Party Bubbles: how to pick the perfect Italian wine



There is platinum white one and the green straw one. Then the pink ruby one. We are speaking of Italian sparkling wines, players, along with the cha

mpagne across the Alps,

on festive tables. With a total production of about 340 million bottles, Italy is the largest producer and exporter of sparkling wine, overtaking a historic recording in 2009

on champagne, according to Coldiretti.

Sweet aromatic, such as Malvasia and Asti, dry Prosecco-based, extra dry with less than 3 grams of sugar per litre, or as fruity as the Valdobbiadene wine, but also amabile, sec, demi-sec and Brut or extra-brut. But how do you choose? And most importantly, how do you recognize them?

Here is a way in a nutshell, for those who, in front of huge racks of bottles, can not distinguish a Lambrusco from Franciacorta. Because the bubbles are not all equal.

To recognize the quality of sparkling wines, a trick is the visual examination. Care should be taken to the pearlage, that is the set of bubbles of carbon dioxide, the finer they are the better the sparkling wine; the grain, or the diameter of the bubbles, the optimum is about 0.8 mm .

In summary

Sparkling elite (traditional method), very fine-grained a

nd persistent pearlage

Sparkling wine of good quality, fine and persistent pearlage

Sparkling in the autoclave with a long

finish on the lees, or very fine grained and persistent pearlage

Sparkling in the autoclave with short persistence on the lees, medium-grained and persistent pearlage

Mediocre products, and coarse-grained enough pearlage very persistent

Artificial sparkling wines and sparkling, with coarse grained and evanescent pearlage


Classic: allows the foam to develop through a second fermentation in the same bottle in which the wine will be sold through the addition of liqueur de tirage, that is a syrup or sugar and yeast.

Charmat: allows the foam to develop in the wine by adding su

gar in autoclaves.

Asti DOCG is the leader in production with little more than 80 million bottles, followed by Prosecco Conegliano Valdobbiadene with 50 million, even if they are over 160 million bottles of sparkling wine (DOCG) marketed.

The Veneto is the first Italian region for production followed by the Piedmont.

For Christmas 2010, the Italian sparkling wine abroad does mark a record increase of 21 percent in shipments, according to a Coldiretti, analysis of data on exports of Italian sparkling wine in the world in the first eight months of 2010. A success – Coldiretti – is the result of strong growth in Germany (+10 percent) which is the largest importer, followed by the United States (+15 percent) and the United Kingdom (+30 percent).

Among the new customers of the Made in Italy – Coldiretti – is Russia, which ranks fourth with a record increase of 200 percent and Japan, which remains stable. Overall – Coldiretti – estimates there have been about 150 million bottles of sparkling wine made in Italy consumed abroad in 2010.


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