Then I went to northern Italy for the first time and Franciacorta was everywhere! And affordable - and made by producers I'd never heard of - and I could drink a different one everyday to start my meal. I became obsessed with tasting every Franciacorta I could find! And I finally got "it". High quality bubbles that could rival Champagne from my favorite place in the world? What a no brainer!
So I come back home and start asking our wholesalers about Franciacorta and find them trickling in to the market. Berlucchi, Ferghettina, Bellavista, Ca del Bosco, Cantadi Castaldi, Montenisa...I'm so excited that we are buying a new shelf just to accommodate all of the Franciacorta I want to buy!
And now comes the part of my job that I love - exposing our wonderful customers to a still barely known wine region and the amazing world of Franciacorta. We started with putting the Ca' Del Bosco on our by the glass menu and it has been so successful that it remains a staple on our list. We used the Ferghettina in our Italian rose' flight and people went crazy for the elegant wine in the beautiful package. But we've decided to really put it to the test and conduct a seated tasting, blind, and put it up against the world's best sparkling wine, Champagne.
Kimi will present the Champagne and I the Franciacorta. But this is not a test to see if you can determine which is which because what I really want to know is what you think. Is the quality similar? The taste? Do you prefer one bottle over another? And most importantly, do you like it? We'd love for you to participate in this very special event where a small area in Italy takes on the most prestigious sparkling wine region in the world! Casey Foote will also present his favorite cheeses from both countries to pair with the wines. Sound fun? Interesting? You can make your reservations here: Champagne Vs. Franciacorta
Here's a bit of information for thought on my two favorite regions for sparkling wine:
Champagne: Continental Climate, chalk and limestone soils
Franciacorta: Continental Climate; moraine, limestone and volcanic soils
Champagne - 30% planted to Chardonnay, 38% planted to Pinot Noir and 32% to Pinot Meunier
Franciacorta - 80% planted to Chardonnay, 15% planted to Pinot Nero (Pinot Noir) and 5% to Pinot Bianco
Champagne - Traditional Method with secondary fermentation in the bottle
Franciacorta - Traditional Method with secondary fermentation in the bottle
Non vintage: Champagne - wines must spend a minimum 15 months maturing on the lees
Non vintage: Franciacorta - wines must spend a minimum 18 months maturing on the lees
Vintage: Champagne - wines must spend a minimum 36 months maturing on the lees. 100% of the grapes must be harvested from the stated year.
Vintage: Franciacorta - wines must spend a minimum 37 months maturing on the lees. 85% of the grapes must be harvested from the stated year.
Blanc de Blanc: Champagne - wine made exclusively from white grapes, 100% Chardonnay - must be aged 15 months
Saten: Franciacorta - wine made exclusively from white grapes, Chardonnay and up to 50% Pinot Bianco allowed - must be aged 24 months