On a hot summer day, there are few things better than a chilled glass of rosé. But why not make it sparkle?
Enough to Make Conversation
I know I should save Brachetto for Valentine’s Day, but this rose-colored sparkler deserves to be enjoyed all year.
Perfect for a frou frou girls’ night or a romantic, candle-lit dinner, this pink wine is more than meets the eye.
Brachetto manages to fly well under the radar, so much so that the New York Times (which writes about everything) hasn’t even covered it. Italians are on to its sweet, sparkling splendor, so you can usually track down a bottle in Italian restaurants or grocers.
Region: Piedmont, Italy
Flavor: light, strawberries
How to Serve: chilled, in a champagne flute
Well-known Brands: Banfi Rosa Regale, Marenco, Braida
When to Drink: Young. This playful wine is not meant to be held on to. Stick with the most recent vintage, as the flavor and frizz will fade over time.
How to Pair: With dessert. Best with dark chocolate, this wine is well suited to simple desserts – even just some fresh fruit.
Brachetto’s origin is highly disputed, with some claiming that it comes from Nice, in France.
Being the playful wine that it is, Brachetto is historically most highly identified with the Commedia dell’Arte character Gianduja da Gioan d’laduja (Johnny of the Jug). He proportedly “drew inspiration for his bubbly high spirits from this fizzy ruby red with a fragrant foam.”
The legend of its Roman origins, however, best illustrates the wines inherently seductive nature:
The legend tells how in Roman times, first Julius Caesar followed then by Mark Antony, sent many wineskins of the Vinum Acquense to Egypt and to the court of the famously beautiful Cleopatra before their arrival, which the queen is said to have used generously to rekindle the passion of her legendary lovers.
– Teatro Naturale, Brachetto d’Acqui: Pleasant Red Bubbles
Fun Party Facts
(1) The Brachetto d’Acqui facebook page has 4,932 fans.
(2) Red Cat, a bistro in New York’s hip Chelsea district, serves Brachetto punch instead of eggnog as its holiday drink of choice.
(3) Acqui, the offically recognized Brachetto producing region, is only 50 miles from Asti, home of the Italy’s main dessert wine: Moscato d’Asti.
A grape that produces a truly distinctive red wine that is a treasure to behold but seldom seen outside of Italy.