Italian wine is not something I really appreciated when I first started delving into this world of beverages. Every glass that I tried felt like watching a marathon of Full House, not that interesting with a homey message that smacks you across the face. However, after my epiphany that Chardonnay could be delicious, I gave it another chance. Though I decided to expand my horizons, my experience of Italian wine revolved around the red. A Nebbiolo here, a Super Tuscan there, and I had a firmer grasp of what Italy had to offer. Still, bubbles were hardly on my radar until November of 2015.
For those of you who have read my little paragraph about PROTOCOL Wine and #Winestudio, feel free to skip this section and jump down to the good stuff below. For those of you out of the loop, #WineStudio is a monthly Twitter discussion where wine enthusiasts get together to gush over wine, what goes into making it, and the impact it has on us imbibers. What I appreciate about this group is that it is a no judgement zone where my novice self can express my opinions and ask questions while also learning a lot.
I am very much new to my study of wine, but even I know serious winos almost always bow down to sparkling; so, when I saw that it was going to be bubbly month, I immediately threw my hat in the ring. I had seen Ferrari wines at a local Italian restaurant that doubles as a wine shop, but I had never bothered to pick it up. Sugary Italian bubbles only fit to be mixed into a cocktail were what I was used to, and I did not have any interest in diving into yet another disappointing bottle. Unsurprisingly, the opinions I formed at twenty-one were wrong.
Ferrari Wines, unlike that other Ferrari with which you’re probably familiar, produces traditional method sparkling wines. To kick off the month, we began with the classic NV Ferrari Brut. This wine made up of 100% Chardonnay was the simplest of the sparklers we tried, but shone with crisp fruity flavors. Pale gold in color, tart apples dominated the palate and a touch of toast edged out the well balanced wine. I took advantage of this one in the morning to pair with bacon and eggs, and it was a solid brunch accompaniment. The most economical of the Ferrari wines, the SRP of $25 makes this an easily accessible entry into what this winery has to offer.
To mix it up a little bit, we also spent some time with the NV Ferrari Brut Rosé, a fun wine with depth that consisted of 60% Pinot Nero and 40% Chardonnay. The lush pink wine highlighted floral flavors and ripe strawberry. It was dry and food friendly, making it one that’s easy to bring to a BYO where you don’t know what food will be offered. Slightly pricier at around $36, it wasn’t one I could drink every day, yet I still enjoyed it all the same.
After two good, though not mind-blowing wines, I opened up the bottle that converted me into an Italian sparkling superfan. The pale yellow 2007 Perlé lingered in mouthwatering ways. It had a little bit of everything; it was tart, juicy, nutty, and had a hint of bitter to it. Essentially a joy to drink. I was ready to hide this one away for myself like Sméagol with his ring. We finished the bottle in one go, though I could have filled a whole fridge. This one is a steal with an SRP of $38, and the one I would suggest that everyone pick up.
Throughout #WineStudio we had explored progressively more complex bottles of bubbles, and that fact was underscored by the 2002 Guilio Ferrari Riserve del Fondatore. I saved this one for Thanksgiving, to share with my uncle- one of the few people in my family who is as into trying drinks as I am. Giving off aromas of stone fruits like white peach with a hint of nuts, this was one of those wines you could spend as much time smelling as drinking. However, for the average wine drinker, this isn’t the right bottle to buy. At a SRP of $120, it’s a much better investment for someone passionate about wine who will open this for the right occasion.
Though these bubbles all came from the same Italian winery, the bottles we tried throughout #WineStudio showcased a nice breadth of sparkling options. Those new to bubbles would be at home with the traditional Ferrari Brut; those who are more advanced could easily spend some time with the Perlé. I don’t know about the wines produced when Ferrari was originally founded in 1902, but if they were anything like these, it’s no wonder why the company has thrived. In 2016, buzzwords like sustainable agriculture are perfect marketing tools, but take one sip, and you’ll understand why Ferrari is more than just a name.
These wines were kindly provided to me by the company listed above, but all opinions are my own.