Friday, September 13, 2019

Brazilian Sparkling Wines with Salton Brut

Learning about wine is a never ending process and even though I like to focus on Italian wines I believe it’s important to understand wine on a broader scale as well. I’m always intrigued when I discover Italian grapes being grown on different terroirs.  This month our Wine Pairing Weekend group is discovering Brazilian wines.  Definitely another first for me.

Brazil’s Wine History
Brazil has been making wine from some time, but more table wines kept for local consumption.  In recent decades is where they have becoming more prevalent on the wine scene and producers are focusing on increasing the quality of the wines.  With the first appellation, Vale dos Vinhedos, only just recently established in 2002.  Today the number of wineries stands at around 1,000. 

Although Brazil is known mostly for their sparkling wines there are plenty of still wines getting recognition as well.  Many of the varietals produced throughout the country are Italian and French.  Per Decanter, grapevines were brought to Brazil back in the 1530’s by the Portuguese.  It wasn’t until Italian immigrants came in 1875 bringing their wine knowledge and establishing a wine culture that would get the Brazilian wine producers to start to bottle their wine for commercial use.

The Winery
I tried wine from the Salton winery located in Bento Goncalves, the main city of Brazil’s largest wine region, Serra Gaucha.  Serra Gaucha is in the southern part of Brazil near Uruguay in the state of the Rio Grande do Sul.  About 80-85% of the country’s production comes from this region. Serras means low mountain ranges and Gauchos are the cowboys of the Brazilian Pampas, or lowlands.    

The Salton winery is stated to be the oldest running winery and was founded in 1878 by Italian immigrant, Antonio Domenico Salton.  He came over from Northern Italy to seek out land and establish himself in Brazil.  In 1910 Antonio involved his 7 sons into the business.  They’re actually so large they produce around 9-10% of Brazil’s wine production.  Pretty amazing!  Although a large portion of their grapes are purchased from small growers that they have established long term relationships they do also grow some of their own grapes. 

Salton Alma Sparkling BrutThe Wine
Although I’m not a fan of sparkling wine how can you not beat a bottle sold at $5 a bottle.  The Salton Alma Brut is made of 60% moscato and 40% trebbiano grapes.  All Italian grapes obviously.  I was surprised with it being so dominated by moscato that it didn’t let off more florality.  A dry, crisp bubbly with lingering lemon and minerality on the finish.  ABV 11.5% 

The pairing: Although sparkling wines can be paired with a large array of foods a simple appetizer and glass of bubbly is a perfect way to start any occasion.  I paired the Alma Brut with crostini topped with Fig and Walnut Butter from Stonewall Kitchen and an Artichoke Antipasto spread from Trader Joes.  Of course I had to add some slides of fresh pecorino cheese, my favorite!  It was the perfect day to end the work week for me and was quite enjoyable. 
Brazilian sparkling wine food pairing with Salton winery
Please join me, Wines of Brasil and my fellow bloggers while we share our wine pairing suggestions for Brazilian wines. It is easy to join along, even if you don’t have a blog. Just tune in to Twitter and follow #winePW Saturday at 11am EST. In the meantime, check out my friends suggestions for meals to pair with Brazilian wines.
  • Camilla of Culinary Adventures with Camilla shares "A Brazilian Sparkler +Frango à Passarinho and Pao de Queijo" 
  • Linda of My Full Wine Glass will be posting "Head to Southern Brazil for High-Quality Wine" 
  • Cindy of Grape Experiences writes "Wine and Dine Brazilian Style with Alma Brut White Sparkling Wine from Salton Winery and Fried Calamari" 
  • Gwen at Wine Predator shares "A Poet Pairs Poetica Sparkling Rosé from Brazil" 
  • David of Cooking Chat will be pairing "Brazilian Beans, Greens and Bacon with Sparkling Wine" 
  • Pinny of Chinese Food and Wine Pairings will be serving "Miolo Alisios Pinot Grigio/Riesling and Raw Ahi Tuna 3 Ways" 
  • Wendy of A Day in the Life on the Farm will be adding "Enjoying Indian Summer with Alma Sparkling Brut from Brazil" 
  • Cynthia and Pierre of Traveling Wine Profs will be sharing "Friends, Seafood, Bubbly and Chardonnay:Our Brazilian Wine Pairing Dinner" 
  • Debbie of The Hudson Valley Wine Goddess writes "Celebrating Garden Harvest with Brazilian Wine" 
  • Sarah of The Curious Cuisiniere showcases "Pastel de Queijo and Brazilian Sparkling Wine Pairing" 
  • Jill of L'Occasion posts “Bubbles from Brazil: a Treat for Wine Lovers” 
  • Susannah, our host, at Avvinare , will post about "Miolo Merlot Paired with Brazilian Skirt Steak with Golden Garlic Butter."

*This wine was received as a sample, but opinions are all my own.