June 29, 2011

Bellavista Franciocorta Tasting

Have I mentioned that we like wine?  Each month our Wine Spectator magazine shows up and, consequently, I am reminded how little I know about wine!  How do you remedy such inadequacies?  Well, I prefer a "hands on" approach to learning wine.  I'm sure it sounds gushy and self indulgent, but finding good wines takes time, knowledge, and expectations -- along with a mess of other techniques, but like I said before, I'm still learning.

Part of my approach is actually tasting the wines.  That's where Jimmy's Food Store in Dallas comes into play.  The great thing about Jimmy's is that it is a small market where anyone who knows anything about food in Dallas shops.  Jimmy's makes some of the best pastas and meats that are served at the better restaurants around Dallas as well as sells fabulous imported Italian products.  We're huge Jimmy's fans, thus we have been on their email list for quite some time.  Part of the weekly email announcements include opportunities to partake in wine tastings.  The mention of "bubbles" caught my eye, so I signed us up for the Bellavista tasting.

Bellavista makes a sparkling Italian wine call Franciocorta in the Champagne method.  Basically, the wine is fermented, then bottled, and fermented again to create the "bubbles".  Sara Pedrali is the Brand Ambassador who put on the tasting.  Sara is very knowledgeable and passionate about the wine she was sharing with us.  Sara's uncle, Vittorio Moretti started the winery about 30 years ago in the Franciacorta area in the Lombardy region of Northern Italy.  Sara gave us some good reasons why Franciacorta truly rivals the French Champagne region in terms of weather and climate which results in higher quality grapes. (Have I mentioned how much I love Italians?!)  These grapes are harvested by hand, the bottles are rotated by hand in the cellar, and then the bottles are gorged by hand.  A lot of time and technique goes into Bellavista wine making.  The results speak for themselves.

The highlight of the tasting was the opportunity to sample the Vittorio Moretti.  This wine is the stuff of legends.  Bellavista only bottles this wine when the conditions are specifically fit to begin the process of blending this high quality wine, which, in turn, makes it a rarity in production.  The weather, the grapes, the stars and the moon must be perfectly aligned for this effort to begin.  The Vittorio Moretti has only been produced 7 times since Bellavista began producing wine.  Moretti is the pride of the winery so much that even top wine critics do not gain access to the wine.  It was special, special stuff.  The pride Sara exuded when indulging in the wine made it very clear how unique tasting the Vittorio Moretti actually was.  Boy was it devine!
Jimmy's served each person with this delicious spread!

Jimmy's tasting room.  Sara noted that the Franciocorta region looks similar to the mural on the wall.  Looks beautiful!

Daniel Rosenberg from Empson USA Wine Importers kicking off the tasting.

Sample bottle on our table.  We definitely took some bottles home!

Yours truly and Sara Pedrali after the tasting.  She is such a doll!

Check out the Bellavista bottle on the shelf behind Anthony Bourdain!  Just happened upon this last night before cooking dinner.
Via TravelChannel.com
After this tasting, northern Italy is now on our radar.  I'm thinking next Spring trip!  Do you like Italian bubbles?

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