Natural born fizzers: alternative sparkling wines | Fiona Beckett | Food


While we’re all conscious there are totally different types of purple and white wine, it’s not extensively appreciated fairly what number of totally different sorts of sparkling wine exist. Even I used to be stunned on the Raw natural wine fair by the large number of fizz that’s now on supply.

The important distinction, which you in all probability find out about already, is sweetness. Most mainstream sparkling wines, even these labelled dry, or “brut”, have an added “dosage”, or sugar answer, which brings their sugar ranges as much as about Eight-12g a litre (within the case of prosecco, much more). However, many new-wave wines, particularly these from artisan producers, have little or no dosage – you’ll be able to spot them by the phrases “brut nature”, “extra brut” or “non-dosée” on the label.

Also secret is the manufacturing technique. Many at the moment are made by the normal méthode ancestrale, AKA pétillant naturel or pét-nat, the place the wine is bottled earlier than it finishes fermenting, moderately than present process an extended, secondary fermentation within the bottle. This tends to make for lighter, much less fizzy, barely cloudy wines – much less elegant than we’re used to, maybe, however typically brisker and younger than these made by the champagne technique, or méthode traditionelle. Given that the majority of those wines are made with pure yeasts, they may also be a contact funky.

Grape varieties past the basic chardonnay, pinot noir and pinot meunier are one other function of those alternative sparkling wine types, although not all are as obscure because the vernaccia, lagarino bianco, nosiola and verderbara that make up the mix in Furlani’s charming Alpino Sui Lieviti, from certainly one of northern Italy’s best sparkling wine areas, the mountainous Trentino (much less well-known and higher worth, by the way, than posh Franciacorta on the opposite aspect). Chenin blanc (fashionable within the Loire and South Africa) and moscato are additionally extensively utilized in fizz, which within the latter case is usually candy.

Then there are sparkling reds, mostly tart, dry, bitter, cherry-flavoured lambrusco (I’m speaking about the actual factor right here, not the weedy incarnations a few of us grew up on) and Australia’s exuberant sparkling shiraz. I might be intrigued to discover a pure model of that.

It all provides as much as the truth that there’s a world of fascinating sparkling wine on the market that isn’t prosecco or champagne. Granted, you gained’t discover it down the native grocery store, however benefit from offbeat wines by the glass in wine bars and independents that inventory pure or low-intervention wines.

Four offbeat bottles of bubbly



Furlani Alpino Sui Lieviti

£23 Natural Born Wine on-line and at Victoria Park market on Sundays, 11.5%.

Wild yeasts + no added sulphur = natural-tasting, refreshing wine.


Meinklang Foam Weiss 2017


Meinklang Foam Weiss 2017

£30 Winemakers Club Farringdon, 11.5%.

Quirky, off-dry, orange Austrian sparkling pinot gris that’s gorgeously peachy and summery.


Reliance Brut Nature Champagne


Reliance Brut Nature Champagne

£59 Dynamic Vines, 12%.

The most enjoyable champagne I’ve tasted lately, from biodynamic grower Franck Pascal. No added sugar, toasty, and superbly balanced.


Woodfired Heathcote Sparkling Shiraz


De Bortoli Woodfired Heathcote Sparkling Shiraz

£15.50 Sainsbury’s, 13.7%.

Deep black, cherry-flavoured fizz. Scoff with a field of goodies or the stays of the kids’ Easter eggs. Good with blue cheese or a barbecue, too.


For extra by Fiona Beckett, go to matchingfoodandwine.com



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