The Rise of Sparkling Red Wine

Have you noticed, that I have lately been experimenting with some sparkling red wines. As a firm non-fan of Lambrusco, I never saw the day coming. It just kind of sneaked on me, starting an innocent glass of sparkling red ordered by accident in Barcelona. Last week, I found myself actually craving for a sparkling red aperitif when presented with an option of a bubbly spätburgunder. It was so fresh with notes of red berries, blackcurrant in particular – perfect fall wine. Wtf I say! However, just as with orange wine, this trend could not be ignored. So I did a bit of digging into different types of sparkling red wines on the market to get more acquainted with my (future) obsession. Most of these babies come from Italy, but I am sure the trend will spill over some borders. It already has. 


Starting with the very wine that put me off sparkling red in the first place, one of the most commonly known types is Lambrusco. It is made in the Emilia-Romagna region of Italy mainly with the Charmat process. Lambrusco is actually the name of the grape, as well as the type of frizzante wine. There is a variety of styles of Lambrusco from dry (Secco) to sweet (Dulce) and from light-colored and tasting of strawberries to nearly opaque and tasting of blueberries. The Labruscos of my past were more of the tarty and tannic type, so perhaps I have to give the genre a fresh chance.

Brachetto d’Acqui

Sweet and highly acidic Brachetto d’Acqui is know to be one of the best wine companions there is for chocolate. It also has the advantage of being very low in alcohol (5-6%), so you can drink a lot of it. The word Brachetto is actually the grape variety from Piedmont, Italy. It has wonderful floral aromas and a delicate candied flavor.

Vinho Verde Tinto

Vinho Verde aka green wine, is a bit of a misleading name as it can also be made as a red wine (or rosé). The bubbly nature of the wine comes from malolactic fermentation taking place in the bottle. In early years of winemaking this was usually considered a wine fault but Vinho Verde producers found that consumers liked the slightly fizzy nature. The red vinho verdes are deep red and tannic, and are mostly made from Vinhão, Borraçal and Amaral grapes. Does not sound like my kind of wine, but hey, I have been surprised before.

Additionally I ran into talk about sparkling shiraz and several sparkling reds from Marche: Vernaccia di Serrapetrona and Lacrima di morro d’alba (sparkling versions). And lets not forget that Spätburgunder. There are clearly a lot of wines out there that I have to give a good try. Any red sparklings on your mind worth mentioning?

xx Soile

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