New Year's Eve is only a few days away.
So now, the big question on everyone's mind is - which wines to choose?
Traditionally in Italy, wine lovers usually choose a dry Charmat method sparkling wine to toast with friends and a sweeter version to accompany the typical desserts of this holiday.
Of course, champagnes also lend themselves very well and offer a wide range of products to choose from.
So how can I be sure that I have made the right choice?
We need to clarify for a moment the large family of sparkling wines in order to make the best choice.
So - "classic method" sparkling wine, or "champenoise".
This is the classic method with which French champagne is also produced, which involves a refermentation through which the carbon dioxide remains trapped in the bottle. The longer the time it takes for the CO2 to develop, the higher the quality of the wine produced.
Sparkling wine Martinotti method, or "charmat".
A sparkling wine made using a process developed by Piedmontese oenologist Federico Martinotti, which is why it bears his name. It involves a controlled re-fermentation phase of the wine in large autoclaves, with the addition of sugars, yeasts and minerals to accelerate the fermentation process.
For this reason, sparkling wines produced using the Martinotti method are characterised by shorter ageing times than those produced using the classic method, sometimes just a few days and sometimes up to 3 months.
This process is therefore particularly suitable for the production of wines made from semi-aromatic and aromatic grapes, such as Glera and Moscato, which are able to best express aromas in the first 2-3 years of the product's life.
This wine is obtained exclusively through the "champenoise" method, or classic method, and can only be produced in a well-defined area: the French region that bears its name - Champagne AOC (Appelation d'Origin Controllee).
In addition, it can only be produced with pinot noir, pinot meunier or chardonnay grapes. The peculiarity of this wine, in addition to the use of both red and white grapes, lies in the different styles adopted by the wineries, both in terms of selected grapes (which can come from different territories of the same region), and in the farming techniques used.
Along with Franciacorta, Moscato and Lambrusco, Prosecco is probably one of the most famous sparkling wines in Italy. Its success lies in the great interest of the international public.
It is, therefore, a real wine, and not a category. Its production is only permitted in 9 provinces divided between Veneto and Friuli Venezia Giulia, and only with a minimum of 80% Glera grapes, a typical variety of the area. To this, a further 20% of red grapes may be added, provided that they are vinified in white.
This is a sparkling wine produced in the hilly area of the same name in Lombardy. There are different types of this sparkling wine, which can be basic, "millesimato", "satèn" or riserva.
The difference lies in the period of ageing on the lees, which ranges from a minimum of 18 to a maximum of 60 months. They are usually produced using the classic method and are also sold in the rosé variant, made from Pinot Noir grapes.
So which is the best sparkling wine for New Year's Eve?
Before thinking about which is the best sparkling wine to open on New Year's Eve, there is one last doubt that needs to be resolved: the difference between "brut" and "sweet" sparkling wine.
The distinction lies in the sugar content of the product, which is less in the brut, or "dry" (of which there are even less sweet variants such as extra-brut), and more in the sweet. That being said, the rule is that dry sparkling wine should always be served as an aperitif and sweet sparkling wine always at the end of a meal.
In conclusion, however it goes, the final decision is always up to you.
Wine is a delicate and above all personal matter.
The advice we can give you is to try to rely on an extremely versatile wine, such as our Cielo di Montemaggio Cuveè Brut, so that you always fall on your feet.
Remember, however, that in the world of food and wine pairings there are more right answers than wrong ones! All you need to do is follow a few simple and basic rules.
Happy holidays to you all!