Brut Sparkling Wines: A Complete Guide to Italian Sparkling Wines
Bubbles have always been associated with celebrations and special moments. Brut sparkling wines are one of the most loved and widespread types in Italy. In this comprehensive guide, we'll explore everything there is to know about Brut sparkling wines , from their production, tastes and pairings, to the best labels available on the market.
What is a Brut Sparkling Wine?
Brut sparkling wine is a sparkling wine characterized by a low amount of residual sugar. The term "Brut" refers to the level of sweetness of the wine, and in this case, indicates that the wine is dry, with less than 12 grams of residual sugar per litre. This makes it a very popular choice for those who prefer less sweet and more refreshing wines.
Method of Production
Brut sparkling wines are mainly produced using two methods: Classic Method and Charmat Method.
The Classic Method is also known as the Traditional Method or Champenoise Method and is the method used to produce Champagne. In this process, the base wine ferments a second time in the bottle, creating natural bubbles and enriching the aromas and flavours. It is a long and complex method, but the result is a wine of great elegance and structure.
The Charmat Method, also known as the Italian Method, is a faster and more efficient process. The base wine ferments a second time in large stainless steel tanks, maintaining the freshness and fruitiness of the wine. This method is often used for younger and lighter sparkling wines.
Characteristics of Brut Sparkling Wines
Brut sparkling wines have several characteristics that make them unique and distinctive:
The Bruts have a lively acidity that makes them fresh and inviting on the palate. This acidity balances out the lack of sweetness, creating a harmonious balance.
Brut sparkling wines offer a wide range of fruity aromas, such as green apple, citrus and white peach. These fresh and fruity aromas make these wines ideal as an aperitif or as an accompaniment to light dishes.
Fine and persistent bubbles
The bubbles of Brut sparkling wines are fine and persistent, creating a pleasant sensation of fizz in the mouth.
Versatility in Pairings
Thanks to their acidity and structure, Brut sparkling wines go well with a wide range of foods, from seafood to white meats, and are also perfect to be enjoyed alone in moments of celebration.
The Best Labels of Italian Brut Sparkling Wines
Italy boasts a large selection of sparkling Brut wines , produced in different regions of the country. Here are some of the best labels to try:
1. Ferrari Trento Brut
Produced in Alto Adige, Ferrari Trento Brut is one of the most renowned Italian sparkling wines. With its notes of green apple and bread crust, it is an elegant and refined wine.
2. Ca' del Bosco Cuvée Prestige Brut
From Lombardy comes the Ca' del Bosco Cuvée Prestige Brut, a structured and complex wine with aromas of citrus and yeast.
3. Berlucchi '61 Franciacorta Brut
Berlucchi '61 Franciacorta Brut is another unmissable Italian sparkling wine. With its freshness and creaminess, it is perfect for any occasion.
4. La Gioiosa Prosecco Superiore Brut
If you prefer a lighter option, the La Gioiosa Prosecco Superiore Brut from the Veneto region is an ideal choice. Delicate and aromatic, it is perfect for a cheerful toast.
The History of Brut Sparkling Wines
The tradition of sparkling wines in Italy has ancient roots and has its origins in ancient Rome. However, the success of Brut sparkling wines as we know them today is mainly linked to the Champagne region of France, where the Classic Method took hold in the 17th century. Since then, this style of production has spread throughout Italy, resulting in the delicious Brut sparkling wines that we love and appreciate today.
How to Store and Serve Brut Sparkling Wines
To fully enjoy the bubbles of Brut sparkling wines , it is essential to store and serve them correctly.
Store Brut sparkling wines in a cool, dark place, away from direct sunlight and heat sources. Avoid sudden changes in temperature and keep them horizontal to keep the cap moist.
To serve Brut sparkling wine at the right temperature, chill it in the refrigerator for at least two hours before opening it. The ideal serving temperature is between 6°C and 8°C. Pour the wine by tilting the glass at 45 degrees to preserve the bubbles as much as possible.
Brut sparkling wines represent the charm and elegance of Italian bubbles. With their lively acidity, fruity aromas and fine bubbles, they are a perfect choice for any celebration and special moment. Explore the vast selection of labels available and delight your guests with the refined taste of Brut sparkling wines .
What is the difference between a Brut sparkling wine and an Extra Dry sparkling wine?
The main difference lies in the level of sweetness. A Brut sparkling wine is dry, while an Extra Dry is slightly sweeter.
How long does a bottle of Brut sparkling wine keep?
Most Brut sparkling wines are best kept for about 2-3 years from the date of production. However, some of them can age even better.
What are the main grape varieties used to produce Italian Brut sparkling wines?
Among the most used grape varieties are Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Pinot Blanc, but there are many other regional varieties that are used.
Can I combine a Brut sparkling wine with a plate of red meat?
Yes, but it's better to opt for a more structured and complex Brut, like a Franciacorta or a Trentodoc.
What makes Italy such a renowned region for the production of sparkling wines?
Italy has a variety of terroirs and microclimates which allow for the cultivation of different grapes suitable for the production of high quality sparkling wines. The country's long winemaking tradition has also contributed to the development of refined production techniques.