Wine Culture and Information - Volume 17
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   Share this article     Summary of Editorial column ABC Wine 
  Editorial Issue 7, April 2003   
Bubbles WarBubbles War MailBoxMailBox  Contents 
Issue 6, March 2003 Follow DiWineTaste on Follow DiWineTaste on TwitterIssue 8, May 2003

Bubbles War


 The amount of products available in the wine market is often a matter of dispute and, just like everything where human subjectivity plays a role, things usually end up by opposing real and proper sides with the purpose of supporting their own opinions opposed to the ones who think differently. One of the wines that has practically always divided its consumers is certainly sparkling wine, not just among the ones who just define it as “sweet” or “dry”, but also among the ones who love the most common type, that is dry sparkling wine, and therefore moving the “battle” on subjects such as areas and production methodologies.

 The undisputed “king”, that usually wins any “war” related to sparkling wine, is certainly Champagne, great, or better, magnificent sparkling wine, emblem of the excellency in the world of bubbles. However in this vast world there is not only Champagne. What makes Champagne “special”, and this wine is surely special in its kind, is all those traditional facts and legends that make everyone think, every time a Champagne bottle is being opened, no matter its producer or real quality, they are about to have a very special moment, elegant and of class, something that must be remembered forever.


 

 We would like to point out that what we just said is not a war against Champagne, once again, Champagne is a magnificent sparkling wine and of great class, provided it is well made, and certainly not all the Champagne out there can be defined this way. There also are other sparkling wines and virtually every country that makes wine also offers sparkling wines. Italy, Spain, United States of America, Germany, Australia and South Africa are just some of the many that can be mentioned as an example, they are not the only ones for sure. Italian sparkling wine, for example, offers a vast selection of wines and areas, certainly not all of them can be defined as extraordinary, indeed, most of them are just ordinary, however there are certain areas in Italy capable of offering sparkling wines of great class. The same is also true for other countries that produce sparkling wine.

 However, every time a sparkling wine is being tasted, no matter of its area of origin or its type, the comparison with Champagne is most of the times inevitable. The Champagne production area has unique and extraordinary characteristics, from soil to grapes, from climate to the seriousness of certain producers, and what can be found in Champagne is, and will always be, impossible to find in other sparkling wines produced in other areas. In order to make things clearer, Italian Franciacortas, to be considered among the excellent sparkling wines of the world and not all the Franciacortas are good, have their own characteristics that cannot be found in Champagne and vice versa, no matter they are made with the same sparkling wine production methodology.

 We believe that, at the end, there will be lots of victims in this war, many losers and no winner. In case we also consider the fact that sparkling wines, as opposed to the majority of other wines, also suffer of a “seasonality” of consumption, in certain countries sparkling wines are traditionally sold during specific holidays, in particular Christmas, New Year's day and Easter, as well as being uncorked in rare happenings and during celebration moments, this actually is another drawback that every sparkling wine producer is forced to face. We believe the real bubbles war should not be about the competition among the many sparkling wines, the real challenge is the one of improving the culture of consumption about these wines and to have them to get rid of the role that was imposed on them because of traditions, prejudices and commercial opportunities. We believe that, instead of being a war, it should be a challenge that should mainly involve producers, enogastronomers and, last but not the least, consumers.

 Therefore, why not thinking about uncorking a good bottle of sparkling wine and to match it to a delicious meal? Does this sound like a bizarre idea? Indeed sparkling wine offers new and excellent enogastronomical possibilities. There are so many sparkling wines out there available in the market, made with different grapes, different areas and different methodologies, from the light and delicate ones to the most robust and complex ones, such as vintage sparkling wines produced with classic method, from dry ones to sweet ones, therefore capable of meeting a huge possibility of food matching. From aperitif to sweet, it is possible to find excellent solutions in sparkling wines produced in any country of the world.

 We believe this is the real challenge to be taken seriously and to face in a practical and serious way: producers, that should begin investing more in promoting and in improving the culture of their sparkling wines and not just focusing on certain periods of the year in order to get out the most from commercial possibilities, enogastronomers who should learn to “dare” more and, lastly, consumers themselves that should learn to be more curious and daring and to be open in order to try something new and, we are certain of this, the experience will not be disappointing. Next time something important or a holiday is about to be celebrated, let's uncork a good bottle of sparkling wine, however let's also remember to have these wines more present in our tables, together with all the other ones, just because, at the end, it is wine anyway, indeed, it is a good wine with bubbles.

 



   Share this article     Summary of Editorial column ABC Wine 
  Editorial Issue 7, April 2003   
Bubbles WarBubbles War MailBoxMailBox  Contents 
Issue 6, March 2003 Follow DiWineTaste on Follow DiWineTaste on TwitterIssue 8, May 2003

MailBox


 In this column are published our reader's mail. If you have any comment or any question or just want to express your opinion about wine, send your letters to our editorial.

 

I am a Chianti lover and I noticed in some labels is cited “Chianti Classico” whereas others simply have “Chianti”. What is the difference? Are there two distinct production methods?
Seymour Cutler -- Tacoma, Washington (USA)
The appellation “Chianti” and “Chianti Classico” are used to identify the areas of origin of this famous wine from Tuscany. “Chianti Classico” comes from an area which is considered historically traditional and goes north from Siena to south from Florence. Bottles of “Chianti Classico” can be easily recognized because of the presence of the special label “black rooster”, which is usually found in the bottle's neck. “Chianti” is produced in a wider area and actually consists of seven production areas: Colli Fiorentini, Rufina, Montalbano, Montespertoli, Colli Senesi, Colli Aretini and Colline Pisane. Grapes used to make both wines are usually the same, traditionally Sangiovese, Canaiolo Nero, Trebbiano Toscano and Malvasia Bianca, however most of the production is mainly based on Sangiovese grape, alone or sometimes other grapes are added as well, even non traditional ones of the Chianti area, such as Cabernet Sauvignon or Merlot.



I read somewhere that by using red berried grapes it is possible to make white wine. How that can be as the wine produced with these type of grapes usually is red as well as rather deep?
Sylvie Feuillerat -- Saint-Jean de Duras (France)
Producing white wines by using red berried grapes is perfectly possible. This technique, that can be applied to any type of wine, is mainly used for the production of sparkling wines, like Champagne, for example. The color in red wines is mainly determined by colorant substances that are found in grapes' skins and are passed to must during the maceration or fermentation. In case the must obtained by red berried grapes is separated from skins soon after pressing, the resulting wine will be white, just like it were produced by using white berried grapes. Wines produced in this way are usually referred as “blanc de noirs”.



   Share this article     Summary of Editorial column ABC Wine 
  Editorial Issue 7, April 2003   
Bubbles WarBubbles War MailBoxMailBox  Contents 
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