The world of sparkling wine is a big one, and more and more American wine lovers are discovering that it extends much farther than the word that was once synonymous with bubbles: Champagne.
In fact it's been a few years since Americans have discovered the more affordable and fruitier sparklers from Italy. While many wine folks conjure up the Veneto when it thinking of these, the green land of Friuli, on Italy’s Slovenian border, also produces effervescent wine.
On a trip to Friuli with a group of writers who attended the 2013 International Wine Tourism Conference, I tasted a delicious Italian sparkling wine made from all Chardonnay grapes: Perlae Naonis - Cuvée Blanc de Blanc from San Simone winery.
We were at the final dinner of our eight day trip, so a celebration was in order. I was delighted with the sparkling wine. The Perlae Naonis was refreshing, crisp, with streams of fast moving, pin sized bubbles racing from the bottom. There were light notes of citrus, apple, brioche. In fact , I could have drunk it with all the courses, instead of just the starter course.
Yet, almost as good as what was inside the bottle was the bottle itself. The sensuously curving, dark glass was unique – making it a perfect bottle to present as a hostess gift, or just enjoy on a table at home.