosecco, and one from the less well-known but hugely impressive region of Franciacorta. For the full reviews and specific food matching notes, please watch the video.

Guerrieri Rizzardi, Prosecco Extra Dry NV, Italy
Prosecco has been on such a roll over the past few years, becoming the go-to choice of inexpensive fizz for many people. This comes from the aristocratic Guerrieri Rizzardi, perhaps best known for their red wines, but producing here a very refined Prosecco with typical notes of icing sugar sprinkled over preserved lemon, and a forward, fruity style. Note that it’s an ‘Extra Dry’ which, perversely enough, means it is a little sweeter than ‘Brut’. It’s not sweet, but the extra ounce of sugar gives it a flattering smoothness and makes it a great aperitif choice. The price is around £13.00, see all stockists on wine-searcher.

Barone Pizzini, Franciacrota Brut NV, Italy
Franciacorta in Lombardy is less familar, but is home to arguably the highest quality sparkling wines in Italy, made from the same grapes as Champagne, and in the traditional method with second fermentation in the bottle. This comes from the organic and biodynamic Barone Pizzini and has a lovely weight of fruit and some of the creamy, brioche notes that come with ageing in bottle. It develops some toast and peach in the mouth, but never loses sight of its acidity, keeping it dry, fresh and delightful. It costs around £20.00 and once again is available from independent online merchants listed on wine-searcher.