In laid-back Venice, California, a group of Los Angeles tastemakers and wine and food lovers gathered for a special Ca’ del Bosco wine tasting lunch with the founder himself, Maurizio Zanella who was in town from Italy. The conversation over a carefully crafted meal from Crateful Catering swiftly turned to “Why does anyone use flutes anymore?”
Sampling fresh crisp bubbly, a Ca’ del Bosco Cuvee Prestige MV with deep golden elegant hues, the question again erupted: “What is the right type of glass for champagne or sparkling wine?”
Now here we were with the wine master himself from Italy. I waited for the answers since we were sipping the prized Ca’del Bosco Franciacorta from full “Cabernet” wine glasses, not typical champagne glasses.
First, the word Franciacorta was a new word I discovered in the last year when I dove into researching sparkling wines or bruts for our wedding. Franciacorta is a territory, but it is also the name of the “bubblies” born in that region, made from premium grapes. Franciacorta sparkling wines are tied to the region, like in France for Champagne. Franciacorta is made mostly from Chardonnay grapes plus small amounts of Pinot Bianco and a larger portion of Pinot Nero.
The man sitting next to me at lunch, Mr. Maurizio Zanella, founded the winery in 1968, and dedicated himself to distinguishing the sparkling wines of Franciacorta. Ca’ del Bosco’s reputation for sparkling wines has been secured by the excellence of its cuvées. The Franciacorta region of Lombardy and its neighboring towns were once known for their production of firearms than wine. In 1995, Zanella’s dream came true when the sparkling wine of Franciacorta was named a D.O.C.G. to be marketed as “Franciacorta.” Since the new D.O.C.G. standards require a minimum of two years aging before release, the first Ca’ del Bosco Franciacorta D.O.C.G. were released to the international market in 1997.
After a round of scrumptious appetizers had been devoured with our bubbly, guests moved on to still wines like Ca’ del Bosco’s Curtefranca Bianco Chardonnay 2013 and the Rosso del Sebino Maurizio Zanella 2009, paired with arugula and strawberry salad and seared chicken breast from Crateful Catering (a company we had used for our own wedding). To top it off, dessert was served with the special Franciacorta Riserva of Ca’ del Bosco.
Our burning question was answered. Not only by the wine aficionados at the table but Mr. Zanella himself. Bubbly has only been served in flutes to highlight the sparkling wine’s sparkle and bubbles. It helps keep the bubbles bubbling and looking pretty. Not only are flutes easily breakable, but regular wine glasses should be used instead, so like with regular wine, you can give your sparkling wine a gentle swirl and sniff. Let the wine aroma run free.
Time to give up the flute!