Wine starts with a call to action: see, smell, swirl, sip, and savor. Many of us know how to sip, but it's all the other "s's" that need time. When I first started tasting wine I was always in a rush. I was young and believed I didn't have time to waste enjoying said wine. Now don't get me wrong. I am not above wanting to chug a good glass of wine. Sometimes it seems I can't get enough. This is how I felt when I tasted Franciacorta.
Franciacorta is the wine growing region near Milan in Lombardy and near the shores of Lago d'Iseo and it is consortium of 19 municipalities. The easiest way to think of this is 19 small wine growing area gives us this delicious elixir through a second fermentation (fancy wine speak here folks or not so fancy) to produce the actual bubbles in the bottle and in your glass. Franciacorta is done the hold way. The wine harvest is done by hand. There are no big machines to toss the vines and grapes and separate. It's slow. Deliberate. Very Italian. Franciacorta is a sparkling wine, but not to be confused with Prosecco. It produces a finer cuvée and has five different types: Brut, Satèn, Rosé, Millesimato, and Riserva.
I fell hard for the La Valle Franciacorta Brut Rosé, It's a beautiful rosé for year round sipping and not just "summer water." I'm pairing this with a simple watermelon, cucumber, red onion, feta, and avocado salad. Add a little arugula and you are good. Simple, clean, and delicious.
Wine Tasting Note: Note the glasses above? Sparkling wine and champagne taste better in a tulip glass. Yes, flute glasses are the norm, but if you want to work on your sparkling wine tasting skills, grab a few tulip glasses and enjoy.